Sunday, September 19, 2021

What would YSR’s friends, admirers say?

  • Key meeting at Tivoli on the 12th death anniversary of YSR
  • KVP, Vundavalli and others to attend
  • Would Jagan Mohan Reddy show up?

Hyderabad: Politicians, journalists, industrialists and writers who admired late YS Rajasekhara Reddy are going to meet at Tivoli hotel (Hytex) here at 5.30 pm on Thursday, his 12th death anniversary. YSR had a legion of friends and admirers among all sections of people. About 300 of them would be meeting for the first time after the sad demise of the leader.

YSR’s wife Vijayalakshmi invited many of them personally. The invitees  include former Congress MPs Dr. KVP Ramachandra Rao, Vundavalli Arun Kumar, former Speaker Suresh Reddy, present education minister of TS Sabitha Indra Reddy, Congress leader Gita Reddy, BJP leader DK Aruna, former PCC chief Raghuveera Reddy, former minister Shabbir Ali and others. D Srinivas,  PCC president twice, has also been invited. It is not known if Vijayalaskhmi has invited her son Jagan Mohan Reddy to the event and if invited whether he would show up or not.

There were reports in the media speculating on the reasons for holding a meet at this point in time after establishment of  a political party in YSR’s name in Telangana by his daughter YS Sharmila Reddy. There have been speculations right from the day Sharmila announced her intention to launch a political party in Telangana State. Why Telangana, why not Andhra? If she has any problem with her brother, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, as the rumours say,  and she wants to settle scores with him Andhra Pradesh would be the proper place for launching a party. Why toil in Telangana where the YSR’s admirers are distributed in various party and they are not enough to make her win and become chief minister of TS.

If Sharmila had any grouse against her brother, the argument goes, she should have launched a party in Andhra Pradesh and undertaken an intensive tour of the State taking Suneetha, daughter of Vivekananda Reddy, who was murdered a year ago, with her. It would have unsettled Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party. Even if Vijayalakshmi does not make her affection for her daughter public, the people would have guessed as they liked and it would have made news.

The theory that Jagan Mohan Reddy and Sharmila are at loggerheads since the latter was denied  a Rajya Sabha seat is generally believed to be true by the people . But persons who are thorough with Andhra Pradesh politics ask if that is so why not she fight her brother where it hurts him most. By going to Telangana, she lost her claim to be a politician in AP. Her credibility as a leader also got dented because  of her decision to launch her party in a neighboring State where people once admired YSR but they had gone too far in the last twelve years to vote for his daughter. Much water had flown under Chadarghat bridge in Hyderabad and Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada and politics of Telugu people had undergone a sea change.

Observers say although Sharmila would work very hard and take her upcoming walkathon (Paadayaatra) seriously, popular admiration for her would not overcome the Telangana sentiment which had taken roots over the years. And the perception that YSR did oppose bifurcation of the united Andhra Pradesh cannot be erased so easily. Ultimately they conclude that Sharmila, a fighter and a strong-willed person though, is fighting in the wrong place and against wrong people. She has not surrounded herself with known and credible faces either. Her first step itself is incorrect, they argue.

The Thursday meet, however,  would be interesting to watch to know who would turn up and what would they say. The programme is meant to make YSR’s friends and admirers talk about him recalling their association with him.  How many of the leaders would be warmly remembering the late leader and who would be brisk and short in their recollections would be watched with a lot of curiosity. Inviting YSR’s admirers from all walks of life insisting that the gathering is going to be apolitical is, in itself, a clever idea.  

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