Telangana's youngest MLAs who humbled seasoned politicians

Meet the 20-and-30 somethings who made a sensational electoral debut, defeating political heavyweights in the recent Telangana assembly elections

The 30-year-old Chittam Parnika Reddy of the Congress defeated two-time BRS MLA S Rajender Reddy by about 8,000 votes (photo: Parnika Reddy Chittem/Facebook)
The 30-year-old Chittam Parnika Reddy of the Congress defeated two-time BRS MLA S Rajender Reddy by about 8,000 votes (photo: Parnika Reddy Chittem/Facebook)


They are young, well-educated and ambitious. In their 20s or 30s, they made a sensational electoral debut defeating political heavyweights in the recently concluded Telangana assembly elections.

Mamidala Yeshaswini Reddy is just 26, but this NRI techie has proved to be a giant killer. She was elected on a Congress ticket from Palakurthi, defeating minister for panchayat raj Erraballi Dayakar Rao, a six-time MLA and one-time MP who had never lost an election in his four-decade political career. He was confident of another win as the Congress fielded a political novice.

Yashaswini’s entry into the poll fray itself was dramatic. It was her mother-in-law Hanumandla Jhansi Rajender Reddy who was an aspirant for the ticket. An NRI, Jhansi is known in the constituency for her philanthropic activities in the erstwhile Warangal district. Her husband Hanumandla Rajender Reddy is a doctor based in the United States. The family owns the California-based Raj Properties and Group.

Jhansi Reddy is the founder and president of US-based organisation Women Empowerment Telugu Association (WETA), aimed at creating opportunities for women.

State Congress chief A Revanth Reddy wanted Jhansi to contest on the party ticket. She had even started campaigning. However, a few days before the nomination process was to commence, the authorities rejected her application for Indian citizenship.

Mamidala Yeshaswini Reddy (right) with mother-in-law Jhansi Reddy and CM Revanth Reddy (photo: @YJR_INC/X)
Mamidala Yeshaswini Reddy (right) with mother-in-law Jhansi Reddy and CM Revanth Reddy (photo: @YJR_INC/X)

The Hyderabad district collector informed her that her request for Indian citizenship could not be considered as she had not resided in India continuously for a year immediately preceding the date of application.

With no prior political background, Yashaswini entered the poll fray. A BTech in electronics and communication, she pursued her education in Hyderabad. Hailing from Nagarkurnool district, she left for the United States after marriage.

In a direct contest, Yashaswini defeated Dayakar Rao by a huge margin of over 47,000 votes. This came as a huge shock to the 67-year-old Rao, who had quit TDP in 2016 to join TRS (now BRS).

In the affidavit submitted by Yashaswini while filing her nomination, she declared that she is an office manager with Raj Properties and Group. Her husband H. Rajaram Mohan Reddy is finance manager in the same firm. She declared her and her husband’s movable assets at Rs 55 crore.

Addressing an election rally in the assembly segment, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had praised Yashaswini for her ambition and enthusiasm. She also mentioned the bond between Yashaswini and her mother-in-law and the numerous works undertaken by the family to serve people.

The other 26-year-old who made a sensational electoral debut is Mynampalli Rohith Rao, also elected on Congress ticket, defeating three-time MLA and BRS leader Padma Devender Reddy, a former deputy speaker of the assembly, from Medak segment by over 10,000 votes.

Rohith Rao’s entry into electoral politics was also strange. His father Mynampalli Hanumanth Rao was a BRS MLA in the previous assembly, and though BRS fielded him again from his segment of Malkajgiri in Greater Hyderabad, he was not happy over the party denying a ticket to his son from Medak. He insisted that his son deserved the ticket for the social service he has done in the constituency.

Faced with an unrelenting KCR, Hanumanth Rao quit BRS and joined Congress on condition that he and his son would be given tickets. While Hanumanth Rao could not retain Malakjgiri seat, he is happy that his son made his debut with a victory.

Rohith Rao, an MBBS, is also an entrepreneur. He claimed to be bringing positive change in the lives of people with his humanitarian work carried out through his charitable organisation Mynampally Social Service Organisation.

Again, 30-year-old Chittam Parnika Reddy is another young woman who made a mark by winning from Narayanpet constituency. An MD student, the Congress MLA defeated S. Rajender Reddy, a two-time BRS MLA, by about 8,000 votes.

Parnika, who earned her MBBS in 2016, is the granddaughter of former Congress leader late Chittem Narsi Reddy, who was assassinated by Maoists in 2005 in an attack which also killed her father C. Venkateswar Reddy. Parnika’s aunt DK Aruna is the BJP vice-president and a former minister.

Vedma Bhojju with Revanth Reddy (photo: @Vedma_Bhojju/X)
Vedma Bhojju with Revanth Reddy (photo: @Vedma_Bhojju/X)

Young tribal leader Vedma Bhojju is another first time MLA. The 37-year-old was elected from Khanapur constituency in Nirmal district, defeating former MP Ramesh Rathod of the BJP and NRI Bhukya Jhonson Naik, who contested on a BRS ticket.

The Adivasi leader, an MA-LLB, resigned from his contract job two years ago to join the Congress. He was earlier associated with the Adivasi Student Association and also worked as a consultant in the Adivasi Rights Struggle Committee.

Lasya Nanditha Sayanna of the BRS (38) has also made her electoral debut with a victory from Secunderabad Cantonment, a constituency represented by her late father G. Sayanna for five terms. He passed away early this year and Lasya, one of his three daughters, defeated BJP candidate N Sriganesh, who was well-known in the constituency, by over 17,000 votes.

Spine surgeon Kalvakuntla Sanjay (47) defeated BJP MP Dharamuri Arvind to win Koratla. Kalvakuntla Vidyasagar Rao, who had been winning this seat on a BRS ticket, made way for his son Sanjay, an MS (ortho), and a specialist in spinal deformities and spine surgery. He had studied intermedia with BRS leader KT Rama Rao in the same college.

Konduru Jayveer Reddy (48) too was elected to the assembly in his very first attempt. Son of senior Congress leader and former minister K Jana Reddy, he was elected from Nagarjuna Sagar.

He defeated sitting MLA Nomula Bhagath of the BRS, who had trounced Jana Reddy in a by-election in 2021. The by-election was necessitated by the death of sitting MLA and Nomula Bhagath’s father Nomula Narasimhaiah. In the 2018 elections, Narsimhaiah had defeated Jana Reddy, a seven-time MLA and former minister. Jayveer has done his MS in financial engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

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