Rama Krishna Sangem
YSR Telangana party (YSRTP) president YS Sharmila has expressed confidence that she will emerge as the alternative to BRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) in Telangana in the coming assembly elections. “I will be the alternative and our YSRTP will become stronger in the coming period to usher in an era of welfare and development polices brought in by late CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR),” said she.
Sharmila who founded her party early last year completed 3,500 km of Padayatra across Telangana and was arrested two weeks ago, before it concluded in Warangal district. She got High Court permission to complete the Yatra which would be taken up in second half of January 2023. She will be performing Bhumi Puja for her party office at Paleru in Khammam district on December 16, Friday.
After that she will be leaving for the US for a brief visit. She will restart her Padayatra after Sankranti festival and walk for about 300-400 km which is due. Finally, she will be walking for slightly less than 4,000 km as part of her Padayatra.
On this occasion, Sharmila talked to Excel India in an exclusive interview at her Lotus Pond residence in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad on December 15, Thursday. Sharmila is in politics much before she started YSRTP as she participated in election campaign of her brother and AP CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy when he was in jail. Known for her sharp oratorical skills, Sharmila now wants to make an impact in Telangana politics too.
She is planning to contest from Paleru assembly seat in 2023 assembly elections. After the Left parties have come close to BRS since Munugode assembly by-election, this seat is likely to be allotted to CPI(M) and its state secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram is expected to be in the fray here. Evolving political weather is not that easy for Sharmila, but she appeared confident of facing it successfully. Excerpts from her interview.
What is your assessment of political situation in Telangana, how will you face it?
CM KCR came to power in 2018 assembly elections by making tall promises, but not fulfilling what he promised to people four years before. Most of his promises like double bed rooms to the poor, or fee reimbursement to students or three acres land to Dalits etc. But, people gave him a second choice, because, there was no strong alternative to him. Even now, he failed to implement what he promised to them. We, YSRTP is now here to provide that alternative.
What about the claims of BJP and Congress as alternatives to KCR?
They are not in that position. Please let me allow to say that BJP is nowhere in rural areas or villages. The party leaders are mostly urban centric. They are planning to expand not based on their real strength, but by wooing leaders from other parties. Instead of telling people what they will do for them, they are mostly depending on sentimental issues like religeon. I don’t think, BJP is an alternative.
Congress is almost disappeared from the fray. They are a divided house. Look at their performance in recent elections in the State. The party leaders are still depending on the good work done by late YSR when he was the CM. Till now Congress banked on the image or works done by YSR. But now that we are here to take forward YSR’s policies or ideology, people will trust us and will support us.
Isn’t it a bit exaggeration to say that you on your own will provide alternative to KCR?
Not at all. I, as someone who toured extensively among people during my Padayatra, saying this that my words are not exaggeration. Wherever I went, people told me that the roads or benefits either in the form of welfare or development were done to them during the period of YSR. They still remember him. We should not forget the fact that as many as 700 people died of shock after the tragic demise of YSR. Their support is with me.
And I am fighting the misrule of KCR in Telangana. I have brought to the notice of investigating agencies of corruption in Kaleswaram project. That the biggest scam in recent times. I am only person courageously exposing the dictatorial attitude of CM KCR. That’s the reason he is trying to stop me and harass me with police cases. But, I am confident that finally people will be with me.
Bhumi Puja of party office at Paleru
On December 16, Friday, Sharmila along with her mother YS Vijayamma performed Bhumi Puja for YSRTP office at Paleru and announced that she would contest the coming assembly elections from the constituency. Later addressing a public meeting, Sharmila said: “From now onward, I am the daughter of Paleru and I am one you. I am going to fight elections from here”.
Sharmila said that her party would fight for restoration of welfare schemes launched by late father YS Rajasekhara Reddy. “I am the daughter of Rajanna (YSR) and I will fight for bringing back the welfare schemes of Rajanna. I am not going to back off until I achieve my goals of securing justice to the poor,” she said. Vijayamma wished all the best for Sharmila and said that people should bless her daughter as one among them.