Jagan's sister Sharmila ropes in father's confidants into her new Telangana party
- On February 9, Sharmila announced her intentions to launch a new political party in Telangana.
YS Sharmila, sister of YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is all set to launch a new regional party in Telangana soon, has begun consultations with a cross-section of people, including ex-bureaucrats and intellectuals.
On February 9, Sharmila announced her intentions to launch a new political party to bring back the Rajanna Rajyam (the era of her father and former CM late YS Rajasekhar Reddy), in Telangana.
She held a meeting of her supporters from Nalgonda district at her Lotus Pond residence in Banjara Hills. Later, she announced that she would hold a series of Atmeeya Sammelanams (meetings with her close confidants) from all districts of Telangana before coming out with a concrete action plan.
A senior YSR Congress party leader of Telangana, who is now playing a crucial role in Sharmila’s proposed political party, said she has been holding hectic consultations with retired bureaucrats, officials and leaders who had earlier been associated with late YSR.
“She is going about with her task in a calculated manner. She is taking advice from all those who were close to her father in formulating her political philosophy. She is also making a thorough study of the issues concerning different parts of Telangana,” he said.
Retired IAS officer K Prabhakar Reddy, who had worked as an additional secretary in the chief minister’s office during the YSR regime, met Sharmila a couple of days ago and gave many inputs to her on preparing the party agenda. Similarly, retired IPS officer Udaya Simha, who was the chief security officer of YSR, also held talks with her.
Sharmila is also focussing on powerful caste groups of Telangana who had been the backbone of her father in the past. On Thursday, she held a meeting with Telangana Reddy Sangham leaders and discussed the strategy to consolidate the Reddys - a strong community constituting nearly 15 per cent of the vote bank in the state.
“We shall extend support to the new political party of Sharmila. The Reddys have lost their political relevance during the Telangana Rashtra Samithi regime, which is dominated by the Velamas. We are confident that Sharmila will bring back the glory to the Reddy community,” said Reddy Sangham president Satyanarayana Reddy.
Political analyst Suresh Dharur said Sharmila would become a rallying point for the Reddy community which was feeling lost during the TRS rule in Telangana. “Reddys had been the backbone of the Congress for a long time, but they had taken a beating after the death of YSR and the party suffered a series of electoral debacles after the formation of Telangana,” he said.
Though some leaders like PCC working president A Revanth Reddy are making efforts to restore the fortunes of the Reddy community, the party has failed to show any signs of revival. “That is why they must be looking towards Sharmila,” Dharur said.
He, however, wonders whether Sharmila would shrug off her Rayalaseema tag and appeal to the masses of Telangana, where the regional sentiment is strong.
But, the leader close to Sharmila quoted above said she might be from Rayalaseema, but she was very much a daughter-in-law of Telangana. “We shall play the Telangana daughter-in-law card to counter the Telangana sentiment,” he asserted.