Jagan Reddy’s Sister To Join Congress, May Get Big Role In Andhra Pradesh

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Jagan Reddy's Sister To Join Congress, May Get Big Role In Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi:

YS Sharmila, founder president of YSR Telangana Party and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, will be joining the Congress this week, sources have said. This comes shortly after the Congress swept the Assembly polls in Telangana, ending the Bharat Rashtra Samithi dominance in the state.

According to sources, the Congress leadership will give Ms Sharmila an important role in Andhra Pradesh ahead of the state polls next year, alongside the Lok Sabha election. The move, it is learnt, is aimed at reviving the Congress in Andhra Pradesh. The party hopes that those willing to leave YSRCP may now join the Congress at a time key opposition party Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is struggling to hold its influence.

Ms Sharmila first hit headlines back in 2012 when Telangana had not been carved out of Andhra Pradesh. Against the backdrop of the statehood movement gathering steam, her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy parted ways with the Congress and formed YSCRP. He was joined by 18 MLAs and a Congress MP resigned. This paved the way for several bypolls. With Mr Reddy in jail after being arrested on corruption charges, his mother YS Vijayamma and sister YS Sharmila led the campaign. The YSCRP swept the polls.

Nine years later, in 2021, Ms Sharmila said she had political differences with her brother. She also stressed that YSRCP has no presence in Telangana. In July that year, she announced the formation of the YSR Telangana Party and started campaigning against the erstwhile K Chandrashekar Rao-led government.

Earlier this year, Ms Sharmila had announced that she would not contest the Telangana election. She had then said that the Congress is well-placed to win the election and she did not want to undermine it.

According to Congress sources, the party’s voteshare in Andhra has dropped abysmally over the years and is now hovering around just 1 per cent. Ms Sharmila, on her part, has fallen out with her brother and is learnt to be facing a funds crunch to continue her party activities. 

Congress leaders agree that there is hardly any time left to bring about a turnaround in the party’s Andhra fortunes. But the party hopes that giving Ms Sharmila a big role, such as the state Congress chief, may benefit the party at a time when it is gearing up for the all-out fight against the BJP.

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