I am the real alternative to TRS in Telangana: YSRTP chief Sharmila

YSRTP chief completes 2,000 km of padayatra

September 11, 2022 10:01 pm | Updated September 12, 2022 03:56 am IST - Hyderabad:

YSR Telangana Party president Y.S. Sharmila during an Interview with The Hindu at Kothakota in Wanaparthy district on September 10, 2022.

YSR Telangana Party president Y.S. Sharmila during an Interview with The Hindu at Kothakota in Wanaparthy district on September 10, 2022. | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

YSR Telangana Party chief Y.S. Sharmila completed 2,000 km out of her intended 4,000 km Praja Prasthanam padayatra in Telangana on Saturday. She spoke to The Hindu about her experience, people’s response, failures of the government, political prospects of her party and YSR’s legacy that she feels belongs to her and not the Congress party.

Q: What difference do you want to make with this walkathon?

Ans: It’s not about the difference but about highlighting people’s problems. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao claims Telangana is in bliss but people are actually suffering. People are repeatedly saying KCR failed on all his promises like loan waiver, free education, 2-BHKs, a job for each house, unemployment dole, three acres of land, free fertilizers, reservations to minorities and land rights to STs. Aarogyasri, Jala Yagnam, Fee Reimbursement, loans to SHGs of YSR era are now shelved by the TRS.

Q: Do you think people still connect with YSR and those emotions?

Ans: There were such apprehensions among several but people’s tremendous response proves those apprehensions wrong. There is so much goodwill for YSR even now and people remember him and express their desire to see his kind of governance.

Q: There is a perception that Sharmila’s entry into Telangana is driven by some other parties?

Ans: That is wrong. I would have joined those political parties rather than working so hard on the ground. I am driven by the YSR brand and no party in Telangana has the credibility to inspire me to join them. I assure you this is not motivated by any other political party. It has its own identity.

Q: Your brother is a CM of AP. People suspect you of being a front of YS Jagan in Telangana?

Ans: It is not easy to float a party and sustain it. It would have been easier for me to join YSRCP or other parties to enter into Telangana politics.

Q: Who is the beneficiary of YSR’s legacy in Telangana. Is it Sharmila, Congress or Y.S. Jagan at some point of time?

Ans: It will be certainly Sharmila. People directly relate me to my father. They like my willpower and the audacity to challenge the system.

Q: Where do you think your party stands now politically and where will you end up by the end of padayatra?

Ans: We will end up as the only alternative to TRS. People will decide my destiny and not other political parties.

Q: Will people accept you when your brother is a CM in a separate state and that too in an emotionally created state like Telangana?

Ans: People have already accepted me. YSR’s image is beyond a region and a party. His free power benefitted more in Telangana than in other regions. People accepted me as I was raised here, studied here, married here and my kids are born here. People accepted me as YSR’s daughter and it is not at all an issue.

Q: What is your party’s stand in Munugode elections?

Ans: The bypoll itself is wrong and selfishness of one person and one party has brought it. I want the Election Commission of India to deny the right to resign and join other parties once people voted for them to serve for five years. Personally, I have nothing to do with this poll but our leaders prefer contesting. We have not given a full thought to it.

Q: What’s your stake on national politics?

Ans: Right now, it looks like Congress has lost its sheen and Mr. Modi is where he is.

Q: What prospects do you see for Telangana as a State-specific?

Ans: It deserves much better than what KCR is giving. It has the potential to be the best one if served with sincerity.

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