When her son Karthik was filing his nomination for Chevella on a Congress ticket, the CBI was filing a chargesheet against former Andhra Pradesh home minister P Sabita Indra Reddy in the Obulapuram Mining Corporation illegal mining case involving former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy. In the supplementary chargesheet, the CBI accused Sabita Reddy, who was mines minister in the YSR Government, of facilitating provisional mining leases against rules and without the Centre’s nod on 110 hectares in Anantapur district.
Neither the charge-sheet, nor his formidable opponents, at least three of them from families as influential as his, including one of the richest candidates, seems to have shaken 31-year-old Karthik’s confidence.
Chevella presents a sharp contrast, some of its assembly segments highly developed and urbanised because of the booming IT industry around Hyderabad and several areas which lack amenities.
Karthik and his main opponents are more or less the same influence. They promise to transform the area, part of the new Telangana state, and rub the development deficit off the map.
Karthik wants to transform it into a huge Hyderabad. His father P Indra Reddy too was a minister, and died in a road accident in 2000.
TDP candidate T Virender Goud, 31, is a son of former state home minister T Devender Goud. The TRS has fielded Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, 54, grandson of former deputy CM K V Ranga Reddy. He is a son of Justice Konda Madhava Reddy, former chief justice of AP and Maharashtra, and former member of Council of Smaller States. He is a son-in-law of Dr Prathap C Reddy, founder-chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group.
Vishweshwar’s cousin Konda Raghav Reddy is the YSR Congress Party candidate. Ranga Reddy district, where these areas fall, is named after the grandfather of the cousins.
Konda Raghav Reddy, 54, has had a long career in politics but is contesting for the first time. He was in K Chandrasekhara Rao’s team when he founded the TRS in 2001 and was TRS general secretary for five years before becoming a camp follower of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. He quit the TRS to join the YSRCP when YSR’s son Jaganmohan formed it.
Chevella has a highly developed and urbanised IT corridor and Cyberabad, an IT Investment Region, Shamshabad International Airport region, and a hardware park on one side and backward areas such as Tandur, Vikarabad and Pargi on the other. In urban areas, there is a sizeable number of Seemandhra voters, working mostly in the IT sector.
Virender, an MBA from Boston, wants to develop neglected areas. “In 1993-94, the hi-tech city and IT corridor used to look like undeveloped Tandur, Pargi and Vikarabad of today. The TDP transformed it. I want to take it forward and develop rural areas,’’ Virender says.
Karthik, a BTech, a former schoolmate of Virender, plunged into politics after his father died and his mother contested the polls. Sabita was elected to the assembly in 2004 on a Congress ticket. “I got involved in politics young and helped my mother’s campaign in 2004 and 2009. Chevella presents a contrast, a highly developed IT corridor… and extreme rural areas. My aim is to make Chevella as developed as Hyderabad,’’ he says.
Vishweshwar, an MS in electrical engineering from New Jersey, has eight inventions and patents and copyrights to his credit. He is one of the richest candidates in Telangana, with declared assets of Rs 528 crore. “I want to do lot of work (in Chevella). It is a very diverse constituency,” Vishweshwar says.