YS Sharmila to be new Andhra Congress chief, face off with brother Jagan in polls

YS Sharmila, CM Jagan’s sister, recently joined Congress after merging her YSRTP with the party. She was expected to receive a significant post soon after joining.
YS Sharmila
YS Sharmila
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Congress leader Gidugu Rudra Raju resigned as president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Monday, January 15. 

A top source told TNM that YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, will be appointed as the APCC president soon. TNM had earlier reported that although many Andhra Congress leaders wanted Sharmila to take up the post, she was reluctant to accept it and contest from Andhra in the 2024 elections, preferring a Rajya Sabha nomination instead, as working for Congress in Andhra would pit her directly against her brother. However, TNM has learned that the party has since managed to convince Sharmila to take the position of APCC chief. A source in the family expressed concern that this could cause a serious rift within the family. 

Sharmila merged her YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) with the Congress and joined the party on January 4. A day before this development, CM Jagan said at a public meeting that ahead of Assembly elections that certain opposition party alliances would try to break apart families, make false promises and pave the way for deceit. 

A day later, joining Congress in the presence of Kharge and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Sharmila said, “It was my father's dream to see Mr Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister and I am happy that I am going to be a part of making that happen.” She also said that she was ready to take on any responsibility given to her. “Not only in Andhra Pradesh, I am ready to take the responsibility given to me even if it is in Andaman,” she had stated.

Although Sharmila actively participated in public outreach on her brother Jagan's behalf, especially when he was jailed in the disproportionate assets case in 2012, and also campaigned for the YSR Congress Party in the 2014 and 2019 elections, differences have cropped up between the siblings since then. Sharmila floated the YSRTP in 2021 in the neighbouring state of Telangana. However, she stated that she chose not to contest in the recently held Assembly elections in Telangana as she was unwilling to split any votes which would go to the Congress. 

Rudra Raju was appointed APCC president in 2022. He had served as chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Medical Infrastructure Corporation from 2005-2007, when Sharmila and Jagan’s father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was the CM of undivided Andhra Pradesh. He was an MLC from 2007 to 2011. He sent his letter of resignation to All India Congress Committee (AICC) President Mallikarjun Kharge.

With IANS inputs 

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