TDP founder NT Rama Rao's granddaughter N Venkata Suhasini, who is contesting the Telangana Assembly election from Kukatpally constituency in Greater Hyderabad, is banking on her lineage. The presence of Suhasini in the electoral fray in Telangana is significant as the top leadership of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) moved to Andhra Pradesh following the bifurcation.
TDP has fielded Suhasini, daughter of former Minister N Harikrishna, who died in a road accident this year. Suhasini, 43, is a social activist and is banking on her lineage to win the election from this prestigious constituency, which has considerable a number of voters with roots in Andhra Pradesh.
However, the family of the late actor-turned-politician NTR stands divided in the campaigning.
Suhasini's aunt and Union Minister N Purandeswari hit the campaign trail in Kukatpally not for her niece but for M Kantha Rao, the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Purandeswari, daughter of NTR, was a Minister in the UPA government but she quit the Congress party and joined the BJP after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP, which is part of opposition grand alliance led by the Congress, is contesting 13 seats in the December 7 election to the 119-member Telangana Assembly.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to campaign for Suhasini. Naidu is the son-in-law of NTR.
Paritala Sunita, a Minister in Naidu's cabinet, was in the constituency to conduct road shows in support of Suhasini.
NTR's actor son and TDP legislator N Balakrishna has already announced that he will campaign for his niece. Suhasini's brothers and popular actors Junior NTR and Kalyan Ram are also likely to address meetings in her support. Suhasini's cousin Taraka Ratna, also an actor, is campaigning for her.
Telangana's ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has fielded M Krishna Rao, who won the 2014 elections from here on TDP ticket but later joined the ruling party. Interestingly, Krishna Rao's brother Kantha Rao is the BJP candidate.
Kukatpally is a cosmopolitan area with people belonging to various states and communities settled here. About 60 percent of the people have their roots in Andhra Pradesh.
The YSR Congress Party, which is the main opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, is not contesting the polls in Telangana. However, the party has declared its support to the TRS in Kukatpally.
As TDP is contesting the election in alliance with the Congress, the former hopes that the transfer of Congress votes will brighten Suhasini's prospects.
In 2014, the TDP had bagged the seat with a margin of nearly over 43,000 votes. However, the equations have changed in the constituency with the deletion of 1.31 lakh voters after verification by election authorities. The constituency now has 3.30 lakh voters.
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