After a delay of six months, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha finally appears set to enter the state Legislative Council.
With the Election Commission announcing October 9 as the date of polling for the by-election for the post of MLC from Nizamabad Local Authorities Constituency, Kavitha’s election seems to be only a formality given the huge majority the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) enjoys in local bodies in Nizamabad.
As the TRS has 598 out of total 824 voters, Kavitha’s election is being seen as a foregone conclusion. However, the TRS leadership has cautioned the party leaders against complacency and overconfidence.
Chandrasekhar Rao has directed the party leaders to ensure her victory with a huge margin.
Congress had just 140 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is at distant third place with 84. However, the TRS leaders are not taking any chances.
Kavitha had received a shock defeat at the hands of BJP’s D. Arvind in Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency last year. It was a big blow for the Chief Minister’s daughter who was elected from the same constituency in 2014.
Since then, Kavitha had gone into hibernation and was hardly making public appearances.
The vacancy in the Council caused by disqualification of incumbent R. Bhupathi Reddy provided an opportunity to the TRS leaders to push for Kavitha’s candidature. At the request of party leaders from Nizamabad, KCR agreed to field his daughter.
Bhupathi of the TRS was disqualified after he defected to Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in 2018. He challenged the disqualification but first the High Court and later, the Supreme Court upheld the Legislative Council Chairman’s action.
However, the by-election to the seat was postponed thrice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As per the notification issued by the Election Commission on March 12, the polling was to be held on April 7.
Kavitha had filed nomination for the by-election on March 18. Congress fielded Subhash Reddy while the BJP named P. Laxminarayna as its candidate.
It was expected to be a 22-month tenure for Kavitha in Council but the postponement has further reduced it.
Kavitha had joined the movement for statehood to Telangana in 2008 after returning from the US and floated Telangana Jagruthi to give cultural thrust to the movement.
She is popular among TRS supporters, especially among women for organising and leading annual Bathukamma celebrations. Recently, she became active to lend a helping hand to people stranded in the Gulf during the pandemic.
The former MP is also active over social media. Last week, she clocked one million followers on Twitter. She is said to be first woman politician in South India to reach this mark
She is the only daughter of KCR. Her brother K.T. Rama Rao is a senior cabinet minister and considered number two in the government and the party.