How rift in YSR family prompts Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister YS Sharmila to join Congress — explained

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YS Sharmila, the sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and founder of YSR Telangana Party, on Thursday joined the Congress party. She has also announced the merger of her party with the grand old party in the presence of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“The Congress party is still the largest secular party of our country and it has always upheld the true culture of India and built foundations of our nation,” Sharmila said, adding that it was her father’s dream to see Rahul Gandhi as prime minister. 

Sharmila had announced her support to the Congress during the recent assembly polls in Telangana. She had underscored the need to strengthen the Congress to end the alleged corrupt and anti-people rule of the BRS led by K Chandrasekhar Rao. This time, the Congress emerged as the winner crossing the halfway mark, and winning 64 seats in the state. BRS won 39 seats, followed by the BJP with 8 seats, AIMIM with 7 seats, and one seat for the CPI.

Rift in YSR family behind Sharmila’s decision

The political tussle between the Reddy siblings began in February 2021 when Sharmila claimed that there was no presence of the ‘Yuvajana Shramika Rythu’ Congress Party in Telangana. A few months later, she parted ways with her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy, and launched her new party ‘YSR Telangana Party’ on July 8, 2021, the birth anniversary of her father Rajasekhara Reddy who died in September 2009. 

After his father’s death, Jagan Mohan Reddy started a condolence tour or ‘Odarpu Yatra’ across Andhra Pradesh in April 2010 to console the families of those who died of shock or committed suicide following Rajasekhara’s death. Notably, the Congress did not support the yatra and asked Reddy to call off the tour. However, he refused to budge and went ahead with the Odarpu Yatra. 

The rift widened between Jagan and Congress loyalists over the years. He then eventually came out of the party and established his own ‘YSR Congress Party’ (YSRCP), taking up the political legacy left by his father. 

Sharmila parted ways with YSRCP about three years ago. In November 2023, she announced that her party would not run in the Telangana Legislative Assembly election. She recognised the electoral potential of the Congress party and emphasised that her goal was not to destabilise the Congress but rather to promise support if the Congress wins power in the state.

Sharmila is likely to get a key post in the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and also in the run-up to the Andhra Pradesh state assembly elections.

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Published: 04 Jan 2024, 03:22 PM IST


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