Hyderabad: Kalvakuntla Kavitha on Thursday took oath as the member of Telangana Legislative Council, formally beginning a new inning in the politics after lying low following a shock defeat in Lok Sabha elections last year.
Legislative Council Chairman administers oath of office
Legislative Council Chairman G. Sukhender Reddy administered the oath of office to the only daughter of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, as a member of Upper House of the state legislature.
“Took oath as Kamareddy and Nizamabad districts local bodies MLC. I humbly thank my party for the opportunity and the local body representatives who have elected me to this position,” she tweeted after taking the oath.
The only woman from Chandrasekhar Rao’s family in politics, she is expected to play an active role in her new role at the state legislature.
Buzz in TRS circles
There is already buzz in Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) circles that her father, popularly known as KCR, may induct her in the cabinet.
A minister who was incharge of her election campaign for MLC by-polls did not rule out KCR inducting her in the cabinet. Political analysts say it will be interesting to see if KCR entrusts her with a ministerial position.
She is the first woman politician from the KCR family which has been dominating the politics of Telangana since it attained statehood in 2014.
While KCR as both the chief minister and president of TRS has a vice-like grip over the state politics, his only son K. T. Rama Rao, a cabinet minister holding several key portfolios and also TRS Working President, is seen by many as his heir-apparent.
KTR, Harish Rao
KCR’s nephew and well-known face in TRS, T. Harish Rao is the finance minister. Reports of a cold war between Rama Rao and Harish had been doing the rounds for a long time, though the cousins denied any rift between them.
There were reports that Harish Rao was sulking after KCR made KTR the party working president after retaining power in 2018. Their exclusion from the cabinet for nearly a year had only added to the speculations.
However, KCR put all speculations to rest by not only bringing back Harish Rao into the cabinet but also allocating him key portfolio of finance.
Kavitha was elected to the Legislative Council on October 12, winning the by-election from Nizamabad Local Authorities Constituency. She secured 728 out of 823 votes and both her rivals of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress forfeited their deposit.
Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency
The 42-year-old had received a shock defeat at the hands of BJP’s D. Arvind in the 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.
“Kavitha’s election to the Council is on expected lines, and her possible induction into KCR’s cabinet should not surprise us. However, the long-term implications of this move cannot be assessed immediately,” says political analyst P. Raghavendra Reddy.
“A large section of Telangana voters may consider this as nepotism. KCR and family must keep a tab on the restlessness and expectations among the youth of Telangana, who are demanding suitable employment with the state government. And if this restlessness grows over the next 2-3 years, the issue of Kavitha’s induction into the cabinet and nepotism might come out as poll issue before 2023 elections,” he said.
Personal background of Kavitha
Kavitha, who did her B.Tech in 1999, joined the movement for statehood to Telangana in 2008 after returning from the United States and floated Telangana Jagruthi to give a cultural thrust to the movement.
Like her father and brother, Kavitha has good command over various languages such as Telugu, English, Hindi and Urdu.
A mother of two sons aged 17 and 13 years, 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 on social media platforms. Recently she clocked one million followers on Twitter. She is said to be the first woman politician in South India to reach this mark.