Jagan's sister Sharmila launches walkathon in AP
Kadapa: Following in the footsteps of her father, daughter of late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday launched 'Maro Praja Prasthanam' on behalf of the YSR Congress party targeting the ruling Congress and main opposition TDP in Andhra Pradesh.
Sharmila Anil took it on herself to lead the 18-month-old party as it faced a crisis with her brother and Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy in jail in a disproportionate assets case.
With Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu going round the state with their own mass contact programmes, the YSRC has also undertaken a similar programme to keep the party flag flying.
Accordingly, Sharmila embarked on the foot march from the YSR family's Idupulapaya Estate after paying homage to her late father.
Sporting a black badge as a mark of protest, Sharmila said: "My yatra is intended to expose the nexus between Congress and Telugu Desam Party and the conspiracy they launched, in concert with the CBI, to target my elder brother Jagan. All of you should support me," she pleaded.
Wife of evangelist Anil Kumar, Sharmila was blessed by her mother and YSRC honorary president YS Vijayamma and uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy as she launched the walkathon that was expected to cover 3,000 km across the state.
Seeking to strike an emotional chord, Vijayamma said: "One of my offspring is in jail. I am sending the other one to you (people). If Jagan is released from jail on bail, he will continue the yatra."
Recalling a similar 1,700-km 'Praja Prasthanam' foot march that her late husband undertook in 2003 to ride the Congress to power, the MLA from Pulivendula lamented that the situation in the state remained the same 10 years down the line.
"In 2003, Chandrababu Naidu was in power. Now, Kiran Kumar Reddy is the Chief Minister. But the problems of people remain the same," she noted.
Sharmila's yatra was to seek solution to these problems, Vijayamma added.
Jagan's wife YS Bharati and other members of YSR family were present on the occasion.