YS Sharmila, the sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, seems poised to embark on a political career of her own, determined to bring back the “golden rule” of her father, the late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. Even as she actively held discussions with her late father’s supporters at her Hyderabad residence in anticipation of the launch of her new political party, the YSR Congress helmed by her brother has distanced itself from her political ambitions.
Reports over the past few days have been suggesting that Sharmila is all set to start her own political party independent of her brother. She has also clearly said that she will concentrate her efforts in Telangana, where her brother’s party did not contest elections last year.
After interacting with her supporters to understand “ground realities” in Telangana districts, the 47-year-old Sharmila told reporters at her residence that her objective is to establish Rajanna Rajyam (her father’s state), a welfare state always envisaged by her father in Telangana.
“I am confident of bringing the glory back to the state,” she added. Her late father had been the Congress Chief Minister of combined Andhra Pradesh (when it was still not bifurcated) from 2004 to 2009 but he died in a helicopter crash.
Sharmila will announce her decision shortly after interacting with supporters in all the districts and probably after undertaking a padayatra, she said. Questioned by reporters if she had her brother’s support, she replied, “He is my elder brother and I am sure he will support me in my endeavours,”
Sharmila has political exposure in the form of having headed the YSR Congress, when her brother was in jail for 16 months after his arrest in May 2012. In 2010, her brother, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, had split from the Congress to form the YSR Congress, which won the 2019 assembly polls of the new state, Andhra Pradesh. He had received considerable backing from his sister and mother, Vijayamma, at that time. Sharmila had remained off the spotlight mostly since then letting her brother take centre stage. It is not clear what has changed now.
“There is a difference of opinion between the siblings but not differences between them,” said Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, YSR Congress general secretary and advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government, in response to the development, NDTV reported.
Meanwhile, the Telangana Rashtiya Samithi (TRS),which has an overwhelming majority of 102 members in the 119-member Telangana assembly, seems unperturbed by the new entrant, saying it faced no threat if Sharmila formed a new party.