Hyderabad: They are young, well-educated, and ambitious. In their 20s or 30s, they made a sensational electoral debut defeating political heavyweights in the recently concluded Telangana Assembly elections.
Mamidala Yeshaswini Reddy is just 26 but this NRI techie has proved to be a giant killer. She was elected on Congress ticket from Palakurthi, defeating minister for panchayat raj Erraballi Dayakar Rao, a six-time MLA and one-time MP.
Erraballi had never lost an election in his four-decade-long political career. He was confident of another win as the Congress fielded a political novice.
Yashaswini’s entry into the poll fray itself was dramatic. It was her mother-in-law Hanumandla Jhansi Rajender Reddy who was an aspirant for the ticket.
An NRI, Jhansi is known in the constituency for philanthropic activities in erstwhile Warangal district. Her husband Hanumandla Rajender Reddy is a doctor based in the United States. The family owns California-based Raj Properties and Group.
Jhansi Reddy is the founder and president of US-based organisation Women Empowerment Telugu Association (WETA), aimed at creating opportunities for women.
State Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy wanted Jhansi to contest on the party ticket. She had even started campaigning. However, a few days before the nomination process was to commence, the authorities rejected her application for Indian citizenship.
Hyderabad district collector informed her that her request for Indian citizenship cannot be considered as she has not resided in India continuously for a year immediately preceding the date of application.
With no prior political background, Yashaswini entered the poll fray. With a B.Tech in electronics and communication, she pursued her education in Hyderabad. Hailing from Nagarkurnool district, she left for the United States after marriage.
In a direct contest, Yashaswini defeated Dayakar Rao by a huge margin of over 47,000 votes. This came as a huge shock to 67-year-old Erraballi Dayakar Rao, who had quit TDP in 2016 to join TRS (now BRS).
In the affidavit submitted by Yashaswini while filing her nomination, she declared that she is office manager in Raj Properties and Group. Her husband H. Rajaram Mohan Reddy is finance manager in the same firm. She declared her and her husband’s movable assets at Rs 55 crore.
Addressing an election rally in the constituency, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had praised Yashaswini for her ambition and enthusiasm. She also mentioned the bond between Yashaswini and her month-in-law and also numerous works undertaken by the family to serve people.
Mynampalli Rohith Rao
The other 26-year-old, who made a sensational electoral debut is Mynampalli Rohith Rao. He too was elected on Congress ticket, defeating three-time MLA and BRS leader Padma Devender Reddy, a former deputy Speaker of Telangana Assembly, in Medak constituency.
He defeated Padma Devender Reddy, a sitting MLA, by over 10,000 votes
Rohith Rao’s entry into electoral politics was also strange. His father Mynampalli Hanumanth Rao was BRS MLA in the previous Assembly.
Though BRS fielded him again from his constituency Malkajgiri in Greater Hyderabad, he was not happy over the party denying ticket to his son from Medak. He insisted that his son deserved the ticket for the social service he has done in the constituency.
With KCR unrelenting, Hanumanth Rao quit BRS and joined Congress on the condition that he and his son should be given the tickets. While Hanumanth Rao could not retain Malakjgiri seat, he is happy that his son made his debut with a victory.
Rohith Rao, who has done MBBS, is an entrepreneur. He claimed to be bringing positive change in the lives of people with his humanitarian work carried out through his charitable organisation called ‘Mynampally Social Service Organisation’.
Chittam Parnika Reddy
Thirty-year-old Chittam Parnika Reddy is another young woman from Congress who made a mark by winning the election from the Narayanpet constituency. An MD student, she defeated S. Rajender Reddy, a two-time MLA of BRS, by about 8,000 votes.
Parnika Reddy, who did her MBBS in 2016, is the granddaughter of former Congress leader late Chittem Narsi Reddy, who was assassinated by Maoists in 2005. She is the daughter of C. Venkateswar Reddy who died along with his father Narsi Reddy in the attack.
Parnika Reddy’s aunt D. K. Aruna is BJP vice-president and a former minister.
A young tribal leader Vedma Bhojju is another first-time MLA. The 37-year-old was elected from Khanapur constituency in Nirmal district. He defeated former MP Ramesh Rathod of BJP and NRI Bhukya Jhonson Naik, an NRI, who contested on a BRS ticket.
The Adivasi leader has done an MA and also holds an LLB degree. He resigned from his contract job two years ago to join the Congress. He was earlier associated with the Adivasi Student Association and also worked as a consultant in the Adivasi Rights Struggle Committee.
Lasya Nanditha Sayanna
Lasya Nanditha Sayanna (38) made her electoral debut with a victory. A BRS candidate, she was elected from Secunderabad Cantonment, a constituency represented by her late father G. Sayanna for five terms. He passed away early this year.
Lasya, one of the three daughters of Sayanna, defeated BJP candidate N Sriganesh, who was well-known in the constituency, by over 17,000 votes.
Spine surgeon Kalvakuntla Sanjay (47) defeated BJP MP Dharamuri Arvind to win Koratla. Kalvakuntla Vidyasagar Rao, who had been winning this seat on a BRS ticket, made way for his son. Sanjay, who did MS (Ortho), is a Fellow in Spinal Deformities and a Fellow in Spine Surgery. He had studied intermedia with BRS leader K. T. Rama Rao at the same college.
Konduru Jayveer Reddy (48) was elected to the Assembly in his very first attempt. Son of senior Congress leader and former minister K. Jana Reddy, he was elected from Nagarjuna Sagar.
He defeated sitting MLA Nomula Bhagath of BRS, who had trounced Jana Reddy in by-election in 2021. The by-election was necessitated by the death of sitting MLA and Nomula Bhagath’s father Nomula Narasimhaiah.
In the 2018 election, Narsimhaiah defeated Jana Reddy, a seven-time MLA and a former minister.
Jayveer Reddy has done MS in Financial Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.