YS Sharmila, who was recently appointed president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), formally assumed office on Sunday, January 21. She received a grand welcome on her arrival at the Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada. Sharmila is the daughter of late AP CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy and sister of current CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. She recently merged her YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) with the Congress and officially joined the party on January 4. She was appointed APCC chief after Gidugu Rudraraju resigned on January 15.
Later speaking to party cadres at a meeting in Kanuru, she criticised the lack of development in the state over the past decade, particularly targeting CM Jagan’s administration for the state’s severe debt. “In the past decade, there has been no development and the state is in debt. There is no money to build roads. The government here has only one policy – dochukovadam dachukovadam (looting and hiding),” she alleged.
She questioned Jagan’s silence on the violence against Christians in Manipur. “CM Jagan being a Christain himself did not condemn the violence in Manipur.”
Sharmila also took aim at the BJP government, criticising its failure to provide employment and fulfil the promises made to farmers. “What happened to the black money from abroad? What happened to the special status and the funds for the Polavaram project? There are 31 MPs from Andhra Pradesh from TDP and YSRCP who contest elections from the state but always align with the Union government’s decision in the Parliament. Both the current and former Chief Ministers, YS Jagan and Chandrababu Naidu, have failed to build a capital. They have never questioned the BJP in the past decade.”
Sharmila urged leaders supporting YS Rajashekar Reddy’s ideology to join the Congress. Former YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, who left the party, officially joined the Congress.
Meanwhile, her rally to the venue in Kanuru encountered disruptions, following which Congress leaders sat on the road in protest, alleging restrictions by the AP police. Sharmila questioned the government’s motives, “Why did you stop our convoy when I was taking responsibility? Are you afraid of us, sir?” apparently directed towards her brother. However, Vijayawada Police Commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata issued a clarification that Sharmila’s rally proceeded without major disruptions. He attributed the halts to routine traffic management procedures.