Lok Sabha polls: YS Vivekananda’s daughter Sunitha vows to ensure defeat of Avinash

Lending support to Congress president and her cousin YS Sharmila, Sunitha said that her father will get justice only if Avinash is deprived of power.
Lok Sabha polls: YS Vivekananda’s daughter Sunitha vows to ensure defeat of Avinash
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Former MP YS Vivekananda’s daughter Dr Suneetha Narreddy has vowed to ensure the electoral defeat of her cousin and Kadapa MP YS Avinash, who is accused of killing her father. 

The Kadapa Lok Sabha seat has been retained by members of the Yeduguri Sandinti (YS) family, to which Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy belongs, for 35 years now. In the upcoming 2024 general election too, the battle for the seat is primarily between two warring factions of the family – CM Jagan’s sister and Congress state chief YS Sharmila, and her cousin Avinash of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). 

Suneetha, who is campaigning for her cousin Sharmila, while referring to her as her ‘sister’, recounted the dynamics within the family while making a case for why people must vote out Avinash this time. Speaking to the media in Hyderabad on Saturday, April 6, Suneetha said, “Why is the Kadapa MP seat so crucial? One might wonder if someone would really commit murder over an MP seat,” referring to one of the alleged motives for her father’s murder. 

Read: Uncle murdered, cousin implicated: CM Jagan's YSRCP haunted by a murky case

“If such people involved in political murders remain in power, people like me will continue to suffer. If I must get justice, the killers shouldn’t be in power,” Suneetha said, alluding to Avinash. “Murderers should not be in the legislature. If they keep controlling police and systems, and keep getting away, there’s no hope for people like us. That’s why I am here. If they are not in power, there will be a level playing ground. Avinash must lose, that is my goal,” she said, adding that she would campaign for Sharmila on an individual level, although she doesn’t see herself as a Congress supporter. 

Detailing the history of the YS family, Suneetha spoke about how her father Viveka, and CM Jagan’s father and former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy, had an arrangement of alternating between the Pulivendula Assembly seat and Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, until 2009. In the 2009 general election, CM Jagan contested and won from the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. A few months later, YSR died in a helicopter crash. In the aftermath, Jagan broke away and formed the YSRCP. 

Suneetha said that when Jagan was arrested on corruption charges in 2012, “Sharmila took over the reins of YSRCP, working hard to campaign for the party and ensuring its success in the 2012 bye-elections. Without her party would have collapsed, but in return, she was sidelined, as she was growing too powerful.” Suneetha also alleged that Avinash was given the Kadapa MP ticket despite being a political novice. 

She said that whenever the name of Avinash or his father YS Bhaskar Reddy’s name was floated to contest from the Pulivendula Assembly or Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, her father Viveka objected, and always favoured the ticket going to either Jagan’s mother Vijayamma or Sharmila. 

She said that despite a brief rift after YSR’s demise, her father Viveka joined YSRCP after Jagan’s arrest as he believed that the family should stick together in distress. Reiterating some of the CBI’s findings in her father’s murder case, Suneetha said that Avinash had sabotaged her father’s prospects in the 2017 MLC elections. She said that although her father continued to campaign for Avinash in the 2019 general election as he was representing the party, the two of them were not on good terms even in the days preceding his death. 

Stating that injustice was done to both her father Viveka and Sharmila, Suneetha said, “Whoever wins, whether Sharmila and Congress or TDP or Jana Sena, I only care about YSRCP losing. It does matter to me that Sharmila wins because she’s my sister, but I want Avinash to lose.”

“We know that systems are under pressure in this country. There are things that still need to be done (in the YS Viveka murder case). I have a SC petition pending seeking reopening of the investigation. If there’s a people’s verdict (against YSRCP), won’t that help reduce pressure on the system?” she said. 

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