Hyderabad: YS Sharmila Reddy, the daughter of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has announced that she will launch her political party in Telangana on July 8, her father’s birth anniversary.
Ms Sharmila’s move was endorsed by her mother YS Vijayalakshmi, who said she was happy her daughter had chosen to serve the people of Telangana. She added that her daughter had the same guts as her father.
This came on Friday evening at a Sankalpa Sabha, a public meeting in Khammam after a massive car rally from Hyderabad to the border district, where the YSR Congress – the ruling party of Andhra Pradesh, headed by Ms Sharmila’s brother YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, did well in elections after Telangana was formed.
Jagan Mohan Reddy has distanced himself from his younger sister’s political plans in Telangana, right after she made a public announcement about becoming politically active in the state.
The name, logo, flag and ideology of Ms Sharmila’s party would be unveiled on July 8. Assembly elections are due in Telangana in 2023.
“Singham eppudu single gane vasthundi,” she said, using a popular Rajinikanth dialogue from the film Sivaji, likening herself to a lion that strides alone.
She also clarified that she had not come at the behest of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), BJP or Congress but would be an arrow that would target all three parties on behalf of the people.
On April 15, Ms Sharmila will sit on a hunger strike for three days on behalf of the unemployed youth demanding that the TRS government fill 1.91 lakh job vacancies. This has been a hot political issue in Telangana.
Trying to blunt criticism about not belonging to Telangana (YSR was from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh), Ms Sharmila said she had grown up, studied, and gave birth to her children in the state. She said she loved Telangana and would never act against its interest.
“I will not allow even one drop of water that should come to Telangana go to another state,” she said.
Water has been a contentious issue between the Telangana and Andhra regions of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.
There has been speculation about who Ms Sharmila may help or hurt, politically. It is possible that Reddys, who were politically influential in Telangana during the Congress rule, could rally around her. She may also attract the SC/ST vote, other than those who admired her father.
The TRS is the dominant political force in Telangana. The Congress has weakened, and the BJP is trying to find a political foothold in what it sees as a political vacuum in the opposition space.