Rudra Raju exits as Andhra Congress chief to pave way for Sharmila

Gidugu Rudra Raju resigns as president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), with Y.S. Sharmila as the new party chief

Is YS Sharmila (L), former supremo of the YSR Telangana Party who recently merged it with the Congress, set to replace Gidugu Rudra Raju (R) as president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC)? (photo: IANS)
Is YS Sharmila (L), former supremo of the YSR Telangana Party who recently merged it with the Congress, set to replace Gidugu Rudra Raju (R) as president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC)? (photo: IANS)
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IANS

Gidugu Rudra Raju has resigned as the president of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), in a move that sources suggest may pave the way for the appointment of Y.S. Sharmila as the new party chief.

Rudra Raju, who was seen travelling with Rahul Gandhi on the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, has handed in his resignation letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

This comes amid the buzz that the AICC (All-India Congress Committee) may appoint Sharmila as the APCC president ahead of the simultaneous elections to the Andhra state Assembly and the Lok Sabha.

Rudra Raju, who was appointed APCC president in 2022, had recently welcomed Sharmila into the Congress. Sources say he offered to quit the post to make way for her.

Sharmila, sister of incumbent Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and daughter of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y. Rajasekhara Reddy, merged her YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) with the Congress on 4 January.

Sharmila recalled that her father YSR not only served the Congress party his entire life but also gave his life serving the Congress party.

“It was my father's dream to see Mr Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister and I am happy that I am going to be a part of making that happen,” she said at the time. Sharmila had added that she was ready to take up any role that would benefit the party.

“I am ready to take any responsibility given by the party. Need not be Andhra Pradesh, I am ready to take the responsibility even if it is Andaman,” she had told the media.

Sharmila, who had actively campaigned for the YSR Congress Party in the 2019 elections, had been increasingly sidelined by Jagan Mohan Reddy after the party came to power with a landslide victory.

In 2021, she entered politics in Telangana independently and floated the YSRTP.

However, she did not contest the recent Assembly elections in Telangana. She claimed that since Congress stood a chance of winning in Telangana, she graciously withheld YSRTP from contesting the Assembly elections as she did not want to divide the anti-KCR votes.

After Revanth Reddy came to power as chief minister, Sharmila said she was happy to have contributed to the Congress victory in Telangana in this capacity.

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