A day after arrest, Sharmila slams TRS for alleging BJP link to stir

Nov 30, 2022 11:42 PM IST

Sharmila hit the headlines on Tuesday following her arrest by the Hyderabad police while she attempted to lay siege to the official bungalow of KCR

Hyderabad A day after YSR Telangana Party leader YS Sharmila was arrested  after she tried driving to the home of chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) in Hyderabad, she attacked the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) for alleging that the entire incident was stage-managed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

YSR Telangana Party chief YS Sharmila speaks to the media while being detained from Somajiguda. (YS Sharmila Twitter)
YSR Telangana Party chief YS Sharmila speaks to the media while being detained from Somajiguda. (YS Sharmila Twitter)

Sharmila, sister of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, hit the headlines on Tuesday following her arrest by the Hyderabad police while she attempted to lay siege to the official bungalow of KCR to register her protest against the attack on her convoy by the TRS workers at Narsampet the previous day.

When she was on her way to the CM’s residence in her damaged car, the police stopped her on the busy Raj Bhavan Road and when she refused to get down from the vehicle, they towed it away even as she was still inside the car. She was taken to the police station, where she was arrested and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. She was released on bail by a local court late in the night.

On Wednesday, TRS  lawmaker and chief minister’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha called the YSRTP president an “arrow” aimed by the BJP leaders targeting the TRS. “These lotus flowers are nodding their heads to the attacks by their own arrow,” she tweeted.

Hitting back, Sharmila said: “There is absolutely no truth in what they say. Had I been hand-in-glove with the BJP, why would I have my own party and take up such an arduous padayatra to expose the TRS government failures? I would have rather joined the BJP, which would have made things easier.”

She further alleged that it was the TRS which had a secret understanding with the BJP. “All these years, the TRS supported the decisions of the BJP government at the Centre. And why is the BJP government not taking any action against the KCR government on the alleged corruption in the Kaleshwaram project? Does it not show the nexus between two parties?” she asked.

Sharmila said she would stand by her comments that the TRS leaders were behaving like Talibans. “They are threatening me if I come out of my house and resume padayatra. They have given a call to the local party leaders not to allow me to tour their places. What does it mean, if not Talibanism?” she asked.

She said she would resume her padayatra again and it was the responsibility of the police to see that the TRS cadres would not resort to violence. “Instead of imposing restrictions on me, the police should take action against those who are threatening me,” she said.

Senior TRS MLA from Narasampet Peddi Sudershan Reddy, whose followers allegedly attacked Sharmila’s convoy and caravan for her alleged comments against him, told a local television channel that she was part of the largescale conspiracy by the BJP to malign the KCR government.

“She is spending 20 lakh to 30 lakh every day on her padayatra. Where is she getting this money from?” he asked.

The TRS leaders are pointing out that the BJP leaders had lost no time in condemning the alleged attack on Sharmila by angry TRS workers at Narsampet. Soon after the Narsampet incident, Union minister G Kishan Reddy described it as “outrageous arrogance and absolute insensitivity towards a woman, by the KCR government in Telangana is abhorrent,” the Union minister said.

He alleged that muzzling of opposition voices, arresting opposition leaders, banning public meetings and setting fire to vehicles of opposition leaders had become a hallmark of the TRS rule.

Even state governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan expressed concern over arrest of Sharmila and anguish at the way the police had towed away her car when she was inside the car. Describing it as a disturbing visual, the governor said: “whatever may be the political background or ideology, women leaders and women cadres need to be treated in a more dignified and respectful way.”

On Wednesday, BJP legislator Eatala Rajender also lashed out at the TRS government for the attack on Sharmila. “We are in a democratic system. Political leaders have the right to do padayatra, and protests in a democratic way. The attack on Sharmila is wrong,” Rajender said.

Sudershan Reddy wondered why the BJP leaders were so much agitated when the president of another political party got arrested. “In what way are they concerned with Sharmila?” he asked.

Government whip in the assembly Balka Suman alleged that Sharmila, who hailed from Andhra region, had no business to make nasty comments against the Telangana government and the TRS leaders. “Everybody knows she hails from a family which was strongly opposed to Telangana formation. Even she made several comments against Telangana in the past. How can the people tolerate her when she criticises the TRS?” Suman asked.

Describing Sharmila as a stooge of the BJP, the TRS leader said there was no need for the people of Telangana to take her seriously.

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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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