The Minister disputes her claim of being a true political heir of YSR

YSR Congress leader Sharmila’s claim of a true political heir of her father and former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy during her padayatra at Ravikampadu, an upland village in West Godavari district on Thursday night, drew sharp criticism from the ruling Congress.

Social Welfare Minister Pitani Satyanarayana, speaking at a rytu sadassu at his Achanta constituency, took Ms. Sharmila to task for trying to own up her father in politics by whipping up sentiments in the public in her party’s favour. “After all, it is the Congress which has got every right to own up Rajasekhara Reddy, for he began his career in politics in the Congress as a true loyalist of the Nehru family and served the party for nearly three decades in several disciplines, which included the Chief Minister. She cannot claim to be the heir of Rajasekhara Reddy just because of the fact that she happened to be his daughter,” the Minister asserted. Had Rajasekhara Reddy been alive, he would not have owned up his ‘wayward’ son Jaganmohan Reddy, also the president of the YSRC, languishing in jail for his alleged corrupt deeds, Mr. Satyanarayana added.

Touch of sentiment

Ms. Sharmila made a conscious attempt at a programme held to mark her eventful padayatra to foment father-daughter sentiment in politics. Ms. Sharmila unveiled a 24 ft-high statue of Rajasekhara Reddy at Rajapadu village under Kamavarapukota mandal, marking her 2000 km-long walkathon. Y.S. Vijayamma, honorary president of the YSRC, also played up mother sentiment, alleging that the ruling Congress had conspired to jail her ‘innocent’ son Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy.

Ms. Sharmila made use of every opportunity to project herself as a true adherent of late Rajasekhara Reddy by literally following in his foot prints. Rajasekhar Reddy entered West Godavari district at Gurubhatlagudem from Khammam district as a foot soldier in 2003 and Ms. Sharmilar too, incidentally, is following the same route.

Ms. Sharmila quite often reminisces of the massive public response her father had received during his walkathon and profusely thanks people for supporting him in the crusade against the then alleged misrule of the TDP. She vows to fight out the similar kind of ‘misrule’ of the Kirankumar Reddy government in a similar manner.

Like her father, she takes short break from the padayatra on and off to reach out to the people and speak to them in their own dialect and diction.

The complaints were galore on the drinking water problem and the problems associated with the uneven prices of the palm oil fruits during the padayatra.