Of the Kamma-Reddy (TDP-YSRCP) caste rivalry in Andhra and why there are black sheep in every party

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BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 29, 2023 | 3:36 PMUpdated Mar 29, 2023 | 3:36 PM

Vundavalli Sridevi, Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy, Mekapati Chandrasekhar Reddy, and Anam Ramanarayana Reddy.

Caste is a significant factor in Andhra politics, and the general consensus is that the TDP is a Kamma party and the YSRCP is a Reddy party. And these two castes have been at odds with each other for decades over who rules not only politics, but also the entertainment industry.

What is surprising is that, although together they comprise less than 10 percent of the state’s population, these two castes control every aspect of Andhra.

Now, recent events would suggest that YSRCP supremo and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is losing the trust of the Reddys.

Of the four party MLAs who raised a banner of revolt and cross-voted for the TDP candidate in the just-concluded MLC polls under MLAs quota, three were Reddys: Mekapati Chandrasekhar Reddy, Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy, and Anam Ramanarayana Reddy.

Incidentally, all of them are extremely wealthy Reddys and from the same district, Nellore.

Of course, when South First put this idea to a YSRCP leader, he not only rubbished the notion that the party was losing the trust of Reddys, but that it was in fact a party of the Reddys.

To buttress his argument, the leader recalled that almost a third (seven) of the 23 YSRCP MLAs who crossed over between 2014 and 2019, when the TDP was in power, were Reddys. Three of them were, in fact, inducted into then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet.

However, in the polls that followed in 2019, the YSRCP swept with a thumping majority of 151 seats in the 175-member Assembly.

“Neither the YSRCP is a Reddy party nor has the party lost support in that group. Everything is part of the game. Regardless of caste or community, black sheep are always present,” the YSRCP leader remarked.

Nevertheless, all this has not prevented the Opposition TDP from often criticising the YSRCP for being a “Reddy party”: And it cites how all key positions in the Chief Minister’s Office and other important departments are with the Reddys.

For the record, the chief minister himself is a Reddy, as is his OSD, Krishna Mohan Reddy. The special secretary is K Dhanajaya Reddy, who handles all key subjects; the chief secretary is KS Jawahar Reddy, and the state’s DGP is KV Rajendranath Reddy.