YSRCP leaders have forgotten the sacrifices I made for the party: YS Sharmila

Further, she claimed that her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy was a changed man after becoming the Chief Minister.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 30, 2024 | 1:35 PMUpdatedJan 30, 2024 | 1:35 PM

APCC president YS Sharmila

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president YS Sharmila, on Monday, 29 January, in Kadapa, alleged that the leaders and cadres of the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh had forgotten all the sacrifices she made for the survival of the party and were now attacking her.

Sharmila sought to remind the YSRCP leaders and supporters that she worked like a foot soldier “without desiring any position”, embarking on a 3,200 km padayatra (political walkathon) for months together.

“I did not desire any position. For YSRCP’s survival, I selflessly took all that load on my shoulders as a woman and toured 3,200 km as part of the padayatra,” Sharmila, who recently took over as the APCC president, said while addressing a party meeting.

She alleged that not even one of these sacrifices was remembered by the YSRCP now and instead, they were hitting out at her, disregarding the fact that she was former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s daughter.

Also Read: As YS Sharmila joins the Congress, read about the YSR family’s fallout with the party

Rivalry among the siblings

In her maiden address to the Congress party cadre in Kanuru on 21 January, YS Sharmila repeatedly referred to her brother, YSRCP supremo and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, as Jagan Reddy, winning loud cheers from the audience.

With the battle lines drawn ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections a couple of months away, the “Reddy” reference did not amuse the YSRCP.

Jagan-owned Sakshi Media reported her speech referring to her as just Sharmila, devoid of the prestigious and influential initials, YS.

Sharmila’s first-ever salvo against Jagan was more than a reflection of sibling rivalry: It was also the beginning of a battle to claim the legacy of their illustrious father, former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, or YSR.

The YSRCP retorted to the “Jagan Reddy” innuendo by addressing Sharmila using the surname of her husband Anil Kumar — Morusupalli — in an apparent bid to deny her any chance of claiming the YS legacy.

YSRCP social media platforms and party affiliates published content with her husband’s surname, “Morusupalli Sharmila”. YSRCP sources told South First that the party would continue to belittle Sharmila, diminishing her chances to claim the YSR legacy.

Also Read: Why Andhra Congress chief Sharmila calling brother ‘Jagan Reddy’ has left YSRCP fuming

‘Brother’s arrow’

When Sharmila launched a padayatra in October 2012 after the CBI arrested her brother Jagan, she coined a slogan to describe herself: “YS Sharmila is an arrow released by her brother — YS Jagan.”

Sharmila initially floated her party — the YSRTP — in Telangana in 2021, asserting that she would contest all Assembly segments. However, she later extended her support to Congress and eventually merged the party on 4 January 2024.

Although she parted ways with Jagan after he assumed power in Andhra Pradesh in 2019, the slogan remained relevant, as the Congress doubted that she might be part of a grand plan of Jagan.

The APCC chief questioned the veracity of the claim by a YSRCP leader recently that the late Pranab Mukherjee had told him that Sharmila’s husband M Anil Kumar had asked Sonia Gandhi to make her the chief minister while imprisoning brother YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as a bargain to strengthen the Congress party.

She said that if the YSRCP leaders had any suspicions about this, they should ask the former president’s son as Pranab Mukherjee was no more.

Sharmila further said had she or her husband craved for a position, then why would she undertake a padayatra for the YSRCP?

Further, she claimed that her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy was a changed man after becoming the Chief Minister.

(With PTI inputs)