The Candidate: Can YS Sharmila turn tides in Andhra Pradesh? All you need to know about her political journey

Congress party has nominated her to contest from the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, a stronghold linked with her father's legacy.

Author
Satyam Singh
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Sharmila, a vocal critic of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, made headlines when she threw her support behind the Congress party during the recent Telangana Assembly Polls. Her decision not to contest in the polls was strategic, aimed at bolstering Congress's prospects in the state.

The Congress party's victory over the BRS in Telangana's recent assembly elections was a major shift in the state's political landscape. After ruling the state since its formation in 2014, the BRS faced defeat as Congress secured an absolute majority, winning 64 out of 119 seats.

YS Sharmila's merger with Congress

After Congress's triumph in Telangana, YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, merged her party, YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP), with Congress. 

Who is YS Sharmila?

YS Sharmila, daughter of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and sister of current CM Jaganmohan Reddy, hails from a prominent political family. The Congress party has nominated her to contest from the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, a stronghold linked with her father's legacy.

Early life and family

Born into the illustrious Reddy political-business family, Sharmila grew up in Hyderabad. She married Morusupalli Anil Kumar in 1995, and the couple has two children. Anil Kumar, a former Hindu Brahmin, converted to Christianity and now leads Anil World Evangelism.

Political journey

Sharmila rose to prominence in 2012 when she embarked on the 'Maro Praja Prasthanam' campaign, covering 3000 km on foot across Andhra Pradesh. This journey, undertaken in place of her incarcerated brother, Jaganmohan, aimed to garner support for the YSRCP and connect with the masses on key issues.
Campaigning for Change

In 2019, YS Sharmila embarked on an 11-day bus tour titled 'Praja Theerpu Bye Bye Babu,' advocating for the YSRCP during the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly polls. She fearlessly voiced her political differences, including concerns with her brother, Jaganmohan Reddy, and dissatisfaction with the state of the party in Telangana.

On April 9, 2021, Sharmila announced the formation of her own political party, the YSR Telangana Party, scheduled to launch on July 8, 2021, coinciding with her father's birth date.

Amidst speculation, Sharmila made a big decision to join the Congress Party on January 4, in the presence of key leaders like AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. This move followed unsuccessful negotiations with her uncle, former YSRCP MP Y V Subba Reddy.

Legacy of Kadapa constituency

The Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency holds symbolic significance in Andhra Pradesh politics, embodying the legacy of late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. YS Avinash Reddy of the YSRCP emerged victorious in both the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

With YSRCP president and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy at odds with his sister, Sharmila, the contest in Kadapa assumes greater significance. The outcome may determine the political legacy inherited from their father.