Is making YS Sharmila APCC chief game plan of her 'puppeteer' to wipe out YSR family from politics?

Congress can ensure a widened rift between the siblings and finish off the YSR family from the political arena, if it succeeds in its bid to foment enmity and animosity between YS Jagan and YS Sharmila.

Is making YS Sharmila APCC chief game plan of her puppeteer to wipe out YSR family from politics?

AMARAVATHI: Yeduguri Sandinti Sharmila Reddy, grew in the portals of power politics, replete with factionalism, along with her brother YS Jaganmohan Reddy, now the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, after posting a landslide victory in 2019. The family seen as the father, the mother, a son and a daughter, most ideal setting for a menage, has been in gyrating the AP politics from the front.

The unity among the YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s families of his five brothers — sons of the late YS Raja Reddy — was perceivably firm until the big man (YSR) was alive. While Dr Reddy’s elder brother George Reddy died long ago, his other three younger brothers - Vivekananda Reddy, Sudheekar Reddy and Ravindra Reddy - virtually remained loyal to Dr Reddy. Except Vivekananda Reddy, the other brothers stayed at an arm’s length from politics.

The Congress caused the first rift in the YSR family by roping in Vivekananda Reddy into its fold and isolating Jagan after Jagan was smoked out of the party. Though Vivekananda returned to Jagan’s fold in the later years, his murder was used by anti-Jagan forces to raise ample doubts against those sailing with Jagan.

Sibling love

The bond between the siblings — Jagan and Sharmila — remained impregnable for a long time.

Their mother YS Vijayamma, who always remained confined to the four walls of their house, didn’t nurse any political ambition ever nor did she step out even after the untimely demise of her husband Dr Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash.

Also Read: YS Sharmila merges YSRTP with Congress, ready to take up any responsibility

It was only after the Congress refused to elevate Jagan to succeed his late father as the Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh that she provided the necessary strength and morale booster to her desolate, yet determined, son who chose to walk out of the Congress in disgust.

While Jagan had resigned from his MP seat and sought a reelection after forming the YSR Congress to win the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat with a thumping majority, his mother who had debuted to represent Pulivendula Assembly seat that fell vacant due to the death of Dr Reddy, had also quit the seat to join her son to seek a reelection. She, who had been elected unanimously initially, won with a huge margin.

Arrow shot by Jagan

After Jagan was arrested on the charges of disproportionate assets in May 2012, Sharmila came out in the open against the Congress and launched a padayatra in Andhra Pradesh. She announced that she was an “arrow shot” by Jagananna and blew the bugle of revolt against the Congress.

After an excruciating walkathon, she had to call it off following a knee injury. Sharmila, however, together with her mother, held the responsibility of keeping the pot boiling when Jagan was incarcerated. She went ballistic against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and even her “Capstan Mama” - K V P Ramachandra Rao - soulmate of Dr Rajasekhara Reddy. Sharmila accused him of washing off his hands and letting her brother be implicated in false cases and imprisoned “wrongfully”.

Sharmila ran her own campaign in favour of the YSR Congress in 2016 to 2019. She used to conclude her meetings with the runaway-hit slogan “Bye Bye Babu” - an antidote for Telugu Desam’s “Bring Back Babu”.

Ironically, Sharmila’s political peregrination in the subsequent times has been chequered by a series of slapsticky moves by her. Instead of portraying herself as an alter ego of YS Jaganmohan Reddy with an “iron gut and steel resolve”, she demonstrated her political sloppiness and puerile approach.

Though it’s publicly not known why she had fallen apart with her brother after he became the Chief Minister, she provided enough fodder for the public to guess a myriad of things about the causes. Those who have been gunning for the head of Jagan have accelerated the rumour mills using Sharmila’s juvenile politics as a catalyst to amplify antagonism against Jagan among people.

Though nobody had clarified, the word that did rounds all over as to why Sharmila had parted ways with Jagan was that he had denied her Rajya Sabha ticket on the pretext of checkmating the sprouting of a charge of “family rule”, at least in the first term. Jagan also reportedly refused to accede to demands of allocation of some mines and industry partnerships to her husband Brother Anil Kumar.

She had chosen a sworn enemy of Jagan, ABN Andhra Jyothy Radhakrishna, to spill the beans about her political foray independently in Telangana. She had given him an exclusive interview in his TV channel too.

This, for sure, has infuriated Jagan leaving him high and dry. The cordiality disappeared between the siblings. As if they were engaged in a face-off, the duo stopped seeing eye to eye and never met for a long time even during Dr Rajasekhara Reddy’s birth and death anniversaries.

Caught in a bind between the successful son and a fledgling daughter, the matriarch Vijayamma resigned as the Honorary President of YSR Congress and chose to support her daughter in her political forays.

The anti-Jagan brigade fired all cylinders to promote Sharmila, albeit, with a dubious intent and the lady did a 3,600-km padayatra across Telangana, falsely claiming herself to be Telangana Kodalu (daughter-in-law).

As she realised that her barbs at Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) supremo K Chandrashekar Rao did not cut much ice, she folded up her shop of YSR Telangana Party and began parleys with the Congress for a merger. It’s under the nose of the same Congress that YS Rajasekhara Reddy had been named as an accused in the DA cases against Jagan.

It’s the same grand old party that Sharmila took on — more because of emotional and personal reasons rather than ideological differences. And, now she made a complete volte-face and danced to the tunes of an “unknown puppeteer” who pulled the strings from behind the scenes.

Sharmila wanted to merge the YSR Telangana Party in the Congress and run her politics in Telangana Congress. However, TPCC chief and now Chief Minister Revanth Reddy stoutly opposed the idea. She had called Revanth Reddy a thief and she openly had aired her view that he should not become the Chief Minister.

Finally, the Congress high command bowed to Revanth Reddy’s demands and obliged him at every point in time and ensured that Sharmila, despite her waving a white flag and surrendering before Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, was bundled out of Telangana politics.

Now, the incognito “puppeteer” managed to convince the Congress high command and make use of her to fight her brother and infuse new life into the Andhra Pradesh Congress unit, which is dead and gone in 2014 itself.

The Congress can ensure a widened rift between the siblings and finish off the YSR family from the political arena, if it succeeds in its bid to foment enmity and animosity between YS Jagan and YS Sharmila. The game of thrones always has high stakes.

Also Read: Congress rewards YSR family, splits brother-sister: YS Sharmila appointed APCC president

Surely, political Machiavelli of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu, who is a ‘covert buddy’ of the Congress since 1996, and more so after the demise of YSR, would surely curry favour from the situation. As it is, he is running a high decibel campaign against the YS Jagan administration.

Now, Sharmila would collect all the antique pieces of the yesteryear’s Congress in AP and get all retired politicians and spent forces to rant against Jagan. If all those who were subservient to the late YSR kowtow to Sharmila and start deriding Jagan, it would not do any favour to the Congress, but surely help provide the necessary ammunition to the TDP and Jana Sena combine.

If the Bharatiya Janata Party also joins this combo, it’s even more ominous for Jagan. Will Sharmila cut into the anti-incumbency vote and cause a damage to the TDP’s comeback trail? Not really.

As it appears, she may cut into Jagan’s vote bank which was precisely scooped out of the Congress. Rather, the entire Congress vote went to him en masse. If she claims her pound of flesh from the same voter base, the common purpose of the Congres leadership, Chandrababu Naidu, Pawan Kalyan, the BJP and of course the “puppeteer”, would be served.

It all depends on whether Jagan will be able to fight all these forces coming against him individually and severally. If he makes it to victory, it’s an endgame for at least three political parties in Andhra Pradesh. Else, it’s an end game for a political family and its influence.

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