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Andhra CM's sister YS Sharmila joins Congress, calls it 'country's largest secular party'

New Delhi: In the run up to this year's Lok Sabha elections, YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) chief YS Sharmila on Thursday joined the Congress party.
She merged the YSRTP with Congress in the presence of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge at the event held at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here today.
Sharmila is the sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Addressing supporters after joining the party, Sharmila said, "Today, I'm very happy to be merging YSRTP 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."
Sharmila emphasized the Congress party's contributions to the nation and called it the "largest secular party" in the country.
"The Congress party is still the largest secular party of this country. Congress has always upheld the true culture of India and built our nation's foundation. It has unwaveringly served all communities uniting all sections of people in India," Sharmila said.
She asserted that her father and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, late YS Rajasekhara Reddy will be happy to see her following his footsteps.
"YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the leader of the Telugu people not only served the Congress party all his life but also gave his life serving the Congress party. Today it would give him great joy that his daughter is following his footsteps and is going to be a part of the Congress party itself," she said.
During the recent assembly elections in Telangana, YS Sharmila constantly rendered her support to the Congress party. She clarified that she did not contest the polls as it would have led to splitting of votes. The YSR Telangana party was founded by Sharmila in July 2021.
YS Rajasekhara Reddy had died in a helicopter accident in 2008 after which his son Jagan Mohan Reddy formed his own party.
Congress won an absolute majority in Telangana for the first time, winning 64 of 119 seats. Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which ruled India's youngest state for 10 years, won 38 seats.
As per party sources, Sharmila is likely to be given a key post in the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and also in the run-up to the Andhra Pradesh state assembly elections.

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