Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s daughter Sharmila announces her political entry in Telangana, to launch her party in July

Published : April 11, 2021 11:28 IST

At Khammam in Telangana, Y.S. Sharmila, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s daughter, addressing the Sankalpa Sabha on April 10. Photo: The Hindu

Telangana will soon be home to a new political outfit. After weeks of what seemed like dithering, Y.S. Sharmila, daughter of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, finally took the plunge on April 9 with the announcement that she would be launching her own party in Telangana on July 8, her father’s birth anniversary. The 2023 Assembly election is the mountain she eventually hopes to climb.

Sharmila made the announcement during a ‘Sankalpa Sabha’ (public meeting) held in Khammam, after a massive car rally that started in Hyderabad and meandered its way to the border district. Khammam is the region where the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu (YSR) Congress Party, the party in power in Andhra Pradesh headed by Sharmila’s brother Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, did well in the 2014 Assembly election after Telangana was carved out of undivided Andhra Pradesh. While Jagan Mohan Reddy has distanced himself from his younger sister’s political plans in Telangana, their mother Vijayamma participated in the Sankalpa Sabha, offered her blessings and endorsed Sharmila’s political sojourn in Telangana.

Sharmila launched her political campaign in Telangana quoting the popular Rajinikanth dialogue in the film Sivaji - “Singham eppudu single gane vasthundi” – where she likened herself to a lion that strides alone. Rejecting speculation that she was but an arrow from the quiver of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the regional outfit of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a combative Sharmila stated: “I am an arrow released by the people. I did not come because of TRS, BJP or the Congress. I am coming to Telangana for the welfare of the people. My party will not work under any of the parties.”

Rejecting the charge that she was an outsider (Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was from Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh), Sharmila stated: “Whether someone likes it or not, I am 100 per cent Telangana’s daughter. I have breathed this air, brought up on this land. My daughter and son were born here. So, how is it wrong to show gratitude to this land and work for the welfare of people here?”

Rebuffing criticism that she would not be able to defend Telangana’s rights to its share of waters in the event of a legal battle with Andhra Pradesh where her brother is the Chief Minister, Sharmila said she loved Telangana and would never act against its interest. “I will not allow even one drop of water that should come to Telangana to go to another State,” she said. Water has been a contentious issue between the Telangana and Andhra regions of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

Terming the political opposition in Telangana incompetent, and alleging that their opposition to Chandrashekhar Rao was just a ‘charade’, Sharmila said that while the Congress had turned into a “legislators supplying company” (referring to the dozen Congress legislators who defected to the pink party’s fold), the BJP only made communally provocative remarks since it had nothing substantial to say.

The name, logo, flag, and ideology of Sharmila’s political party will be unveiled on July 8. The Assembly election is due in Telangana in 2023. Sharmila’s Reddy credentials could see a consolidation of Reddy votes around her. She may also be able to attract the SC/ST vote.

Even before the official launch of her party, Sharmila will begin her campaign against the TRS government by taking up the cudgels for jobs, an issue that has become a hot political issue in Telangana. She plans to undertake a three-day hunger strike from April 15, demanding that the government issue 1.90 lakh job notifications and fill up vacant posts immediately.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor