Will actor-politician Vijayashanti of the BJP make the electoral battle easier for KCR in Kamareddy?

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BySouth First Desk

Published Aug 25, 2023 | 1:18 PMUpdated Aug 25, 2023 | 1:18 PM

Vijayashanti with Prime Minister Modi.

The Lady Amitabh of Telugu silver screen and BJP leader Vijayashanti has been lying low for quite some time. She is now keen on blasting back into the political scene.

The actor on Thursday, 24 August, reacted to social media speculation that she would be taking on Chief Minister and BRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao in Kamareddy, the latter’s pocket borough and the second seat he is contesting from.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the veteran actor said the BJP leadership would decide the candidate.

She created quite a sensation in 1999 when the BJP nominated her to contest to the Lok Sabha from Kadapa amidst speculation that it would be Sonia Gandhi’s second constituency. However, she pulled out of the race after Gandhi opted for Bellary in Karnataka.

In 2009, she merged her Thalli Telangana Party with the TRS (now BRS) and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Medak. She joined the Congress in 2014 but returned to BJP in 2020, and has been waiting for another big break.

The national award-winning actor did not explicitly say that she wanted to contest from Kamareddy, but the message was clear that she wanted to take on a formidable rival to remain relevant in politics.

Also read: KCR announces BRS candidates for 115 of 119 seats

For KCR, whose family has strong roots in Kamareddy, her entry would be a godsend. KCR’s decision to contest from Kamareddy, apart from Gajwel, is to further cement his family’s relation with the constituency. The decision was not made out of fear of losing the contest.

KCR’s father Raghava Rao, who lived at Konapalli in Kamareddy constituency, migrated to Chintamadaka in the erstwhile Medak district after receiving a compensation of ₹2 lakh from the then Nizam rulers in lieu of his property that was submerged in the Manair dam.

After the BRS came to power in 2014, KTR renovated the school at the village at a cost of ₹3 crore.

Former Zilla Panchayat chairman of erstwhile Nizamabad district Katipalli Venkataramana Reddy is tipped to be the BJP candidate. If Vijayashanti enters the fray, the electoral battle will assume a different pattern. The constituency has a significant Muslim population and also those who believe in BJP ideology. It was also home to Maoists once.

Congress nominee Mohammed Ali Shabbir, a powerful leader in the constituency, and Vijayashanthi might split anti-BRS votes, making the battle easier for KCR.

Vijayashanti could eat into Hindu votes that would otherwise go to the Congress. The BRS and its chief, after all, seem to be on a gravy train in the state.