Mekathoti Sucharita, the Dalit woman Home Minister of Andhra Pradeshhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/mekathoti-sucharita-the-dalit-woman-home-minister-of-andhra-pradesh-5771929/

Mekathoti Sucharita, the Dalit woman Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh

Sucharita, who was groomed by the former Andhra Pradesh CM and Jagan's father late Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy has been awarded the position not only because she belongs to the Mala-SC caste but also because she is a staunch YSR loyalist who stuck with the family since 2009.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh cabinet, Andhra Pradesh deputy CMs, Mekathoti Sucharita, Andhra Pradesh Home Minister, Andhra Pradesh Dalit minister
Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita

She was inducted into the Congress by the late Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy (YSR) after he spotted her during his historic ‘padayatra’ in 2003. Now, his son and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy appointed Mekathoti Sucharita, a Dalit woman, as the state home minister.

“I was a social worker when I first met Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy when he arrived in our district during his padayatra. I was very impressed by him, his dedication and commitment to understand and know the issues and problems faced by the people. I decided to join him then. I have always remained loyal to YSR family because of their commitment to work for the welfare of people,” the 45-year-old said.

Groomed by YSR during his tenure as chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Sucharita’s rise to the cabinet rank began in 2006 when she won the Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) election from Phirangipuram in Guntur as a Congress candidate. She served for two years as ZPTC member.

In 2009, YSR allotted her the party ticket for Prathipadu Assembly Constituency in Guntur district from where she won comfortably. After YSR’s death in September 2009, she swore allegiance to Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and resigned from Congress when Jagan launched YSRCP in March 2011. She again won from the seat on a YSRCP ticket in the bye-elections held in May 2012.

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Sucharita used to regularly accompany Jagan’s mother Y S Vijayamma during the 2014 assembly election campaigning. In fact, Sucharita was a constant companion of Vijayamma until she withdrew from public life after 2014.

Despite conceding her seat to the TDP in 2014, Sucharita’s loyalty to the YSR family was rewarded with Jagan again allotting her the YSRCP ticket in the 2019 assembly elections. She defeated two heavyweights — former minister D Manikya Vara Prasad of the TDP and former TDP minister Ravela Kishore Babu, who joined Jana Sena Party.

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Calling it an honour to be given the home portfolio, Sucharita said, “YSRCP has got a huge mandate and it puts a lot of responsibility on us. Jagan’s commitment for the welfare of the people can be understood from the huge representation that backward communities got in the Cabinet. As a Dalit woman, it is a privilege to be made Home Minister.”

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Her top priority, she said, is to ensure law and order in the state and to bring transparency and accountability in the police department.

Sucharitha, who hails from Phirangipuram in Guntur, is married to IRS officer M Dayasagar who is now posted as Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) in Mumbai. Her father N Anka Rao was a medical doctor at a government hospital. He later ran a clinic in Phirangipuram. She completed her BA in Political Science in 1990. “At home, I am a humble homemaker,” Sucharitha, who has a son and daughter, said.