‘Offered Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka by Congress,’ YS Sharmila tells YSRTP leaders

On 1 January, South First had reported that YS Sharmila is set to be inducted into the Congress on 4 January.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jan 02, 2024 | 4:12 PMUpdatedJan 02, 2024 | 4:12 PM

YS Sharmila addressing the YSRTP leaders

YS Sharmila, president of the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Telangana Party (YSRTP), in an official meeting with the party leaders revealed that the Congress offered her a Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka.

In a 10-minute meeting held with party functionaries on Tuesday, 2 January, Sharmila said that she was also offered a position in the AICC (All India Congress Committee), mostly General Secretary. She added that she was asked to engage in the upcoming Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Raja Gopal, Greater Hyderabad president of YSRTP, told South First, “There were 60 to 70 people in the party meeting with YS Sharmila today. Nearly 20 to 30 will be attending a meeting in Delhi where she will join the Congress party.”

Sharmila is said to have told YSRTP leaders that she would take a call on the Rajya Sabha membership on 8 January.

Party leaders said that they were disappointed about the party being merged with the Congress but happy that Sharmila will carry the legacy of her father late YS Rajasekhara Reddy forward if she is appointed to the AICC, Gopal added.

“Our party leaders insisted she contest in the Lok Sabha elections from Khammam, Nalgonda, or Secunderabad because Sharmila was interested in working for Telangana, and we all have been waiting for a reputation for the party in Telangana,” he added.

Related: YS Sharmila’s induction into the Congress on 4 January

Sharmila to join Congress

South First on Monday, 1 January, reported that Sharmila is likely to be inducted into the Congress party on Thursday, 4 January.

YS Sharmila Reddy — the daughter of two-time chief minister in united Andhra Pradesh and Congress leader late YS Rajasekhara Reddy — is also the sister of incumbent Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Further, according to party sources, as many as 10 YSRCP MLAs and former MLAs are in touch with the Congress leadership and will join the party after Sharmila’s induction.

However, now with a victorious stint in the Telangana elections and Sharmila’s confirmed entry into the grand old party, there has been a surge in cadre inflow to the party office.

Earlier on Monday, Andhra Pradesh Congress chief Gidugu Rudra Raju, speaking on the buzz surrounding YS Sharmila’s potential entry into the Congress, told South First, “As per the information available to me, YS Sharmila will be joining the Congress soon, and I welcome her.”

He added, “Not only YS Sharmila but also around a dozen MLAs, who left the party during in 2014 and are currently with the YSRCP, are in touch with the Congress.”

Further expressing confidence in the Congress’ return to the mainstream, Raju told South First, “Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra, and INC president Mallikarjun Kharge will participate in public meetings against the privatisation of the Visakhapatnam steel plant, Amaravati as the single capital, and for special status.”

Raju added that the dates will be finalised in the meeting on 4 January with all the PCCs in Delhi.

Also Read: Eyes on Andhra poll, Congress asks ex-leaders to return ‘home’

Congress and Andhra

YS Sharmila’s decision to join the grand old party ahead of the Andhra polls will not only shape her political future but also have significant implications for her brother’s party, for which she campaigned for a decade, and also her father’s party, which is seeking her leadership to spearhead its revival.

The Congress, which has been in the dark for over a decade in Andhra Pradesh, is now in the spotlight after winning in the neighbouring Karnataka and Telangana Assembly elections.

Previous political decisions made in Delhi for Andhra Pradesh cost the Congress dearly, pushing it to the back row for over a decade.

Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) brought the party to power for the second time with 156 seats out of 294 in the 2009 Assembly elections. But the Congress’ legacy began crumbling after his sudden death in a helicopter crash in September 2009. This is where the aspirations of senior leaders to replace YSR emerged.

To the surprise of many, his son YS Jagan Mohan, the present Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, emerged from his father’s shadow, fighting for political legitimacy.

Frustrated with being overlooked by the Congress leadership, Jagan Mohan eventually founded the YSRCP in 2011, promising a better future for Andhra Pradesh with his father’s legacy in tow.

Due to political decisions or perhaps the course of law, Jagan Mohan was arrested in May 2012 on charges of amassing wealth and assets through illegal means during his late father’s tenure as the chief minister. After spending 16 months in jail, he was later released on bail.

During this time, the public’s attention was captivated as his mother, YS Vijayamma, and sister, YS Sharmila, who campaigned on the streets, accusing the Congress of vendetta politics against their beloved late chief minister’s family.

Also Read: The fall and rise of Jagan Mohan Reddy