Calling herself the true successor of YSR in Telangana, Sharmila also announced that she would soon begin a padayatra.

YS Sharmila and YS Vijayamma Twitter/YS Sharmila
news Politics Thursday, July 08, 2021 - 20:00

YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and daughter of former CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), launched her YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP), on the occasion of her father’s 72nd birth anniversary. Speaking at the launch event, Sharmila said that the party’s agenda is focussed on three major points — welfare, self-sufficiency and equality. “Today is YSR’s jayanthi, a festival for us. We are launching YSR Telangana Party today, to walk in the path he showed us,” Sharmila said. She also announced that in exactly 100 days, she would begin a padayatra in Telangana. While her mother YS Vijaya, popularly known as Vijayamma, was present to offer her support to Sharmila, her brother Jagan remained absent. CM Jagan was on a visit to Kadapa and Anantapur districts, where he celebrated Rythu Dinotsavam (farmer’s day) to commemorate his father’s birth anniversary. 

Sharmila had officially announced that she would launch her party on July 8 at a meeting in Khammam earlier in April. Ever since Sharmila declared her intention of starting a party in Telangana, her brother Jagan has stayed away, and YSRCP members had made it clear that he did not approve the idea. Vijayamma however has occasionally been present to offer her support. Speaking at the launch event, Vijayamma said that both Jagan and Sharmila are successors of YSR in perseverance and integrity. “Today, the two of them are representing different states, working in different parties and for different purposes. I never imagined such a situation would arise, but I believe this is god’s will, for the good of people,” she said. She also reminisced about the time when Sharmila went on a padayatra (walkathon) to garner public support when Jagan was jailed in the disproportionate assets case. Padayatras are a common feature in the Telugu states, and are closely associated with the YSR family’s brand of politics, as both Jagan and YSR had undertaken padayatras across Andhra Pradesh before they came to power. 

Sharmila strongly criticised the ruling TRS and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, saying they had failed to implement welfare programs in the state. “KCR and his family are only trying to loot Telangana while they’re in power,” she said. She also spoke about lack of employment opportunities for youth and about farmers’ issues. She also critiqued the lack of representation of women among TRS MLAs and Ministers in Telangana. “YSRTP aims to have 50% women in the Telangana Assembly”, she said. She also spoke about working towards appropriate reservation for BCs according to their share of population, and welfare of SC, ST and minority communities. She also said the YSRTP would set up a welfare fund for activists of the Telangana statehood agitation if it came to power.  

On the ongoing Krishna water dispute issue, Sharmila took a neutral stand and said the two states and the Union government must take responsibility to address the contention. “YSRTP will ensure that Telangana does not forego a single drop of water that is rightfully ours, and will also not deny water that rightfully belongs to other regions,” she said. She also made scathing remarks against the Congress and BJP leaders in Telangana. Stating that the Congress in Telangana had only remained relevant due to YSR’s legacy, she said that YSRTP was the true successor of YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s politics in the state.  Telangana is set to have Assembly elections in 2023.

Also read: 

Why I decided to start a political party: YS Sharmila speaks to TNM

Why YS Sharmila’s political entry could pose a threat to the Congress

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