- Daggubati Venkateswara Rao is Chandrababu Naidu's brother-in-law
- Mr Rao hasn't been active in politics since 2014
- His son wants to contest assembly elections on a YSR Congress ticket
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's brother-in-law Daggubati Venkateswara Rao and his son met YSR Congress President YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Sunday and expressed their wish to join the opposition party. Mr Rao hasn't been active in politics since 2014.
Former Congress leader Venkateswara Rao, whose wife D Purandeswari is with the BJP, met the YSR Congress chief at his Lotus Pond home in Hyderabad. Mr Rao's son Hitesh Chenchuram wants to contest the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections due in a few months on a YSR Congress ticket.
Venkateswara Rao, the eldest son-in-law of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao, told reporters they had a discussion with the YSR Congress leader and an announcement would soon be made in this regard.
When asked if Hitesh Chenchuram wants to contest the Parchur seat, Mr Rao said, "It will be the party's decision and my son will abide by whatever the party says."
Mr Rao, however, said that Purandeswari isn't planning to switch sides and will continue with the BJP. "She will either be with the party or retire from politics. That is her decision," he said.
Purandeswari was a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet. But she quit the Congress to join the BJP after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
The induction of Venkateswara Rao, known to be an arch rival of Chandrababu Naidu, and his son into the YSR Congress would be significant for the party ahead of the simultaneous polls to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Lok Sabha.
Jaganmohan Reddy is the Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. While he is fighting to defeat Chandrababu Naidu, one of NTR's sons-in-law, another son-in-law Daggubati Venkateshwar Rao wants to work with him.
Venkateswara Rao had joined the TDP soon after actor-turned-politician NTR had floated it in 1983. The same year he was elected to the state Assembly and was re-elected in 1985. He also served as a minister in NTR's Cabinet. In 1991, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bapatla constituency.
In 1995, a few months after the TDP returned to power in Andhra Pradesh, Venkateswara Rao sided with Chandrababu Naidu in the revolt against NTR, but returned to the latter's camp a few weeks later when Mr Naidu reportedly sidelined him.
After NTR's death in 1996, he along with NTR's second wife Lakshmi Parvathi founded a new party - the NTR TDP. But the party failed to make any impact in state politics.
In 1999, he joined hands with NTR's son Harikrishna to launch a new party called Anna TDP. This attempt also proved to be a disaster.
In 2004, he along with Purandeswari joined the Congress. He was elected to the Assembly from Parchur while Purandeswari was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bapatla. She became a minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
With inputs from IANS
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