Hyderabad: Amid speculations that she is all set to float a new regional party in Telangana, Y.S Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh chief minister (and YSR Congress Party supremo) Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy promised to usher in ‘Rajanna Rajyam’ (the rule of Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy) in the state.
“I want to bring back my late father’s ethical rule into the state. I wouldn’t start a party without consulting and seeking support from YSR’s admirers across districts. Today I shall have a meeting with those from Nalgonda,” said Sharmila, speaking to media here on Tuesday. She was holding a meeting with former close aides of her father and former AP chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who died more than a decade ago.
Huge posters with Sharmila, along with her late father, were put up with slogans that said: “YSR’s welfare schemes are possible only with Sharmila” and “They know our troubles and tears and only YSR family know how to change the fate of our lives.” Interestingly, Jagan’s mention and images on these posters were missing.
While there is no clarity as to why this development has suddenly taken place, some analysts believe that this could also be a move by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo and Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) to dent the Congress’s opposition chances in the upcoming Nagarjunasagar bye-elections, which is likely to be held in the coming days.
It would be strange that Sharmila, who is not considered to be part of the YSRCP’s official hierarchy, has come down to Hyderabad to reportedly start a new party. It will in fact make more sense if she revives the YSRCP itself in Telangana, in the name of YSR’s legacy itself, given that the party had even contested in the 2014 state elections and had managed to win a few seats then.
When contacted, a YSRCP functionary from Andhra said that “only a meeting is being held and there will be a media brief after it concludes”. Hyderabad-based political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy pointed out that a large section of “hardcore Telangana state supporters” believe that it was YSR who not just dissuaded the high command against creating Telangana, but that also tried to kill the TRS in the state.
“Lot of things happened between 2004 and 2009. It was only after his death in 2009 that our statehood agitation picked up, as the momentum before that had fallen. With this backdrop, to assume that YSR’s daughter (Sharmila) will have some command in this region is a fallacy,” he told siasat.com.
More importantly, Reddy pointed out that this new development seems to yet another game that KCR seems to be playing. “He is still under the impression that while BJP is gaining momentum in Telangana, the Congress is his main opposition, and that if the TRS loses the bye-poll, it will be the Congress that will gain. The vote bank that Sharmila may attract will impact the grand old party. It could be a test case. It may be a ploy to see who will gravitate towards this,” he added.
As of now, it is too early but if this does fructify, then it will be interesting to see how this new development in the shape of a political party plays out. It is also not surprising as KCR made met and made more than one friendly gesture towards Jagan Mohan Reddy in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha and state elections (in AP).