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Sibling rivalry intensifies in Kadapa over the political legacy of Dr YSR

YS Sharmila’s entry into AP politics sparks hope for Congress revival, but also fuels tensions with her brother, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Sibling rivalry intensifies in Kadapa over the political legacy of Dr YSR

Vijayawada: The sibling rivalry in YSR Congress Party for inheriting political legacy of popular Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, fondly called Dr YSR has drawn the attention of many.

APCC president YS Sharmila, sister of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is being pitted against her cousin and sitting MP YS Avinash Reddy from Kadapa parliamentary constituency. The Congress has been decimated completely in 2014 and 2019 elections following its controversial decision for separating Telangana from Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2014, leaving the residual State without a capital city. After Sharmila’s entry, the grand old party is trying to revive the party in AP. Sharmila is not seeing eye to eye with her brother after her decision to form YSR Telangana Party and subsequently to merge it with the Indian National Congress.

This finally led to her appointment as the AP Congress Committee president to take head on with her brother. Her entry into AP politics also led to criticism from YSRCP leaders including her brother and other senior leaders Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, uncle YV Subba Reddy and others that she is reading the script prepared by their arch-rival TDP national president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Sharmila undertook a Statewide 3,000-km long padayatra to keep YSRCP afloat when her brother was arrested by the CBI in the alleged illegal assets case, which was later described by the Opposition parties as the quid pro quo case for getting benefits from the corporates when Dr YSR was the Chief Minister during 2004-2009.

The Kadapa Lok Sabha election assumes significance now as Sharmila has launched a bitter campaign against YSRCP leadership for the role of Avinash Reddy, one of the main accused in the murder of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle and former Minister YS Vivekananda Reddy. The murder case is being investigated by the premier probe agency CBI. Vivekananda’s NRI daughter Dr Sunitha Nareddi has thrown her weight behind Sharmila in the elections being held for Kadapa Lok Sabha seat blaming Jagan for shielding the real killers and conspirators behind her father’s sensational murder ahead of 2014 general elections. Refuting the charges against him by his cousins Sharmila and Sunitha, Avinash said there is a larger conspiracy against him and his family. “As an elected representative and candidate seeking renomination, I will explain everything before the voters during the elections to prove my innocence in the case,” he said.

Late Vivekananda Reddy, who had represented the Congress after YSR as an MP from Kadapa in Rayalaseema, was found dead with seven stab injuries made by a sharp weapon at his house in Pulivendula Assembly segment on March 15, 2019. The case is pending before a CBI court in Hyderabad. On the request of Sunitha Reddy, her father’s murder probe was transferred to CBI court in Telangana.

After announcing her candidature, Sharmila went on record saying, “I am contesting as Kadapa MP candidate. This is not an easy decision for me as I know that it will split my family.” Declaring that she had no hatred for her elder brother Jagan, she alleged that he has changed after becoming the Chief Minister. She also blamed her brother for renominating the individuals involved in the murder of their father’s brother Vivekananda Reddy with important posts.

Pulivendula is represented by Jagan in the Assembly. TDP, the principal opposition party in AP has been alleging that Avinash Reddy is the main accused in the murder case and the Chief Minister has been trying to hush up the case by not extending support to the CBI to bring the real culprits to the book.

Santosh Patnaik
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