Stars to take poll position

After NT Rama Rao entered politics decades ago, many cine personalities have shown interest in doing the same over the years. Film actresses like Sarada, Jamuna, Vijayashanti and others have contested elections in the past and even won.

Cut to the present. Samantha, who recently married Telugu film star Naga Chaitanya, the son of Akkineni Nagarjuna, is likely to contest on a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ticket in the coming assembly elections. It is said that TRS wants to field Samantha from the Secunderabad assembly constituency where Christian voters dominate. 

Not just that, the government has appointed Samantha as the brand ambassador for the state handloom industry and she is maintaining good relations with them. In fact, during the recent Hyderabad visit of American President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, the actress was given a prominent role to play. Not to forget the good family ties between IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nagarjuna. 

Actor and former MP Mohan Babu’s daughter and actress Manchu  Lakshmi is also keen to enter politics. Reports say she wants to contest the assembly elections from Chittoor district, fielded by the YSR Congress party. According to sources, Mohan Babu’s family has asked for Chandragiri or Srikalahasthi assembly constituencies as they want a safe constituency for her. Interestingly, YSRCP MLA Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, who is close to YSRCP Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, represents the Chandragiri assembly constituency at present, while former Minister and TD MLA Bojjala Gopala Krishna Reddy, Jagan’s close follower, represents Srikala-hasthi constituency.

Mohan Babu and his family had a good relationship with the late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy. And although Mohanbabu once represented the Telugu Desam Party in the Rajya Sabha, he is not interested to contest any elections now.

Jeevitha, the wife of actor Rajasekhar, is with the BJP and is also keen to contest in the elections, although she has not yet told the BJP leadership about her desire. Neither has she chosen a constituency.

In 2014, Telugu actress Hema contested from Mandapeta assembly constituency in East Godavari district from the Jai Samaikyandhra party floated by former Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Now, she wants to join the YSR Congress party for the upcoming assembly elections. Sources confirm that her close associates are in discussions with the YSRCP leadership regarding her joining the party. Actress Kavitha who joined the Telugu Desam Party is also harbouring similar ambitions.

Actor Ali, who tried to contest in the 2014 assembly elections from Rajahmundry via the Telugu Desam Party, is unclear which party will field him this time. What is known, however, is that Ali is close to actor and Jana Sena Chief Pawan Kalyan, who has announced that Jana Sena will contest in the coming elections from both the Telugu states. It remains to be seen if Ali will go with the Telugu Desam Party or Jana Sena.

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