YS Sharmila, the daughter of former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, called for a meeting with YSR loyalists from Nalgonda district.

YS Sharmila in a white sari, greeting the crowd gathered outside her houseFacebook/YSSharmila
news Politics Tuesday, February 09, 2021 - 15:06

As the news of YS Sharmila meeting her father YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s loyalists in Hyderabad spread, celebrations began outside Lotus Pond. Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s house and his sister YS Sharmila’s house is located adjacent to each other at Lotus Pond in Hyderabad’s Jubilee Hills. Curious people gathered in large numbers to witness what was unfolding, even as the media tried to catch a glimpse of YS Sharmila and the leaders she was meeting. Today, Sharmila met representatives from Nalgonda district and she clarified that she plans to meet representatives from all the districts soon.

Amidst cheer and drum beats, Sharmila, dressed in a white sari, briefly stepped out to her balcony and waved to the cameras and the people who had been eagerly waiting since early morning. With folded hands and a pleasant smile, she greeted the audience as confetti filled the air.

When a local channel managed to get close to her, Sharmila was asked a barrage of questions. She was asked about her political plunge in Telangana, the party’s agenda and also about when the launch would happen, to which she replied, “You will know soon”.  Soon another reporter from TV9 managed to convince her to throw some light on the meeting that happened today. She said, “The meeting was to know the ground realities. They understand the ground realities and take their suggestions. I plan to meet representatives from every district soon.

When asked by reporters why she wanted to know the ground realities in Telangana, Sharmila replied, “There is no Rajanna Rajyam here. Why is it not there? Why can’t we bring it?”

She exuded confidence as she said, “We will bring Rajanna Rajyam”, when she was asked whether she plans to bring Rajanna Rajyam in Telangana.    

Rajanna Rajyam is a reference to the rule of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was popularly known, was chief minister of Andhra Pradesh from 2004 to 2009, when he died in a helicopter crash.Following his father's death and subsequent developments in Congress, Jagan Mohan Reddy quit the party to float YSR Congress Party.

Addressing the meeting, Sharmila said though many years have passed since the death of his father, his popularity has not waned.

"His rule was the golden rule. Every farmer lived like a king. He built pucca houses for every poor. He wanted to see that every poor student gets good education and a job. He used to say poverty is a curse. Since ill-health pushes the poor into debts, he brought Arogyasri. Today this is not the situation. I want Rajanna Rajyam back. I believe only we can bring it," she told the YSR loyalists.

Sharmila said the meeting was the first step as part of the process. "I don't know the ground realities like you and what you see and experience in your respective places. Give me your suggestions and advice. I have come to hear you and understand," she added.

"We don't know if this exercise is aimed at forming a new party or strengthening YSR Congress Party in Telangana. Whatever decision Sharmila or Jagan take, we will abide by it," said a YSR supporter who came from Warangal district.

Sharmila's supporters recall the active role she played in mobilizing people's support through her yatra across undivided Andhra Pradesh when Jagan Mohan Reddy was in jail in a disproportionate assets case in 2012.

The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party had not contested Telangana Assembly elections in 2018 and Lok Sabha polls in 2019 as the party was focusing on Andhra Pradesh. As the party wrested power in Andhra Pradesh from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2019, YSRCP is believed to be working to revive its activity in Telangana.

In 2014 elections, YSRCP had bagged three Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat in Telangana. However, all of them later joined Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Since then, the party was almost inactive in Telangana, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June, 2014.

(With IANS inputs)

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