27 July, 2021

The Daughter’s Turn

The YSR legacy rides high in Andhra, the post-split coastal state, via his son Jaganmohan. Why is daughter Sharmila making a sortie into Telangana with a new party?

The Daughter’s Turn

It’s official—former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s daughter Y.S. Sharmila Reddy will launch her party and contest elections in Telangana. She has asked her supporters to organise a massive rally on April 14 in Khammam district, where the formal announcement about her party would be made. The date was chosen carefully. It was on this day in 2009 that her late father took over the reins of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Even the place was chosen with care. Khammam straddles the Krishna and East Godavari districts of coastal Andhra, separated by two rivers. Moreover, in the 2014 elections, held soon after the state’s ­bifurcation, her brother’s party won a face-saving Lok Sabha seat in the new Telangana state, while winning eight in Andhra. The results underscore public sentiments, especially the goodwill the YSR brand name carries in Andhra Pradesh. Brother Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRCP now rules the state.

Sharmila’s choice of state has befuddled political analysts. Why Telangana? There is gossip that...

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