Jagan Reddy's sister Sharmila to launch new party in Telangana
- YS Sharmila said she was inspired by her father late YS Rajasekhar Reddy's vision of a welfare state
Y S Sharmila, sister of YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Tuesday announced her plans to launch a new political party in Telangana to establish a welfare state.
“My objective is to establish Rajanna Rajyam, a welfare state envisaged by my father late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy (former chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh) in Telangana. I am confident of bringing the glory back to the state,” Sharmila told the reporters, after interacting with her supporters at her residence in Hyderabad.
Sharmila (47), who briefly helmed the YSR Congress when her brother was in jail for 16 months after his arrest in May 2012, said the feedback she had received from her supporters was very encouraging. “Everybody felt that there is definitely a space in Telangana and scope to establish Rajanna Rayam. I will continue to interact with my followers and supporters of late YSR in all the districts of Telangana one after the other and announce my decision,” she said.
Sharmila hinted at undertaking a padayatra. “We shall work out all the details in the coming days. I shall confine myself to the issues concerning Telangana,” she said.
Asked whether she had the support of her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy, Sharmila said she hoped so. “He is my elder brother and I am sure he will support me in my endeavours,” she said.
The ruling Telangana Rashtiya Samithi (TRS) which has an overwhelming majority of 102 lawmakers in the 119-member assembly dismissed any possible threat from a new party.
Telangana food and civil supplies minister Gangula Kamalakar said there was absolutely no space for any other regional party in the state as long as the TRS was there. “The people won’t own up a political party launched by an Andhra leader,” he said.
Earlier, addressing her followers from Nalgonda, Sharmila said the absence of her father was clearly visible in Telangana.
“During his regime, the farmer lived the life of a king. His dream was to provide housing to every poor family, to see every poor student to go in for higher studies, access to and better medical facilities for every person in the state through Arogya Sri scheme in the state. I want all his dreams fulfilled,” she said.
Stating that only she could bring back the golden period of her father, Sharmila said she had taken the first step in this direction. “You are aware of the ground realities and based on your feedback, I will make further moves,” she said.
More than 3,000 people gathered at her residence and cheered her as she came out. They burst crackers and danced as she announced her political plans. Flex boards were erected at her residence welcoming YSR fans to strengthen her hands
Senior YSR Congress party leader and advisor (public affairs) to Andhra Pradesh government Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said Sharmila had chosen to launch her own party in Telangana without paying heed to the appeals of her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“We were aware of her plans to launch a new political party in Telangana for the last three months. Jagan tried to convince her to drop her plans, because it will ruin our relations with Telangana. But she might have thought there was a need for a party like YSR Congress in Telangana, too,” Reddy told reporters in Amaravati.
He, however, denied the rumours that there were serious differences between Jagan and his sister. “There could only be different opinions between the two on launching the new party,” he said.
Reddy acknowledged that Sharmila had shouldered the responsibility of the YSRC when her brother was in jail and had undertaken a padayatra but underlined that it was because of the YSRC that she got recognition.
“Jagan could have given her enough opportunities in the party, but it would have led to criticism that he was encouraging family rule,” he said.
Political analyst and Osmania University professor K Nageshwar said there could be a bigger force behind Sharmila’s plan to launch a new party. “I don’t think she alone can take such a big decision. There are other forces behind it definitely. It is too early to predict whether she will succeed in her attempts,” he said.
Asked whether there is any space for her party in the crowded political scenario in Telangana, Nageshwar said it was too early to predict. “But one thing is certain. YSR was from Andhra Pradesh and so his family is also viewed as a Andhra family. That is precisely why YSR Congress could not succeed in expanding its footprints in Telangana. So, I doubt whether Sharmila’s party will get a different result,” he said.