Y.S. Sharmila
Y.S. Sharmila's entry may change political equation in AndhraIANS

In a dramatic turn of events in Andhra Pradesh, YS Sharmila Reddy, the state Congress leader and sister of YSRCP chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, alleged on Thursday that she sought refuge in the Congress office to evade what she claims was an attempted house arrest by the government.

However, on Thursday the police virtually detained her in the office to prevent her from leading the 'Chalo Secretariat' march demanding that the YSRCP government address the problems of unemployed youth and students and to demand a Mega DSC (District Selection Committee) to fill teachers' posts in the state.

Sharmila Reddy, who spent the night in the party office Andhra Ratna to avoid house arrest, said the government had promised to fill 23,000 posts of teachers but issued DSC notification only for 6,000 posts. She demanded that the YSRCP Government apologise to the unemployed.

A large number of policemen remained deployed around Andhra Ratna to stop Sharmila Reddy from coming out. Rudra Raju and other leaders and Congress workers were already arrested. Reacting sharply to the arrests, Sharmila Reddy said they were arrested for pulling up the YSRCP Government for turning mega DSC into 'dagha' DSC.

She demanded immediate release of the arrested leaders. She said the government was arresting all those questioning it. "Thousands of policemen have been deployed around us. Iron fencing has been put up to detain us. They are arresting us for standing by the unemployed. You are dictators who are trying to stop us," she posted on X.

"Is it not shameful that I as a woman had to spend the night at the party office to avoid house arrest. Are we terrorists or anti-social elements," Y.S. Sharmila asked.

A video circulating widely online depicts her reclining on a cot on the floor of the party's office in Vijayawada.

This incident follows her leadership of a Congress demonstration, named Chalo Secretariat, aimed at addressing purported issues faced by unemployed youths and students.

During a media address at Andhra Ratna Bhavan in Vijayawada the previous day, Sharmila criticized Jagan Mohan Reddy's administration for what she perceives as a failure to tackle crucial concerns of youth and unemployment over the past five years.

She further alleged on social media platform X that there were efforts to confine her to her residence. Sharmila decried the perceived heavy police presence surrounding her, asserting that she and others were effectively being held captive.

YS Sharmila
YS Sharmila with his brother and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore echoed these sentiments, condemning what he characterized as Jagan Mohan Reddy's authoritarian stance and the alleged suppression of democratic rights by the police.

Sharmila's foray into the Congress party came on January 4, quickly propelling her to the position of state chief. Prior to this, she had led the YSR Telangana Party, which she founded in July 2021 after a reported falling out with her brother.

As the head of the Andhra Pradesh Congress, she has accused Jagan Mohan Reddy of prioritizing other agendas over development, citing increased incidents of discrimination against Dalits and the dominance of mining and sand mafias. Additionally, she criticized Jagan Mohan Reddy for what she sees as his inaction on issues such as the special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

(With inputs from IANS)