Jagan Sets Telangana Trap to Outsmart Sister

YSR Congress chief sidelines Sharmila to gain political prominence while mother Vijayalakshmi disapproves

Published: 14th December 2014 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2014 07:45 AM   |  A+A-


HYDERABAD:  It seems a contest is on between YSR Congress (YSRC) chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his sister Sharmila in Telangana to prove who is the better leader and the political heir to their father late YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s legacy.

Jagan has entrusted his sister with a Herculean task of reviving the fortunes of the party in the newly formed Telangana, where its presence is negligible. Not disappointed by this, Sharmila, who had single-handedly made the party stay afloat by undertaking marathon padayatras across the undivided Andhra Pradesh when Jagan was in jail before the May General Elections, has taken it up as a challenge and has once again embarked on another yatra to outperform her brother and establish herself as the worthy successor.

Sharmila had started the five-day ‘Paramarsa Yatra’ (consolation tour) in Telangana last Monday to console the bereaved families of those who had lost lives after YSR’s death in a chopper crash in 2009. Refraining from attacking the TRS government, she tried to invoke her father’s memories probably to project herself as the ‘true’ political heir of the legendary leader.

Meanwhile, several followers of Sharmila, during internal meetings of the party, found fault with Jagan for ignoring his sister during the General Elections. In fact many blamed Jagan for the humiliating loss in the recent general polls.

“Jagan is an autocrat. He is primarily responsible for the defeat of YSRC in the elections. The party is led by Jagan as a one-man army. He never allowed his mother nor his sister to take part in decisions,” former minister Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, who quit the party after its defeat in the polls, said.

Rao, who had joined YSRC from TDP and moved closely with Jagan, said the YSRC chief had never trusted his mother YS Vijayalakshmi and sister Sharmila on party matters. According to party inner circles, Vijayalakshmi also strongly objected to the way her son is ignoring his sister in the party affairs. She reportedly questioned him why he was not considerate of his sister. A sidelined Vijayalakshmi is seldom seen appearing on the party front.

In the aftermath of the party’s poll defeat, Sharmila’s supporters pressured Jagan to give her a prominent role in the party so as to revive its dwindling fortunes. Following this, Jagan appears to have decided to give her a key role in the party but not in Andhra Pradesh. “Jagan has given a tough task to his sister, to revive the sagging fortunes of the party in Telangana where it has lost its ground,” said a party senior, adding: “If she succeeds in resuscitating the party in Telangana, then Jagan’s position as an undisputed leader would be under threat.”

Many feel that Jagan, who is facing serious charges with regard to disproportionate assets case, may meet the same fate as J Jayalalithaa. Sharmila’s latest efforts to familiarise herself in Telangana might help her hold the fort for her brother in the party.

The internal war between Jagan and Sharmila, however, has never come out in the open. Unlike several other political siblings who criticise each other in public, the brother-sister duo is taking enough care to conceal their differences. When Sharmila was asked about the rift, she smiled, “I have no issues with my brother. The reported differences between both of us are just media creation.”


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