Interview: Secunderabad Cantonment MLA Lasya Nanditha pledges to follow in her father’s footsteps

The first-time MLA plans to complete the works pending from her father's stint, and add some infrastructure to the constituency on her own.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Dec 22, 2023 | 9:00 AMUpdatedDec 22, 2023 | 9:00 AM

Lasya Nanditha with KCR

Despite being perceived as a newcomer in the political arena, young BRS politician and Secunderabad Cantonment MLA Lasya Nanditha has a history of public service.

In 2015, she entered politics by contesting as a board member from Ward 4 in the Cantonment Board Elections, albeit facing defeat in that endeavour.

Subsequently, aligning with her father, G Sayanna, who joined the BRS (formerly the TRS), Lasya entered the political realm once more. She saw success in 2016 when she won as a corporator from the Kavadiguda division in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.

However, 2021 brought a different outcome as she faced a defeat in the same division.

A poignant twist occurred after her father’s passing in February 2023. The BRS, recognising the legacy of G Sayanna, entrusted Lasya with a ticket to run from the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency.

This constituency held immense significance as her father served as a five-time MLA there. The Assembly elections witnessed Lasya Nanditha’s triumph.

In an exclusive conversation with South First, Lasya Nanditha shares her commitment to carry forward her father’s legacy of dedicated service to the people.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Q: What are your strategies for the Cantonment constituency?

A: I want to go with an efficient workflow. I would follow my father’s path as he never distributed money to people if they asked. Instead, he inquired if work could be done through his contacts and always maintained a connection until that work was completed. This was his approach.

Having just become a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the first time, I may have less contact with officials in the government and other politicians, but I will be sure to interact with any person who approaches me for work and stay connected. This gives that person confidence in me.

Q: What are the needs of the people in your constituency?

G Lasya Nanditha filing her nomination (supplied)

G Lasya Nanditha filing her nomination (Supplied)

A: Around 20 percent of the work my father could not complete is pending. This includes ensuring all those who didn’t get the benefits of the Dalit Bandhu scheme, as well as the BC Welfare funds, with which people can start businesses.

Other than these, there are local problems like the need for more CCTV cameras and new community halls.

Many of these concerns were previously conveyed to my father, and I, having been given the opportunity in the Assembly, aspire to address them.

One significant initiative would be the establishment of an anganwadi centre, particularly beneficial for families in specific wards. Currently, individual non-profit organisations operate in limited spaces, providing education on various aspects of pregnancy and post-pregnancy to families.

Regarding education, the absence of power for BRS in the Cantonment area presents challenges. Securing resources and addressing issues become more formidable tasks for us. In Mahindra Hills of Maredpally, there exists one BC Welfare Gurukul, but we need more.

Q: Any comments on the merger of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) with the GHMC?

A: The merger was a priority for my father, a five-time MLA, especially considering that Cantonment is the only Scheduled Caste-reserved constituency among the 15 in Hyderabad.

The population here faces a backlog of development works, and the resolution seems likely with the merger.

Former chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, our leader, played a pivotal role in pushing for the merger through a letter to the Union Ministry, securing the green signal.

Had we been in power, the merger would have been swiftly completed within a year. Now, despite the delay, we remain committed to fighting for it on a priority basis.

Q. Was the Cantonment constituency on your list to contest for the Assembly elections?

A. This was a sudden decision. My father fell sick, but we did not expect to lose him.

Political conversations were a daily routine for my father. He always told our siblings that we should not have conflicts for contesting, and anyone could take up the responsibility after him.

So, when he was admitted to the hospital, he told us that he would contest for the last time in 2023, and later Lasya should take care of it.

He said Lasya should become an MLA, and BRS chief KCR asked people who Sayanna wanted to contest from the Cantonment. It was always the Cantonment for our family.

Q. Would you like to share the conflicts between the Ramakrishna Cantonment Board members and your family?

G Lasya Nanditha inaugurating Mahalakshmi scheme in Cantonment (supplied)

G Lasya Nanditha inaugurating Mahalakshmi scheme in Cantonment (supplied)

A. It is very saddening that a family friend has not stood up for us. He went entirely against us, saying that the Sayanna family should not win elections in the Cantonment area.

Another disappointing thing I heard during my campaigning was that this development work was stopped by Ramakrishna, so though a fund was received by the Cantonment Board, he would interrupt the work and not complete it.

The public should not suffer because of the political differences between the two members.

The scenario in the Cantonment is different. It is not a fight with the Opposition. Instead, our fight is with the Cantonment Board.

My father used to maintain a cordial relationship with Cantonment Board members. It deteriorated over time, and I have not given a thought to how they will behave with me.