New Delhi: YS Sharmila, founder of YSR Telangana Party and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, joined the Congress party on Thursday.
She also declared the merger of her YSR Telangana Congress with the Congress. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi were present when Sharmila officially embraced the Congress fold.
After joining the party, Sharmila praised the Congress and said it is the largest secular party in the country as it unwaveringly serves all communities and unites all sections of people.
Her husband, Anil Kumar, said, ” It (joining Congress) will affect AP politics”.
Sharmila’s decision follows the win of the Congress in the Assembly elections in Telangana. It is reported that Sharmila will be given a key organizational position in the Congress party in Telangana ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The party hopes that several others may leave the YSRCP to join the Congress.
In 2012 YSRCP was formed when her brother Jagan Mohan Reddy parted ways with the Congress. She and her mother YS Vijayamma led the campaign when Jagan was in jail after being arrested on corruption charges. The YSRCP swept the polls.
In 2021, Ms Sharmila expressed her political differences with her brother Jagan. She announced the formation of the YSR Telangana Party. In 2023, Sharmila announced that she would not contest the Telangana election to support the Congress.
Sharmila has fallen out with her brother, her party is also not doing well and she is facing a funds crunch to continue her party activities. These are said to be the reasons for her decision to join the Congress. The Congress feels, her induction may benefit the party in its fight against the BJP in Telangana.