Andhra Pradesh

Andhra elections : All in the family

Wanna witness a family political drama play out in the open? Head to Andhra Pradesh this election. Its north coastal region in particular. Where Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency will see NT Rama Rao’s daughter Purandareswari cross swords on behalf of the BJP with her brother Nandamuri Balakrishna’s son-in-law Sri Bharat of the Telugu Desam. Not sure if you could say whoever wins, NTR will be the winner ! 

The extended NTR family this election finds itself split between different parties. Chandrababu Naidu, his son Nara Lokesh, NTR’s son Nandamuri Balakrishna and Sri Bharat are fighting the high stakes electoral battle on the TDP ticket. Purandareswari is in the BJP but her husband Daggubati Venkateswara Rao is the YSR Congress candidate from Parchur. NTR’s widow Lakshmi Parvati also is in the YSR Congress and a film made with her blessings, Ram Gopal Varma’s `Lakshmi’s NTR’ will release this month. 

The NTR family is not the only one fighting a pitched battle. Former Union minister Kishore Chandra Deo who quit the Congress to join the TDP has been fielded from Araku Lok Sabha constituency in Visakhapatnam district. The Congress has pitted his daughter V Shruti Devi against Deo. 

But next door in Vizianagaram, another father-daughter duo believes the family that contests together stays together. Former Union Civil Aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju of the TDP is contesting from the Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency while his daughter Aditi has been fielded by the same party from the Vizianagaram assembly seat. 

Pawan Kalyan with elder brother Nagababu

Families clearly seem to be the flavour of the season this election. While Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan is contesting from two seats, Bhimavaram and Gajuwaka, his elder brother Nagababu made a last-minute entry to the party and has been fielded from Narsapur Lok Sabha constituency. Their eldest brother Chiranjeevi had entered politics in 2008 but has now retired from the field, focusing only on his film career. 

This election has also seen veteran politicians passing on the baton to gen-next. Anantapur MP of the TDP, JC Diwakar Reddy who hit the headlines for assaulting an employee of Indigo Airlines at Visakhapatnam airport in 2017, has stayed away from elections and his son JC Pavan Reddy is the TDP candidate. Former Andhra minister B Gopalakrishna Reddy too has retired due to ill-health, his Srikalahasti seat given to his son Sudheer Reddy. 

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