YS Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and leader of YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP), is reportedly set to join the Congress soon, according to a report from Indian Express.
Speculations had arisen before the Telangana Assembly elections in November last year about Sharmila merging her party with the Congress, but the merger did not materialise.
Talks between Sharmila and former YSRCP MP Y V Subba Reddy, her uncle, failed, and Jagan reportedly sent Subba Reddy to convince Sharmila to join the YSRCP.
However, Sharmila declined and has decided to join the Congress. The brother-sister duo, who parted ways politically in July 2021, has not seen eye-to-eye on many issues since their father died in 2009.
Sharmila's entry into the Congress could set the stage for a potential brother-sister contest in the upcoming simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
The report further suggests that their political differences, financial issues, and Sharmila's desire for political space have strained their relationship.
Sharmila, who had launched the YSRTP in Telangana, faced challenges in capturing voters' imagination in the state and has been involved in controversies, including assaulting a policeman on duty.
While the specific role Sharmila will play in the Congress remains undisclosed, there are suggestions that she could be made an AICC (All India Congress Committee) general secretary or receive a Rajya Sabha nomination from Karnataka.
Sharmila is expected to meet top Congress leadership in New Delhi on 4 January before formally joining the party.
The potential entry of Sharmila into the Congress has been welcomed by Andhra Pradesh Congress leaders, anticipating a boost to the party's chances in the state. Sharmila's political experience and potential support from other leaders may impact the political landscape in Andhra Pradesh.
The possibility of an alliance between the Congress and Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has also been discussed, but challenges exist due to the TDP's current alliance with the Jana Sena Party and inclination towards the BJP.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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