Hell breaks out over colour yellow in Andhra after CM Jagan’s comment on sister’s saree

CM Jagan Mohan Reddy remarked that the choice of bright yellow saree colour, made by his sister and state chief of Congress, which is synonymous with the Telugu Desam Party, is not accidental.
Collage of Jagan Mohan Reddy and YS Sharmila
Collage of Jagan Mohan Reddy and YS Sharmila
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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who heads the YSRCP with the ceiling fan as its symbol has fanned a new discourse that involves his sister, AP Congress chief YS Sharmila’s clothing. CM Jagan remarked that Sharmila’s choice of saree colour: a bright yellow, synonymous with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), is not accidental.

“Clad in a yellow saree, she visited their residences. Now she has a share in their atrocities and reads from their scripts,” CM Jagan said at a public meeting in Kadapa district’s Pulivendula constituency on Thursday, April 25. Jagan was referring to the time Sharmila in January 2024, visited Chandrababu Naidu and Nara Lokesh’s residences to invite them to her son, Raja Reddy’s wedding. During her visit, Sharmila wore a sari similar in colour to the TDP’s flagship/trademark yellow.

YS Sharmila with N Chandrababu Naidu.
YS Sharmila with N Chandrababu Naidu.

The TDP has had a long standing association with the bright yellow. The colour championed by TDP became synonymous with Telugu prosperity at a time when the party was opposing the Congress in united Andhra Pradesh. Civil liberties activist K Balagopal while writing about TDP founder NT Rama Rao (NTR) had remarked that the leader was often clad in ‘yellow-coloured silk robes like a Buddhist monk of a prosperous monastery.’ NTR’s successor, the current TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, took it down a notch and is often seen dressed in a paler, more uniform-esque, yellow.

While the CM’s statements evoked mirth among several users of the internet, the instance morphed into political discourse once YS Sharmila responded to the CM. Sharmila remarked on Friday, April 26, that Jagan’s statements were not only offensive to her, but to all women.

“It is disgraceful for a sitting CM to comment on a woman’s clothing, especially considering I am his younger sister. What is wrong in wearing yellow anyway?” she asked, adding that the TDP did not own the colour. She also reminded her brother that the YSRCP supporting Sakshi newspaper’s logo, owned by Jagan’s wife YS Bharati, was also yellow.

Several media outlets, dubbed by CM Jagan as ‘yellow media’ for purportedly supporting the TDP, have spent the better half of Friday, April 26, arguing about the ‘inappropriateness’ of the Chief Minister’s comments.

Shiva, a TV5 News presenter, anchored a programme where he presented photos of Jagan’s wife YS Bharati, his mother Vijayamma, and his daughters clad in yellow. “Why are the women in your life dressed in yellow if it is such a big problem? Didn’t you object to that?” Shiva asked indignantly before moving on to another photo where a younger Jagan can be seen wearing a striped yellow shirt.

An anchor for The Leo News spent 10 minutes interviewing senior journalist Durga Kumar over the ‘controversy’. While the discussion wasn’t framed cohesively, the two ‘journalists’ spent sufficient time on why the CM’s ‘sari statements’ were a sign of desperation and convey a lack of culture and propriety.

Opposition leaders weren’t far behind. “I question the sanity of this man who is questioning the dressing choice of his own sister. What a pity that the state is being ruled by a crazy despot,” TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said.

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