YS Sharmila to meet YSR loyalists in Hyderabad amid buzz over launching new party

There has been speculation that YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, will soon launch her own party independent of YSRCP in Telangana.
YS Sharmila
YS Sharmila
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YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, is set to hold a meeting with loyalists of her father, former CM of united Andhra  Pradesh YS Rajasekhara Reddy. The meeting, which is set to commence at 10 am on Tuesday at Lotus Pond in Hyderabad, is being held amid speculations over Sharmila making a political entry in Telangana with a new regional party.

Several reports suggest that the meeting is being held to  discuss the possibility of Sharmila floating a new political party in Telangana, with the support of her father’s loyalists in the state. While the YSRCP has a state unit in Telangana, the party is mainly active in Andhra Pradesh and has remained largely dormant in Telangana since its formation. 

A few regional media outlets have been speculating that Sharmila has been considering starting her own party in Telangana independent of the YSRCP, owing to differences within the family over her political aspirations. However, there has been no official confirmation or denial over these rumours from the YSRCP or Sharmila. 

Sharmila has played a crucial role in Jagan’s career in the past. When Jagan was arrested in 2012 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a disproportionate assets case, Sharmila had conducted a padayatra to garner support for him. She has consistently been part of the YSRCP’s election campaigns, and is known to have huge support among the YSRCP cadre. She played a key role in the recent election campaign, which led the YSRCP to a sweeping victory in the 2019 Assembly elections. 

She has also been a constant target of online abuse and attacks from critics over her personal life. In January 2019, months before the general elections, the Hyderabad's Central Crime Station (CCS) police arrested a man for posting obscene material on social media against Sharmila. 

Lately, opposition parties in the state have also been targeting Jagan in the name of Sharmila's husband Anil Kumar, a Christian preacher. 

Opposition leaders have accused Anil Kumar of  “leading religious conversions” in the state, and alleged that the Jagan government has allowed him to do so. While such claims have grown louder over the months since the Jagan government came to power, there has been no evidence of forced religious conversions in the state. 

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