What has not worked for Sharmila and why has Congress looked the other way?

As she found herself nowhere, she began nursing an ambition of merging her party with the Congress

What has not worked for Sharmila and why has Congress looked the other way?

HYDERABAD: YS Sharmila’s political shenanigans have thrown her on to the cross roads in Telangana rendering her clueless. YS Sharmila, daughter of the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, had parted ways with her brother and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and floated her own political outfit, YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP), giving rise to multiple speculations: That her brother has pitted her against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS, now Bharat Rahstra Samithi) and its supremo K Chandrashekar Rao; and that KCR himself egged her on the political arena in Telangana to ensure that there is a split in anti-incumbency vote.

While neither of them proved right what with her antics and angularities in Telangana politics, she has always raised a lot of hue and cry against KCR Administration, charging him and his family members with the proverbial bell, book and candle. However, barring a few jibes occasionally, none in the BRS have taken her seriously.

When the going was good, the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lent its shoulder to her. However, the support was never explicit and she had, indeed, made futile attempts to draw the attention of the top leadership of the BJP. Nonetheless, the BJP mandarins did not let even the smoke to billow out, let alone the fire.

As she found herself nowhere, she began nursing an ambition of merging her party with the Congress. Accordingly, she moved forward and met Sonia Gandhi and RahuliGandhi too. But, the Congress, which seemed welcoming her, began looking the other way when she was almost certain that the merger of her small party with the grand old party was a mere formality.

She has been ambitious and even before the idea of merging her party with the Congress was injected into her brain, she began indicating her choicest of constituencies to contest.

Why has she become a puppet in the hands of a media owner?

She began throwing tantrums at YS Jagan through the media house that is against him and its owner who considers himself as a sworn enemy to Jagan. Sharmila spilled the beans about her parting ways with her brother through that media house which lapped up the opportunity to further tarnish Jagan’s image. Every move of Sharmila, ever since, began appearing as a speculative story in that media house which is also in cohorts with Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy, who is an alumnus of the Telugu Desam Party and described himself as a protégé of N Chandrababu Naidu.

After a lapse of some time, the media owner began puppeteering her moves and took upon himself the onus of giving her the roadmap, more often than not.

He used his good offices with Revanth Reddy to pave the way for Sharmila’s entry into the Congress. However, Revanth Reddy played truant with the idea, though he let the fingers of his fist loose. He, cleverly, moved his pawns to block the entry of Sharmila into the party.

His reasons are that he has always remained a bete noire of Jagan and his party. Aside from this, if she is inducted into the Congress, she may grab the opportunity to nurse herself into a power centre within the party and may get all the loyalists of her late father to throw their weight behind her.

These reasons are not unfounded, because as soon as the news spread that she wanted to join the Congress, she was welcomed by

two strong leaders within the party – Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Congress Legislature Party floor leader in Telangana Assembly Mallu Bhatti Vikaramarka. This surely sent signs of the damage potential she carries to his political supremacy within the party. If allowed, she might turn out to be a thorn in his proverbial flesh. It is an undeniable fact that YSR Reddy’s popularity in Telangana may draw some votes, especially if she is associated with the Congress.

She has always insisted that she be given the Palair Congress ticket which has now become a querulous issue between latest migrants – Tummala Nageshwar Rao and Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy who are testing their luck with the Congress high command.

If she enters the Assembly on behalf of the Congress, Revanth Reddy’s prospects of ascendancy, if at all, would be hampered terribly. For now, the Congress is betting big on Revanth Reddy, considering him as its trump card. Ironically, he has too much of a ‘baggage’ that mounted on his back owing to his long association with the TDP.

If Sharmila lends her support to his detractors, they will have a free ride in the party and his tottering leadership would become further frail. It’s with this intention, he had ensured that she was not granted an audience by the Congress top brass when the party organized a mega rally at Tukkuguda in Hyderabad last month.

Sharmila was cocksure of merging her party with the Congress in tune with her announcement outside 10 Janpath a few months ago a la Megastar Chiranjeevi. But what had worked for the movie star did not work for her. Frustrated, she moved in widdershins and finally held out a veiled threat that she would contest on her own and field her candidates in all the constituencies.

Unfettered by her warning, the Congress remained cold to her, thus forcing her to find her way. She finally came out of the false

impression that she would be entertained by the Congress in keeping with the “respect” it is lately demonstrating for the late YSR. Now, she wants to pit her husband Anil Kumar and mother YS Vijayalakshmi too in the fray against the BRS and the Congress.

However, at the most she can dent the Congress vote share in some pockets in Telangana with her legacy, but as it is her presence in the battle hardly makes any difference. After causing much embarrassment to her brother who tried his best to give an impression that YSR’s family is closely knit, her capers have come back to discomfit herself.

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