YSR Congress leader flays Congress, Telugu Desam
YSR Congress leader Sharmila began her 3,000-km walkathon amid milling crowds on Thursday when she accused the ruling Congress party and the Telugu Desam of entering into a nexus to keep her brother Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy away from the political centre-stage.
She launched the ‘Maro Praja Prasthanam’, a repeat of her father late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s 1,600-km long padayatra in 2003, from the family estate after paying homage at his memorial here. Flanked by her mother Y.S. Vijayamma and sister-in-law Y.S. Bharati, Ms. Sharmila announced her resolve to undertake the yatra to expose the dilution of her father’s flagship schemes by the government.
Clad in a sky-blue churidar and golden yellow dupatta, Ms. Sharmila imitated her father’s trademark gesture waving her left hand at the crowds.
“I am Y.S.R.’s daughter and an arrow released by Jagan Anna. My name is Sharmila,” she said amid thunderous applause.
Nestled between the Seshachalam hill range, the 300-acre estate bustled with thousands of partymen and women, including MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy. Ms. Sharmila’s address was directed at TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and interspersed with frequent digs at the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.
“Mr. Naidu is speaking utter lies about implementing welfare schemes during his tenure. The present government is worse than the TDP regime,” she said. Accusing Mr. Naidu of playing opportunistic politics, she asked, “Why is Mr. Naidu not moving a no-confidence motion against the Congress government?”
Ms. Vijayamma, carrying a Bible in her hand, told the crowd how her son Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy was targeted by the two principal parties and jailed, forcing her daughter to take to the streets and seek justice. She broke down more than once during her 25-minute speech.
On Thursday, Ms. Sharmila covered 14.5 km, touching Veerannagattupalli and Kummarampalli villages before rounding off the day with a public meeting at Vempalli. Accompanied by party workers sporting black ribbons, she visited the IIIT campus adjoining the Idupulapaya Estate and interacted with students.
Engineering students complained about absence of faculty as well as poor quality food served in the hostels, prompting Ms. Sharmila to recall how her father used to frequently visit the campus to monitor the facilities. Ms. Vijayamma and Ms. Sharmila sought to touch an emotional chord with the people by saying that Y.S.R. was dead while Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy was languishing in jail since four months.
“I have hit the road to explain the realities to you as Jagan Anna is unable to do so,” Ms. Sharmila said, adding that Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy would continue the walkathon once he got out of jail.