NTR’s granddaughter in fray: Naidu hopes for change

Suhasini during her campaign in Kukatpally

Not long ago the ruling Telangana Rashtra Saimithi (TRS) had written off rival Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the face of Greater Hyderabad, which has 24 Assembly seats under its jurisdiction.

The TDP couldn’t even win a seat in the election for corporators.

The TDP under the alliance “Praja Kutami” settled for a meagre 13 out of the 119 seat Telangana Assembly and was expecting no miracles except the sure-to-win seat of Nama Nageswara Rao in Khammam, southern Telangana.

Aiming to change the numbers in his favour in the other Telugu state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu  declared that the party will field Nandamuri Suhasini from Kukatpally seat.

Suhasini is N T Rama Rao’s granddaughter, the TDP's founder.

She is the daughter of Nandamuri Harikrishna, the TDP politburo member, who recently died in a car accident.

Harikrihna’s two sons, actors Jr NTR and Kalyan Ram, supported their sister's candidature, who is married into a rich industrial family of Hyderabad.

By fielding a Nandamuri scion in the constituency, which has large number of settlers from Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu has catapulted the TDP into the centre stage

He has also united the whole Nandamuri clan against NTR’s daughter and former union minister D Purandheswari.

While the whole family is supporting and helping Suhasini in her campaign, Purandheswari has so far made no comments.

Purandheswari has been blaming Chandrababu for usurping power from her father and keeping her brothers away from their genuine rights.

Jr NTR stays away

While Chandrababu camped in Hyderabad and took Suhasini on roadshows, that attracted huge crowds, Jr NTR, who had campaigned for the TDP during the 2009 election, was nowhere to be seen.

Apart from Chandrababu, Nandamuri Balakrishna, Suhasini’s paternal uncle; Paritala Sunitha and several Andhra Pradesh ministers have been campaigning for Suhasini.

In a letter released to media, Jr NTR said that his busy shooting schedule is keeping him away from campaigning for his sister.

However, party seniors feel that Jr NTR has issues with his uncle, Chandrababu.

After the 2009 election, Jr NTR's father wanted to resign from the party for being neglected by his brother-in-law, Chandrababu.

Puarandheswari, who is now with the BJP in Andhra Pradesh, is considered to be very close to Harikrishna.

The Campaign

Suhasini, who was all of a sudden catapulted into active politics, has been overwhelmed by the love and affection shown by the voters of the constituency.

With no oratory skills, she depends mostly on creating an instant bond with the voter during her door-to-door campaign in the morning and roadshows at night.

“My grandfather founded the party with a principle of 'people first' and my father Harikrishna drove him to success by driving the campaign van for thousands of kilometer, my uncle Chandrababu believes in the same principle. I am no different from them,” Suhasini told DH.

Suhasini, who got a degree in Law, is not ready to accept that she is a novice to politics.

She says that she was born in a political family, but her father never encouraged her to join active politics.

Suhasini promises a 100-bed hospital and a permanent solution for the traffic problem in her constituency, if elected.

Even though the disappointed TDP leaders of the constituency were indifferent, Chandrababu called everyone to Amaravati and consoled them.

He told them that they will be considered for an alternative position if the "Praja Kutami" comes to power.

Suhasini's campaign seems to be picking up momentum, with Telangana IT Minister K Taraka Rama Rao, in his Kukatpally roadshows, saying that Chandrababu is making Suhasini a scapegoat as she is sure of losing the election.

“Why not make Suhasini a minister just as Chandrababu made his son Lokesh a minister in Andhra Pradesh.  If Chandrababu is meddling in Telangana then we will do the same. We will do a surgical strike in Andhra Pradesh,” Rao said.

Suhasini is pitted against Madhavaram Krishna Rao of the TRS, who won the 2014 election on RDP ticket but later jumped to the ruling TRS.

Madhavaram Kanta Rao (BJP) and R Jawahar Lal (Bahujan Left Front) are the other major candidates.

 

Greater Hyderabad (24 Assembly segments) Voting percentage:

2004:

TDP- 27.56

Congress- 25.31

TRS-10.58

BJP-10.39

Others-26.16

2009

TDP-16.35

Congress-27.88

TRS-4.60

BJP-11.43

Others-39.74

2014

TDP-22.12

Congress-15.25

TRS-19.62

BJP-13.32

Others-29.69

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NTR’s granddaughter in fray: Naidu hopes for change

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