Amaravati: When the second Andhra Pradesh Assembly comes into existence after May 23, a glaring sight in the ‘House’ (the Assembly meeting hall) would be more than one representative from several families sitting together to make laws and to debate public policies. At least 20 families have more than one representative in the fray mostly for Assembly and secondly for Lok Sabha.
All three leading parties in the state---the Telugu Desam, the YSR Congress and the Jana Sena --- have exhibited their family rule credentials. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan who kept his family away from his political activity till now, welcomed his elder brother Nagababu into the party on Wednesday and announced him as the party candidate for Narsapuram Lok Sabha constituency.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, who is seeking election to the Assembly for seventh time from Kuppam constituency in Chittoor district, has four close family members in the fray. His son Nara Lokesh is trying his luck in direct politics from Mangalagirl Assembly constituency. Naidu’s brother-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna is in the fray from Hindupur seeking a reelection to the Assembly. Balakrishna’s another son-in-law M Sri Bharat is contesting on TDP ticket from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.
YSR Congress Party president YS Jaganmohan, who claims to be the political heir of his father late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has named his paternal cousin YS Avinash Reddy as the party candidate for Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. Jagan is contesting from Pulivendula to Assmebly.
Jana Sena chief Pawan is contesting for Assembly from two constituencies viz Bhimavaram in West Godavari and Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam district. His brother Nagababu got the Narsapuram LS ticket in seconds after joining the party.
TDP’s P Ashok Gajapathi Raju (former civil aviation minister) introducing his daughter Aditi from Vizianagaram Assembly constituency, while he is seeking reelection from Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency. Similarly, Rajahmundry MP M Murali Mohan chose to retire from active politics but, did not leave the seat for outsiders. He got the ticket for his daughter-in-law M Rupa this time.
In Rayalaseema, Paritala Sunitha (civil supplies minister) paved way for her son Paritala Sriram in Raptadu Assembly constituency in Anantapur district. Firebrand MP JC Diwakar Reddy also chose to retire from active politics (he announced his desire to contest for local body polls next time to show quantitative development in the town) made way for his son Pavan Kumar Reddy from Anantapur LS constituency.
Madamanchi Sambasiva Rao, who wrote a well-researched book (Nenu – Na Kutumbam or Me and My Family) on dynasty politics touching about 100 families since pre-Independence era of 1929, says, “These dynasty politics are just undeclared reservations. The parties are ensuring that no other leader would grow in those particular constituencies that are meant for representation by their relatives. We see the trend increasing”.
“None of these leaders who are retiring from active politics promoted any of their follower as their political heirs, notwithstanding the fact that hundreds of such youth had sacrificed their everything for their leaders for decades”, Sambasiva Rao points out. He insists on electoral reforms barring anybody from contesting for more than two terms for Assembly, Legislative Council, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. “Even political party president terms should be limited to a maximum of ten years”, he adds.