Amaravati: The youngest MLA in Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet Bhooma Akhila Priya formally took charge as Minister for Tourism, Telugu language and Culture on Friday. She was sworn in as Minister in the first week of this month. She has done something which her late father could not achieve during his lifetime.
But the question is, does this have implications on Nandhyal elections? As her father, late Bhooma Nagi Reddy passed away last month, the seat lies vacant and a by-election is due. While Bhooma’s family is confident that, someone from their family would be announced as the candidate, former minister Shilpa Mohan Reddy is hell bent on contesting from this seat. He, in fact, issued an ultimatum to Naidu that if he is not given the seat, either he would contest as an independent or defect to another party.
As the YSRCP had already announced that it would field a candidate in Nandhyal, letting a person like Shilpa loose might cost the Telugu Desam Party dearly. He can affect the chances of TDP candidate just by contesting as an independent also.
Though his brother is made an MLC, Shilpa is not in a mood to relent. On the top of it, he being a cash rich person, Naidu might not want him to leave the party dejected.
The question is, can Naidu convince Akhila to leave the seat to Shilpa for the sake of the party? True, Akhila Priya is a novice in politics. But she comes from a family that has a strong political background. Her maternal and paternal side of the family is all involved in politics for decades. In this context, will she act with maturity and allow the allocation of the seat to Shilpa who is a political rival of her father is to be seen.
For the past few days, Shilpa Mohan Reddy also stopped issuing statements regarding the seat. Does his silence mean he was assured of the seat? At any cost, Naidu will not want to let Nandhyal seat go from his hold. He just got a chance to break the dominance of Bhooma family over the region. At the same time, he needs to tread carefully, as the family is quite influential in the area. Any adverse step will anger the followers of the family, particularly of Nagi Reddy.
How will Naidu solve this internal bickering is interesting to watch. Given his political experience, he would not take a wrong decision. He cannot afford.