Sneha Velchala Polsani: A young legacy politician who seeks Karimnagar ticket for Lok Sabha elections

Her grandfather Velchala Jagapathi Rao and great-grandfather Keshava Rao were freedom fighters. Grand-uncle Kondal Rao is an educationist.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Mar 11, 2024 | 8:00 AMUpdatedMar 11, 2024 | 8:00 AM

File photo of Sneha Velchala

A young woman entrepreneur from a freedom fighters’ family is raring to take on sitting BJP MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar and former BRS MP B Vinod Kumar in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency, if the Congress fields her against them.

Sneha Velchala Polsani holds a degree from Santa Clara University in California in the US, and did her schooling at Chirec Public School in Hyderabad and International School in Bengaluru.

She is currently the chief operating officer of ECLAT Health Solutions in the tier-two city of Karimnagar, but the company has a global reach.

Sneha wants to give back to society what it gave her and her family. She said it was the reason she threw her hat in the ring for a Congress ticket for the Karimnagar seat.

She knows that she would have to face a keen battle as her opponents would be two battle-scarred towering leaders.

As the party has so far announced candidates for only four Lok Sabha seats from Telangana, Sneha hopes to get a ticket in the second list that might be out after the Congress’ Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting on 11 March.

Related: A dark horse is raring to take on Bandi Sanjay in Karimnagar

Legacy politician

At 35, Sneha seems to be full of enthusiasm to serve the people. Though it is her first time in the bullring of electoral politics, she does not seem daunted.

“I am from a political family. My grandfather Velchala Jagapathi Rao and my great-grandfather Keshava Rao took part in the freedom movement. They were associated with the Indian National Congress,” she recalled.

“Jagapathi Rao was a legislator and my grand-uncle Kondal Rao is a noted educationist. Their names strike a chord with the people even today. I am not all that new to politics, though I have not contested any election,” she said.

Karimnagar is considered a red-hot Lok Sabha constituency as the district was at the epicentre of the Telangana movement for a very long time.

It was a constituency from where former chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao won the Lok Sabha battle by record margins.

After the formation of the Telangana state, the people elected B Vinod Kumar of the BRS — then the TRS — in 2014. In 2019, the BJP’s Bandi Sanjay pipped him with the Hindutva pitch.

In the last two and half decades, a Congress contestant won the seat only once — Ponnam Prabhakar in 2009.

KCR represented the constituency thrice — in 2004, 2006, and 2008. The last two were by-elections necessitated by his resignation in demonstration of his commitment to the creation of the Telangana state.

Also Read: Congress creates sibling rivalry in Karunakaran’s Thrissur home turf

Confident contender

Sneha now wants to make the best of the favourable winds of change that are perceived to be blowing across the state and win the seat for the Congress. She could thus be the second Congress MP after Ponnam in 2009.

She hopes that the rich legacy of her forefathers will help her stay ahead on the electoral battlefield.

To counter the BJP’s Hindutva and BRS’ claim to proprietorial rights on the Telangana movement, Sneha wants to push a development agenda for the constituency before the people, besides leaning on the Congress’ big-picture agenda for the state and the nation.

“I may be new to politics, but I am aware of the dynamics as mine is essentially a political family. Service runs in our blood,” she said.

Snehal also pointed out the projects she had taken up that benefited society, like providing employment to about 400 youths at ECLAT Health Solutions in Karimnagar.

As she aspires for a Congress ticket, she knows that she would have to reckon with A Praveen Reddy from Husnabad, who might compete with her, and hopes that she would emerge the winner in the race.

Praveen Reddy was reportedly promised the Congress ticket from the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat for withdrawing from the race for the party’s nomination for the Husnabad Assembly constituency in favour of Ponnam Prabhakar, who is now a minister in the Revanth Reddy Cabinet.

Then there is M Rohith Rao, the grandson of late former minister M Satyanarayana Rao, who is also in the race for the ticket.