TDP, YSRCP compromising Andhra’s interests to stay in BJP’s good books: YS Sharmila

Sharmila hoped that more women will support her cause but admitted there was a long road ahead for women's political empowerment.


Published May 09, 2024 | 9:55 AMUpdatedMay 09, 2024 | 9:55 AM

APCC chief YS Sharmila slammed both TDP and YSRCP for "not fighting" for commitments made during bifurcation. (X)

By Laxmi Devi Aere

Launching a scathing attack, YS Sharmila Reddy has accused both N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and her brother YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led ruling YSRCP of compromising Andhra Pradesh’s interests to remain in the “good books” of the BJP at the Centre.

Daughter of late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief, Sharmila slammed the two parties for “not fighting” for commitments made during bifurcation like special status, Polavaram project, a new capital and economic package.

“They didn’t fight for special status, Polavaram project, new capital or economic package – all promised during the bifurcation,” Sharmila charged while campaigning for the upcoming polls.”

Speaking to PTI, she accused Naidu and her brother Jagan of putting personal ambitions and ties with the BJP ahead of the state’s interests.

Sharmila, who merged her YSR Telangana Party and took over as its state unit chief ahead of elections, has sought to project her party as the only force capable of safeguarding Andhra’s rightful claims and fulfilling bifurcation commitments.

Also Read: Narendra Modi remotely controlling YS Jagan Mohan Reddy: YS Sharmila

Sharmila rakes up Viveka murder case

Her no-holds-barred attack comes as the political battle heats up in the state with all parties vying to woo voters ahead of the crucial polls on 13 May.

She claimed that had Congress been in power post-2014 bifurcation, Andhra Pradesh would have received all promises like special status and new capital. “But 10 years on, people see what they lost by not voting Congress.”

She also lashed out at Chief Minister Jagan for re-nominating their cousin Avinash Reddy as the YSRCP candidate from Kadapa despite a CBI probe naming him as an accused in her uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy’s murder case.

“My uncle was murdered five years ago, and the CBI has named the incumbent MP as an accused. Yet, Jagan has fielded him again. This is something the family cannot digest. So, this battle is about justice,” she said.

Exuding confidence in winning from the Kadapa Parliamentary segment, Sharmila said her goal is to project Congress as the only alternative to the “Andhra BJP” comprising Naidu’s TDP, Jagan’s YSRCP and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena.

However, battlelines have been drawn within the family, too, with Jagan accusing TDP chief Naidu of fueling Sharmila and her cousin Sunita’s quest for justice. Sharmila dismissed it as “baseless rumours” stemming from Jagan’s “obsession” with Naidu.

Dismissing dynasty politics criticism, Sharmila argued there is nothing wrong if a child takes up parents’ profession, like a doctor’s offspring.

Also Read: YSR’s recorded voice stars in YS Sharmila’s Kadapa campaign

Congress to fare better

On the Congress’s prospects, she expressed hope of winning “at least in double digits” in the Assembly polls but didn’t hazard a guess on her Kadapa margin, saying “we’ll bring back Congress’s glory soon.”

Stating Congress got less than 2 percent votes in 2019, Sharmila said raising it is “a real challenge, but we’ll get there.”

As the sibling rivalry plays out, Sharmila admitted it is “a little sad” but “this is the reality.” Her mother is “neutral” as “it is hard to choose between the right or left eye.”

Sharmila hopes more women will support her cause given the “justice sentiment” involved but admitted there was a long road ahead for women’s political empowerment.

The Congress is contesting 23 of Andhra Pradesh’s 25 Lok Sabha seats while allies CPI and CPM are contesting one each as part of the India bloc. For the 175 assembly seats, Congress has fielded candidates in 157 segments with the Left contesting the rest.

Simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha polls will be held in the state on May 13.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)