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Andhra CM’s co-brother-in-law Daggubati, son to join YSR Congress; wife still in BJP

Daggubati Venkateswara Rao’s announcement came soon after his hour-long meeting with Jagan Reddy at his Lotus Pond residence along with his son, and he said he has got a promise for a ticket for his native Parchur Assembly segment in Prakasam district.

lok sabha elections Updated: Jan 27, 2019 21:09 IST
Gali Nagaraja
Gali Nagaraja
Hindustan Times, Vijayawada
NTR son-in-law,N. Chandrababu Naidu,Daggubati Venkateswara Rao
Late TDP founder N T Rama Rao’s elder son-in-law Daggubati Venkateswara Rao has announced he is joining YSR Congress of YS Jaganmohan Reddy (File Photo)(HT Photo)

Telugu Desam Party founder N.T. Rama Rao’s elder-son-in-law and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s co-brother-in-law Daggubati Venkateswara Rao on Sunday announced he was joining Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s Yuvajana Sramika Rytu Congress for the political future of his NRI son Hitesh Chenchuram.

Making the announcement soon after his hour-long meeting with Jagan Reddy at his Lotus Pond residence along with his son, he said he has got a promise from Jagan, as the YSR Congress chief is called popularly, for a ticket for his native Parchur Assembly segment in Prakasam district.

During the meeting, Rao presented Jagan a book titled “A history and 100 facts” authored by himself on events in the revolt against NTR by his family members under Naidu’s leadership with overthrew the TDP founder in 1995 and became to be known as the “August Coup”.

Chenchuram, an NRI settled in the US, is trying to relinquish his American citizenship to facilitate his entry in the Andhra Pradesh’ elections. His mother and former Union minister Daggubati Purandheswari is currently in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), heading its all-India women’s outfit.

Talking to media after his meeting with Jagan, Rao ruled out his wife joining the YSR Congress. However, speculations keep doing rounds over her quitting the BJP in pursuit of greener pastures as her party, a non-entity in Andhra Pradesh, obviously cannot give her a bright political future.

Rao had reportedly sided with Naidu in the succession war following a promise by the latter to make him deputy chief minister which failed to become a reality. After waging a losing battle against Naidu in the war of political succession, the Daggubati couple joined hands with Jagan’s father and Congress leader Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, Naidu’s bete noir, in the run-up to 2004 Assembly elections.

After crossing over to the Congress, Rao was elected to the Assembly from Parchur and his wife went to Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam with the backing of YSR. In the next Parliament elections, she was re-elected from Visakhapatnam to become a minister in the UPA-II.

The family’s political future, however, became shaky with the Congress party’s downfall in Andhra Pradesh in the 2014 elections for its role in bifurcation of the state. Purandhareswari eventually switched over to the BJP and Rao stayed away from active politics.

Meanwhile, NTR’s widow Lakshmiparvati, who sided with Jagan after disbanding her TDP-LP party after NTR’s death, declined to comment on Rao’s joining the YSR Congress

The YSR Congress has been identified as an outfit of Andhra Pradesh’s dominant Reddy community and its leader seems trying to undo this image by attracting leaders from Naidu’s Kamma community, especially those from the NTR’s family and Rao’s admission needs to be viewed from this context, a YSR Congress leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Hindustan Times.

K. Nageswar, political analyst and journalism and mass communication teacher in Osmania University in Hyderabad, however, said Rao’s joining in the YSR Congress is unlikely to impact the electoral fortunes of Naidu’s TDP as the political legacy of NTR has fizzled out in Andhra politics as seen by TDP’s repeated electoral victories after Naidu took over the reins from NTR. “The development may only help Jagan to fire another salvo at his arch-rival Naidu from Daggubati’s shoulders,” Nageswar said.

First Published: Jan 27, 2019 21:09 IST

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