Accordingly during the peak of election campaigning when News18 asked mulugu mla Dansari Anusuya alias Seethakka if she aspired to be the chief minister of Telangana, her response was modest and simple. “I don’t have that big a dream, but I would certainly want to become a minister when the congress comes to power,” said the former Naxalite with a wide grin as she warmly waved to people who had gathered to listen to her. Cut to a week after this interview, clad in a simple cotton saree spun by the weavers of Warangal, Seethakka found herself in an emotional moment, one that mirrored her wish.

Thousands of supporters were cheering and chanting her name as she took oath as the tribal welfare minister in the revanth Reddy-led congress government at LB Stadium in hyderabad on Thursday. Seethakka had to wait for several seconds before the crowds calmed down and she took her oath; such is her popularity. Seethakka’s political rise is a story of how a gun-wielding Maoist turned into a lawmaker, that too on her own terms.

Now a three-time mla from the Naxal-affected and remote seat of mulugu in northern Telangana, Seethakka defeated her BRS rival Bade Nagajyothi by a huge margin of 33,700 votes in the recent polls. Nagajyothi, incidentally, is also the daughter of a former Maoist leader and a ZPTC vice-chairperson. To a question on her people connect, fiery attitude, and boldness, an extension from her Naxal days, Seethakka laughed out and replied: “At that time I used to fight for the rights of the forests and against class oppression; now I fight for the rights of the people again. It is a tough fight, and I am a fighter,” she said. When asked how she felt after realising her dream to be a minister, Seethakka had a hearty laugh and said, “My life has been dedicated to serve people and this is a wonderful opportunity to do more.”

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