Akshata Murty: Everything we know about her relationship with her mother Sudha

In 2023, Rishi Sunak's mother-in-law praised her daughter for making her husband the UK Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak: His wife Akshata Murty and her mother reportedly disagree over spending habits
© Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images
Rishi Sunak: His wife Akshata Murty and her mother reportedly disagree over spending habits

In 2022, Rishi Sunak made headlines as he took over Downing Street as the UK's first-ever non-white Prime Minister. He had everyone talking about his origins, his religion, his family, and most specifically his wealthy in-laws.

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Amid his rise to power, his mother-in-law took to the stage herself and surprised audiences when she said 'my daughter made her husband Prime Minister of the UK'.

A lot has been said about Sunak’s father-in-law, N. R. Narayana Murty, and how the PM and his wife have his company Infosys to thank for their enormous wealth that has only grown in 2024.

But Murty's wife, Sudha, revealed it was she who was 'able to succeed in making my husband a businessman'.

So what do we know about Sunak’s mother-in-law and her relationship with her daughter, Akshata Murty, to whom she credits Sunak’s success?

Akshata and her mother reportedly 'squabble'

In April 2023, Anne McElvoy wrote about Sudha for The Telegraph, and said that she spoke to friends of the family in their home city who revealed that sometimes 'the two have minor squabbles'. And they reportedly revolve around spending habits.

McElvoy wrote that Sudha wears simple, often traditional clothes, while her daughter has a penchant for Western designer labels. And that:

Sudha, the friend recalls, scolds her soigné offspring for her tendency to “overdo the shopping”. Akshata responded that her mother could afford to dress down, while she, still making her way as a female investor and tech entrepreneur, needed to dress to impress.

The differences apparently don’t end there. Akshata’s austere parents have reportedly lived in a 'comfortable' home in a quiet suburb of Bangalore for decades, even though they could afford a 'far grander residence in a city bristling with billionaires'.

Conversely, the Sunaks have a massive property portfolio in comparison. They own a five-bedroom home in Kensington, a £2 million mansion in North Yorkshire, and a £5.5 million penthouse in Santa Monica, USA.

The couple also commissioned 'high-end refurbs with a particular fondness for exquisite fabrics and a seriously expensive curtain habit' at Number 10 Downing Street.

Indeed, Sunak's wealth has often lead to accusations that he's 'out-of-touch' amid the UK's current cost-of-living crisis.

Their mother-daughter relationship

Despite these differences, McElvoy writes that their mother-daughter relationship remains close. Indeed, the Sunaks even invested in an expensive 'granny flat' in Kensington so her parents-in-law could come to visit. As Pratima Rao, Akshata’s former maths teacher, said:

There is a strong sense of tradition in the family.

And they're not afraid to praise each other in public. In 2023, Akshata congratulated her mother on a 'prestigious' award she received for philanthropy, saying:

Her charitable and volunteering efforts have served as her greatest inspiration to me. Always asking if she can be doing more, she has given back to her community countless times.

Sriram Karri, a writer who worked at Infosys for years and is still close to Sudha, said that despite Akshata's drive frequently being credited to her father’s influence, 'it was really Sudha who taught Akshata not to be told ‘no’ if you think you have a good case'.

Indeed, as McElvoy wrote, it is Sudha's conviction about Murty women 'that they quietly rule the roost'.

Akshata's quiet presence

Since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, it is true that very few times has the spotlight been put on her completely. When it is, it's only to amp up the support she has for her husband. Like last year, when she went on stage during a Tory party conference and said:

He is fun, he is thoughtful, he is compassionate and has an incredible zest for life.

As Sky News reports, Akshata Murty has given us a glimpse into a private and more 'human' side of Sunak—a clear example of which was their unexpected interview with Grazia.

The video, that came out in March 2024, was centered around their relationship and life at home. They went into who was the better cook in the family (Rishi), their most and least favourite chores, and their parenting techniques.

An attempt to look relatable that unfortunately failed as many were quick to point out that the video was once again 'out-of-touch' and 'tone deaf.' One user commented, as quoted by Sky News:

In a country where people can't afford their lighting bills somehow we're not actually interested in how a billionaire splits household chores.

While not all of Akshata's appearances have been received well, she does do a lot of work in the background.

She is active when it comes to campaigning for the Conservative party and is no doubt preparing as Sunak fights Keir to keep his position in the upcoming general elections.

Read more:

Keir Starmer: Everything we know about wife Lady Victoria Starmer and their private family

Rishi Sunak: How much does he earn as Prime Minister of the UK?

Akshata Murty: Everything you need to know about Rishi Sunak's wife

Sources used:

The Telegraph: 'The most powerful woman in UK politics? Meet Rishi Sunak’s mother-in-law'

NDTV: '"My Daughter Made Her Husband PM": Rishi Sunak's Mother-In-Law Sudha Murty'

Hull Live: 'Rishi Sunak's £2m Yorkshire home with swimming pool and yoga studio'

Sky News: Who is Rishi Sunak's wealthy wife Akshata Murty - and can she help his general election campaign?

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