Maoist To Telangana Minister, Seethakka’s Unique Journey


Maoist To Telangana Minister, Seethakka's Unique Journey

Seethakka, 52, has been entrusted with three crucial ministries by Revanth Reddy.


A fascinating member of Telangana cabinet is Maoist-turned-MLA Danasari Anasuya, popularly known as Seethakka, whom Chief Minister Revanth Reddy calls his “sister”. As someone who took up arms and renounced it, Seethakka’s mission is to arm youngsters with access to education, so they can rewrite their future.

Her journey from armed revolution to a minister with a law degree — in October last year she earned a PhD — has stirred the imagination of the masses. So much so that when the new Congress government was taking oath at Hyderabad’s LB Stadium on Thursday, the loudest cheers were reserved for her.

The 52-year-old tribal MLA from Mulugu has been entrusted with three crucial ministries — panchayat raj, rural development and women & child welfare.

Born to labourer parents, Seethakka had joined the Maoist movement when she was barely 14 — long before she finished school. Over the years, she rose to become Seethakka, a commandant in the extremist group, went to jail, and then gave it all up in 1997.

When in the movement, she gave birth to a son whom she and her husband had to give up. Those underground are not allowed to raise children. Her mother later traced the child and brought him up herself.

Later Seethakka gave up the Left extremist movement and parted ways with her husband over “ideological differences”.

“I studied law… argued in same court where I stood as accused once,” Seethakka told NDTV. She earned her Ph.D from Osmania University in October last year and recently sat for her LLM exam.

The big move — progression to politics — took place in 2004.  She joined the Telugu Desam Party where she met Revanth Reddy. The two share a close bond. Mr Reddy calls her his sister.

Seethakka has been elected MLA three times from Mulugu, first in 2009 on a Telugu Desam ticket and again in 2018 and 2023 under a Congress ticket from the same constituency.

Her work in the state’s tribal areas during crises like flooding and the Covid pandemic, walking several kilometres through hilly and remote areas, has earned her respect and admiration of the people.


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