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Congress leadership ‘dumped’ Sharmila; Sonia, Rahul remain non-committal on taking her on board

Hyderabad: YSRTP president Y S Sharmila learned Congress ‘dumping’ politics the hard way.
Sharmila, who went the extra mile to merge her Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Telangana Party (YSRTP) with Congress, was reportedly asked to wait till the Telangana assembly elections were over.

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The YSRTP founder agreed to this proposal too but sought a commitment from the Congress High Command. But the latter failed to give, forcing her to contest the ensuing elections.

“Sharmila Garu was keen to merge YSRTP before the assembly elections. There have been talks in that direction with the Congress High Command. After initial deliberations, she was told that the merger could be considered after the assembly elections,” Tudi Devender Reddy, General Secretary, YSRTP told on Monday.

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According to Devender Reddy, Sharmila agreed to this proposal too but wanted firm commitment from the Congress High Command. Though she waited for nearly four months, there was no response from the Congress.

“She offered unconditional merger of her party before elections, but they (Congress) put it off saying it will be considered after polls. She agreed to this proposal too but wanted assurance. Congress dodged the issue and no assurance was forthcoming from Congress side. This has upset and hurt her,” he added.

It is learnt Sharmila was initially asked to focus on Andhra Pradesh politics, but she declined and made it clear to Congress she would stay put in Telangana.

Sharmila is the daughter of former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Y S Sharmila has entered the India Book of Records for being “First Indian Woman to walk 3,800 kilometers (Padayatra) in the State of Telangana.

Sources in the Congress said that State leadership was not in favour of merger. “Unlike others, Sharmila is a go-getter and active politician. Her Padayatra speaks volumes about her political desire. Her entry will certainly create another power centre in Telangana Congress, which the present leadership wasn’t keen to share. Hence, they opposed it. Some felt that her entry could create Andhra/Telangana issue and affect the Congress chances in Telangana,” a senior Congress leader said.

With no response from Congress, the YSRTP leader decided to contest the ensuing Assembly elections in Telangana State.

Sharmila has already announced that her party would contest all the 119 assembly constituencies in the State.

However, it is reliably learnt that Sharmila will focus on 10/15 key Assembly constituencies including that of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Gajwel and Kamareddy, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy’s Kodangal, and other VIP constituencies.

YSRTP had earlier explored the possibility of forming an alliance with the Congress in the State to avoid splitting votes and ensure the defeat of the ruling BRS Government.

Sharmila told party leaders that discussions took place with Congress bigwigs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in this regard, but the lack of clarity from the Congress led to the decision to contest independently.

Sharmila said she would contest from the Palair Assembly constituency, but her party leaders urged her to contest from one more segment. “I may contest from another constituency also and if the situation demands, my mother Vijayamma and husband Anil too will contest,” she said. A final decision will be taken soon.

Sharmila had met Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, party’s Karnataka unit president and present Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar in Bangalore to pursue her case in the past but in vain.

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