YS Sharmila, Telangana’s X-factor, turns out to be new irritant for KCR

The dramatic visuals of YS Sharmila being dragged away by the Telangana Police have brought another dimension to the conundrum of politics in the two Telugu states.

While the ruling TRS and the opposition BJP are pushing back, and the Congress is trying to stay relevant, Sharmila’s entry with her new YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) seems to be surprising the field of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao or KCR. as is well known.

Daughter of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy and sister of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the chief minister of the residual state, after falling out with her brother, Sharmila has set out to carve out an independent political future for the youngest. Indian state

Embarking on a 4,000-km padayatra in Telangana in October 2021, Sharmila clashed with the ruling TRS and its chief minister KCR, who managed to win the anti-outsider state and retain power for the second time, read. as anti-Andhra, plank.

Initially, Sharmila’s entry into Telangana politics was seen as having KCR’s tacit approval to seemingly split the Reddy community vote, affecting the Congress in particular, and indirectly boosting the TRS in the polls.

But as she criss-crossed the state of Telangana, touching 65 Assembly constituencies and over 3500 km, Sharmila’s outspoken anti-TRS stance coupled with the positive response she received at the walkathon seemed to unnerve the ruling party, which is aiming for a third shot. In power in the elections to be held in 2023.

Last week’s standoff began when Sharmila was arrested on her way to report an attack on her padayatra by TRS workers in Warangal district.

With state governor Tamilisai Sounderarajan condemning the developments and BJP leaders supporting Sharmila, TRS leaders like KCR’s daughter Kavitha have named Sharmila as a BJP plant in the state. Sharmila on her part has refuted these allegations.

Ironically, even as it plans to emerge as a national alternative to the ruling BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by becoming the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), the Telangana ruling party is now facing stormy weather in its own backyard.

Political observers say Sharmila’s presence has pushed the TRS into something of a dilemma. Apart from its development agenda, the party is banking on its anti-Andhra slate to mop up votes. Painting Sharmila as an outsider is a double-edged sword, and could hurt the TRS as it prepares to go national.

“On one hand they want to contest in other states, but TRS leaders like Harish Rao and Kavitha are asking how outsiders can enter Telangana. It will expose their duplicity,” explained a senior journalist.

For now, Sharmila appears prepared for a long-distance fight. A Padayatra veteran of sorts, he had campaigned for his brother in the past.

For the ruling TRS party, Sharmila’s arrival on the scene could not have been more inconvenient. Recent developments in Delhi’s liquor policy scam have shifted the focus to Telangana, with the name of Chief Minister and TRS supremo KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha in the Enforcement Directorate’s jailing report on Wednesday. The issue heated up further after the CBI summoned the TRS MLC on Friday.

While the truth is yet to be revealed, the TRS is locked in a political battle over the issue with the BJP, which is making a joint push to oust KCR in the 2023 Assembly elections.

In such a scenario, YS Sharmila and her YSRTP can be the X factor that writes the outcome of Telangana politics next year.



(Only the headline and photo for this report have been updated by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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