How did the Andhra Pradesh elections shake up political families? | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad


The simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh have not only sparked violence but also caused rifts in several political families. Siblings faced off, a son ran against his minister father, and a wife was persuaded at the last moment to withdraw from competing against her husband.

Accompanied by ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Buggana Rajendranath and Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, the six candidates completed the formality on the last day of the nomination process. Earlier, YSRC president and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy handed the candidates the party's requisite authorisation in Form-B.
Accompanied by ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, Buggana Rajendranath and Government Advisor (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, the six candidates completed the formality on the last day of the nomination process. Earlier, YSRC president and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy handed the candidates the party’s requisite authorisation in Form-B.

In this family feud, YSRCP chief and outgoing chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy faced a significant challenge from his sister, Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Y S Sharmila. After her foray into politics in Telangana with the YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) and its subsequent merger with the Congress, Sharmila took charge of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh to directly criticise her brother, often supported by her cousin Suneetha Narreddy.

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“Jagan is not the successor of YSR (Y S Rajasekhar Reddy) at all. There is no similarity between the regimes led by YSR and Jagan…Jagan’s reign is marked by murderous politics,” said Sharmila at Mydukuru in Kadapa district on April 8.

As Congress candidate for Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, Sharmila took on her cousin Y S Avinash Reddy from YSRCP, who is an accused in the Vivekananda Reddy’s murder case. Though she lost, Sharmila, garnered more than 1.4 lakh votes and managed to inflict electoral damage on Avinash Reddy, who won by a margin of 62,695 votes.

Avinash Reddy had the full backing of Jagan Mohan Reddy who said people of Kadapa ‘know who killed’ his uncle Vivekananda Reddy. A ‘conspiracy’ has been hatched to ‘destroy’ the life of Avinash Reddy and alleged that his younger sisters Sharmila and Narreddy are a ‘part’ of it.

Ditching Jagan Mohan Reddy backed Avinash Reddy, Y S Vijayamma, Rajasekhar Reddy’s wife and the mother of the siblings backed her daughter Sharmila, urging the Kadapa Lok Sabha electorate to vote for her daughter.

Similarly, the Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency saw a battle between brothers, K Srinivas and K Sivanath. Srinivas, a transport tycoon-turned-politician from the YSRCP took on his younger brother Sivanath from the TDP. Srinivas (58), the older brother, was a key TDP leader until some months ago but differences with party leaders compelled him to jump ship to YSRCP in January.

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Eventually, his gamble didn’t pay off and Srinivas lost the battle to Sivanath, who won with a thumping margin of over 2.82 lakh votes, garnering 7,94,154 votes in total.

In north Andhra region, Duvvada Vani, wife of YSRCP’s Tekkali Assembly segment candidate Duvvada Srinivas, for several reasons, almost came close to competing against her husband. At the last moment, senior party leaders successfully persuaded her against doing it.

Likewise, B Ravi Kumar, son of YSRCP Anakapalli Lok Sabha candidate and deputy chief minister B Mutyala Naidu contested as an independent from Madugula Assembly seat against his step-sister E Anuradha and all the three family members lost their elections.

Another fallout was violence at many places that went to the extent of even ordinary people, who owed allegiance to TDP and YSRCP leaders assaulting each other in a number of places. Palnadu, Tirupati and Anantapur districts became notorious for such attacks.

Despite authorities promising protection to YSRCP supporters in the wake of alleged attacks by Janasena and TDP cadres, violent incidents have not abated. Andhra Pradesh went to polls on May 13 for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly seats. The NDA alliance of TDP, BJP and Janasena won a landslide victory with a brute majority of 164 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats. YSRCP has been relegated to a seemingly inconsequential position, with just 11 Assembly and four MP seats.

(With inputs from PTI)

 



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