'I'm the missile fired by Jagan'

IDUPULAPAYA: Sharmila announced her arrival in the political field in the state when she campaigned for YSR Congress candidate Konda Surekha during the by-elections in Parkal in Warangal in June this year. While Surekha lost, Sharmila stole the thunder with her feisty speech. On Thursday, Sharmila was her usual fiery self before launching the 'Maro Praja Prasthanam' padayatra at Idupulapaya, the YSR family's home turf. And this time, the sister of YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy brooked nothing less than a victory for her brother and the party in the 2014 elections.

Comparing herself to Arjuna's 'saradhi', she roared, "I am the missile fired by Jagan to dethrone this Congress government. My brother is the archer and I am his arrow." Repeating what she said in Parkal, Sharmila introduced herself as "YSR's daughter, Jagan's sister and an ordinary worker of YSR CP... I am launching this padayatra to bring back Rajanna rajyam (YSR's rule)." While her late father YSR brought the Congress to power in 2003 with his Maha Prasthanam (1,500-km padayatra), Sharmila is scheduled to walk over 3,000 km covering all the 23 districts.

Tearing into the Congress and TDP, Sharmila alleged that both the parties were against the existence of a third political party in the state. That was the reason why Chandrababu Naidu had launched his padayatra and ensured that Jagan remained in jail for a longer period. "Both TDP and Congress are hand in glove to keep Jagananna away from the people. But Jagan will come back and usher in Rajanna rajyam," she thundered, drawing loud cheers from thousands of villagers, followers, and YSR CP supporters. She said cases against Naidu were never pursued while her was put under the scanner by various agencies. "Why only Jagan?" she asked and alleged that a delegation of TDP MPs met Union minister Chidambaram asking him to influence the judge and utilise the Enforcement Directorate to frame Jagan. "It was on the same day the ED had attached the properties of Sakshi group," she saidand expressed confidence that the padayatra would be concluded by Jagan after his release from the jail

. Sharmila's padayatra was flagged off by her mother Vijayamma. "One of my children is in jail and I am sending another to you," Vijayamma said and added they were surviving because of the people's love and support despite Congress' witch-hunt.

She said the padayatra was Jagan's idea when they met him in Chanchalguda jail recently. "He wanted us to remain with the people, listen, understand and solve their problems. Since Jagan is in jail, my daughter Sharmila had volunteered to take up the padayatra," she said. Vijayamma said they would expose the state government and its nexus with the TDP in targeting Jagan during Sharmila's padayatra. Sources said the padayatra is a counter to Naidu's 117-day walkathon he launched on October 2 from Hindupur.

Earlier, accompanied by her mother and Jagan's wife Bharathi, Sharmila paid tributes at the YSR Ghat in their sprawling Idupulapya estate. A multi-religious prayer was organised where priests wished her luck for the success of her padayatra. Later, Sharmila visited the nearby IIIT and interacted with the students.

On the first day, she walked 13 km covering Veerannagattupalle, Kumarampalle and Vempally intersection waving to the people and party activists. She wore a black badge in protest against the 'inefficient' Congress government and urged all those walking with her to wear the badges. She stayed overnight at Rajiv Nagar Colony.


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