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YS Sharmila, YSR Telangana Party Founder and AP CM's Sister, Joins Congress

YSR Telangana party founder and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Sharmila, has joined Congress

YSR Telangana Party founder YS Sharmila.
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YSR Telangana Party founder and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Sharmila, joined Congress on Thursday in the presence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge and leader Rahul Gandhi. Sharmila merged her YSR Telangana Party into the Congress. 

The development comes weeks after Congress bagged a massive win in the Telangana assembly elections and removed from power K Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), a rival of YS Sharmila.

Addressing the gathering at her joining event, Sharmila said it gives, "Today, I am very happy to be merging YSR Telangana party into the Congress party. It gives me immense joy that the YSR Telangana Party is going to be a part of the Indian National Congress from today onwards."  

"It was father's dream to see Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of our country and I am very glad that I am going to be a part in making that happen," YS Sharmila said.

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Speculation were rife before the Telangana polls also over YS Sharmila's possible merger with the Congress, with some reports saying that Sharmila would either disband her party - which she had floated in 2021 - and join the Grand Old party or merge with it.   

Sharmila, daughter of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Congress leader YS Rajasekhar Reddy, is likely to be given a key position in Congress, reports have said, adding that Congress aims to revive itself in Andhra Pradesh, where polls are slated to take place this year alongside the Lok Sabha election. 

With Sharmila-led YSR Telangana Party's merger with Congress, a member of the YSR family will now directly be taking on the YSRCP-led by Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

YS Sharmila first made headlines in 2012 when she joined her mother, YS Vijayamma, to campaign for the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh in the absence of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who in May that year was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on embezzlement charges.

This happened when Telangana had not been carved out of Andhra Pradesh. Amid the escalating statehood movement, Sharmila's brother Jagan Mohan Reddy had broken away from the Congress and established the YSR Congress Party (YSCRP) in 2011. Joining him were 18 MLAs, and a Congress MP also resigned, triggering a series of bypolls. While Jagan Reddy was in custody due to corruption allegations in 2012, his mother YS Sharmila along with their mother YS Vijayamma spearheaded the campaign, leading the YSCRP's sweeping victory in the bypolls.

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