YS Sharmila to join Congress ahead of Andhra Pradesh polls

Sharmila has reportedly been offered the post of state Congress chief and Rajya Sabha membership.

Hyderabad: YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) founder and daughter of Congress leader Y S Rajasekhar Reddy YS Sharmila is all set to join the Congress party ahead of polls in Andhra Pradesh this year.

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According to media reports, the President of the All India Congress Committee President Mallikarjun Kharge has invited YS Sharmila, sister of the incumbent chief minister of AP, to join the party.

After forming government in the neighbouring Karnataka and Telangana states, in the past year, the Congress party aims to build on its recent successes to mull votes in their favour in the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh.

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Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh are scheduled in April-May this year along with Lok Sabha polls.

Looking to revive its fortunes in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress party is trying to lure Sharmila to its rank. She has been reportedly offered the post of state Congress chief and Rajya Sabha membership.

After much deliberation, Sharmila has reportedly agreed to join Congress, officially on January 4 or 5, after backing the party in Telangana in the recently concluded Legislative Assembly polls.

Sharmila has been holding talks to merge YSRTP with Congress for the last few months. However, this did not materialise before the Telangana Assembly elections.

YSRTP did not contest the Telangana Assembly elections and extended unconditional support to the Congress party.

Sharmila had said the decision was taken to ensure that there is no split of votes against Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

She said it was not an easy decision as she wanted to contest and become MLA and several leaders of her party were also waiting to contest.

Currently, Sharmila is holding a crucial meeting with the party leaders here on Tuesday, January 2, to decide on a merger with the Congress.

Sharmila will seek the views of the party leaders on the Congress party’s offer. She will later leave for Idupulapaya in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh to pay tributes to her father and late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy at his grave.

She is likely to visit Delhi in a couple of days to hold talks with the Congress leadership.

Sharmila, who had campaigned actively for YSRCP in the 2019 elections, entered Telangana politics and floated YSRTP in 2021 following differences with her brother.

She had also undertaken a padayatra in Telangana and vowed to bring ‘Rajanna Rajyam’, a reference to the welfare rule of YSR.

(With inputs from IANS)

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