The Congress Party has tactfully deployed Kushboo in the Assembly elections-going state of Telangana, the 29th and the youngest state of India, to attack the ruling TRS and the caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Kushboo has risen as leader in the Congress Party, and she is one of the star spokespersons and campaigners.
Kushboo is a relatively familiar figure in the Telugu states of India. Along with the Telugu film-star Venkatesh, she made her debut to movies with ‘Kaliyuga Pandavulu’ produced and released in 1986 by Suresh Productions of late D. Ramanaidu. The movie was commercial success, and launched the cinema careers of Venkatesh and Kushboo into films. Kushboo went on to become an A-list actress in Tamil movies. With time, she married, established her family, and entered into politics. Venkatesh, the son of D. Ramanaidu, emerged as the ‘Victory’ Venkatesh in Telugu movies.
At a press conference in Hyderabad, Kushboo made many observations against the TRS and KCR’s government, and about the state of affairs for women in Telangana. She also referred to Kavitha saying the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao promoted only his daughter, the Nizamabad MP, K. Kavitha from Telangana.
KCR’s Biggest Mistake: Chief Minister KCR did not induct a single woman into his cabinet. And, there are no women MPs from Telangana both to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha except for his daughter (Smt Gundu Sudharani is another woman MP from the state but she is nominated to Rajya Sabha by TDP).
Officially, Kavitha is a not parliamentary leader of TRS but she commands the attention of her colleagues from the party in the Parliament and speaks to the press irrespective of the respective parliamentary party leaders, and no one can question her authority for she is the de facto leader and spokesperson. The featured image of this article tells the reverential attitude shown by the Telangana government’s special representative Venugopala Chary – photo was taken in Telangana Bhavan in New Delhi at the time of Prof Jaishankar’s memorial function on 6 August 2018. Venugopala Chary is a contemporary of her father, and if there is one politician who has the ears of KCR and KCR’s son KTR (heir-apparent of KCR) it is him. Yet, he cannot stand-at-ease while she speaks but stands in-attention. An active supporter of TRS told TeluguRajyam that is the reality with almost all the MPs from the party.
Why didn’t KCR encouraged any other woman (or women) is a point only KCR can answer, at least at this time of elections.
Bathukamma and Kavitha: Credit goes to Kavitha, among other women, for bringing Bathukamma festival to limelight at the regional and national level. She infused pride into the festival by proactively participating in Bathukamma festival both in Hyderabad and Delhi.
Moreover, Kavitha is an articulate politician and captures the imagination of the sub-nationalism of Telangana with her salutation in her speeches ‘Jai Telangana’ to this day. But whether she can grow out of the shadow of her father and brother KTR, and emerge as a leader in her own right is a question that will have its answer in the coming General Elections in 2019.
Nizamabad and Kavitha: Nizamabad parliamentary constituency will be one of the widely-watched constituencies in the next General Elections because – Can Kavitha retain her seat? The rumblings in Nizamabad has alienated the Chief Minister-manqué and stalwart D. Srinivas from KCR and TRS and Kavitha due to district-level issues. Former Congress MP from Nizamabad, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, is seeing a chance to retain his seat, and earlier told TeluguRajyam that he would contest from there only. According to a source, there is also a possibility another former MP, Atmacharan Reddy, is likely to test his electoral waters again. So is a member of G. Ganga Reddy’s family (Ganga Reddy was a 3-time MP from Nizamabad from TDP but he switched to Congress Party during the PV Narasimha Rao’s minority government).
Whether Kavitha can sustain her prominence or disappear into oblivion, the Assembly elections and the next year’s Parliamentary elections will tell. Till then, Kavitha can savour her prominence as Kushboo pointed out.