How YS Jaganmohan Reddy is following in his father’s footsteps

Will 'Jagananna' achieve his 10-year-old dream of becoming chief minister of the state?

 |  3-minute read |   11-01-2019
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46-year-old YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s entry into politics was not planned. The tragic demise of his father – and former Congress Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) – forced him to make an entry into public life.

Till the death of his father YSR, YS Jagan – popularly called ‘Jagananna’ – was living in Bangalore and kept away from the politics of Andhra Pradesh where his father was a veteran. But after the tragic death of YSR in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009, Jagan returned to the state which was facing political uncertainty as the Congress was in the process of finding a suitable candidate to take over the CM's office.

It is said that a section of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Congress leadership wanted YS Jagan to be announced as the chief minister of the state, but the Congress high command chose not to do so – triggering anger among YSR and YS Jagan supporters.

ysj3-copy_011019045059.jpegA young Jagan kept away from politics. Today, he's moving confidently towards the CM's chair. (Photo: Ashish Pandey)

And so, just six months after his father's demise, Jagan started touring the state under an 'Odarpu Yatra' (condolence tour). Amid growing sympathy and support, the ‘Odarpu Yatra’ reportedly irked the Congress’ central leadership and YS Jagan was soon shown the door by the party.

On December 7, 2010, from his father's constituency, Pulivendula of Kadappa district, YS Jagan announced his own party and named it  ‘Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party’ (YSRCP).

After formation of the party, the YSRCP secured a stunning win in the 2012 assembly bypolls, wresting 15 out of 18 seats.

However, it lost the 2014 state elections, resulting in the formation of a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government that came into power a decade after YSR had dethroned its chief, Chandrababu Naidu, in 2004.

Now comes an interesting piece of history which Andhra Pradesh is witnessing again – and many say this is the making of another history.

ysr1-copy_011019044354.jpgYSJ, like YSR? Experts are drawing similarities between the political rise of father and son. (Photo: PTI)

Ahead of the 2004 polls, YS Rajasekhar Reddy – as the Congress party's leader – undertook a 1500 km long padayatra during which he covered 11 districts of what was then a united Andhra Pradesh.

The padayatra focused heavily on the prevailing drought situation and when the 2004 election was held, YSR emerged victorious as he threw Chandrababu Naidu, a two-time chief minister, out of his chair.

ysj2-copy_011019045012.jpegYS Jagan concluded his over-3000 km-long ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatra’, covering all 13 districts of the state. (Photo: Ashish Pandey)

Now, as his son YS Jagan concludes his over-3000 km-long ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatra’, covering all 13 districts of the state, touching 136 out of 175 Assembly constituencies, experts are drawing similarities between the political rise of father and son. 

Many believe that following in his father’s footstep, 'Jagananna' will overthrow TDP chief Naidu, who is facing acute anti-incumbency, and will achieve his 10-year-old dream of becoming chief minister of the state. 

Also read: After Telangana drubbing, can Chandrababu Naidu still assert his claim to lead anti-Modi brigade?


Ashish Pandey @ashi_indiatoday

Author is associate editor with India Today TV

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