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Andhra: Sharmila to take on cousin Avinash Reddy in Kadapa

IANS | April 02, 2024 04:53 PM

AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee President Y. S. Sharmila Reddy will take on her cousin and sitting MP Y. S. Avinash Reddy in Kadapa constituency.

Sharmila, sister of Chief Minister and YSR Congress Party President Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, will make her electoral debut from Kadapa, which has been the stronghold of the YSR family for nearly four decades.

Sharmila’s name figures in the list of five Lok Sabha candidates announced by the Congress party on Tuesday for Andhra Pradesh.

The fight between cousins assumes significance in view of the allegations against Avinash Reddy in the murder of their uncle and former minister Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy.

Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Sunitha Reddy, who has been fighting for justice for the last five years, has hailed Sharmila’s candidature. While thanking Sharmila for her support, Sunitha Reddy reiterated the allegation that Jagan Mohan Reddy knows who are the killers of her father but is still shielding them.

Sunitha Reddy said since it was her father’s wish that Sharmila contest the election from Kadapa, she welcomed her candidature. She has already appealed to people not to vote for killers and also for Jagan’s party which is protecting them.

Sunitha Reddy claimed on March 1 that the CBI investigations into her father’s murder has come to a standstill as there is pressure on the investigating agency.

Former minister and former MP, Vivekananda Reddy, younger brother of former Chief Minister late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), was murdered at his residence in Pulivendula town of Kadapa district on March 15, 2019, weeks before the elections. He was alone at his residence.

In April last year, the CBI arrested Vivekananda Reddy’s cousin Y. S. Bhaskar Reddy, father of YSRCP MP from Kadapa, Avinash Reddy.

The CBI claimed that both Avinash and Bhaskar Reddy conspired to eliminate Vivekananda Reddy because he was against fielding Avinash Reddy from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat and wanted Jagan Mohan Reddy to instead field his mother Vijayamma or sister Sharmila. However, the father-son duo denied the allegation.

Avinash Reddy was granted anticipatory bail by the Telangana High Court on May 31, 2023 but Sunitha has challenged the same in the Supreme Court.

Avinash Reddy was elected from Kadapa in 2014 and 2019 on YSRCP ticket and despite allegations against him, Jagan Mohan Reddy has again fielded him.

After joining Congress and taking over as the state party chief, Sharmila met Sunitha Reddy on January 29 and backed her fight.

Sharmila had last year said that Vivekananda Reddy was not murdered for his property as he had already written the entire property in the name of his daughter.

With Sunitha making serious allegations and Sharmila also backing her in her fight, Jagan Mohan Reddy while addressing an election rally in Kadapa district last week accused opposition parties of a role in the murder case and remarked that people should know who is behind the murder and shielding the culprits.

Jagan Mohan Reddy also stated that his sisters Sharmila and Sunitha are playing into the hands of his opponents.

YSR family has been representing Kadapa Lok Sabha since 1989 when YSR was first elected from here. He retained the seats in 1991, 1996 and 1998. When he moved to the Assembly in 1999, his brother Vivekananda Reddy was elected from Kadapa as the Congress candidate. Vivekananda Reddy retained the seat in 2004.

In 2009, YSR’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy made his electoral debut with a victory in the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat. After the death of his father and then Chief Minister YSR and subsequent developments in ruling Congress, he floated YSR Congress Party and retained the Kadapa seat with a record majority in 2011.

In 2014, Jagan started focusing on the Pulivendula Assembly seat, also a family stronghold and left the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat for cousin Avinash Reddy.

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