Dr.Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy (8 July 1949 – 2 September 2009), who died 12 years ago in helicopter crash in Nallamala forest was multifaceted personality.
As a person hails from his native district of Kadapa as well as my stint in journalism, I have witnessed ups and downs in his three decade long career in politics.Dr YSR joined active politics in 1978 and won the Pulivendula constituency same year and became Minister of State for Rural Development (1980–82), and later shifted to Excise Minister (1982) and Education Minister (1982–83). He continued to retain the same constituency in 1983 and 1985, even when Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao swept the power and the party fared badly in the latter, which saw Indira Gandhi making him State president of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) at the young age of 34. He even continued the winning streak for Kadapa Loksabha constituency for four terms in 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Lok Sabha.
His return to state politics saw him winning 1999 Assembly elections from same Pulivendula constituency during which he served as Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh State Assembly (1999–2004), but his subsequent winning in 2004 Assembly elections saw him sworn in as 14th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh serving full-term.
He won 2009 Assembly elections and continued his tenure as 15th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, which was abruptly cut short by his death on 2 September 2009. When Dr YSR embarked on his Praja Prasthanam, a march through the length and breadth of undivided Andhra Pradesh, he established an instant connect with the man in the street wherever he went.
During his tenure of Chief Minister, he provided free electricity for farmers, a health insurance program for rural people- Rajiv Aarogya Sree , 108 free ambulance services, full reimbursement of college tuition fee for underprivileged and reservations for Muslim minorities . Apart from the above, his tenure also saw significant development in irrigation in united Andhra Pradesh. All these made possible to retain power after five years despite formation a grand alliance ( Maha kootami) with TDP, TRS and Communist parties against him. He fought single handedly and instrumental for giving highest number of 33 Loksabha seats which helped the Dr Manmohan Singh led UPA to retain the power at the Centre in 2009.
His tenure also witnessed balanced development of agriculture, industry and welfare. He had good understanding on irrigation and I invited him to address “ meet-Press” at Anantapur and he presented very well on irrigation subject as a leader of opposition in AP Assembly in 2002.Instrumental for Sri City in most backward region:Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was instrumental for the establishment of Sricity in most backward assembly segment of Satyavedu in Chitoor district. About 7200 acres of land was acquired in a record period of 15 month through APIIC with the consent of farmers.
As a key person in LA team, I knew the magnanimity of YSR in giving three time higher than market value in 2006. He had laid the foundation stone for Sri City and handed over allotment letters for the first 10 units on 08-08-2008 and blessed the project. He was scheduled to inaugurate the same companies on 09-09-2009 but unfortunately, we lost him on 2nd September 2009.
The seed shown of that great visionary soon grew and started bearing fruits. He desired that there should be 1,00,000 jobs in Sri City.Sri City is currently home to 190 Companies from 28 countries with total investments close to USD 4 Billion and creating employment of over 50,000. The exports from Sri City SEZ is over USD 1.518 Billion till Jan 2021. Sri City SEZ alone had a turnover of Rs. 34,605 crores during 2019-2020.
The Domestic Tariff Area would have contributing significantly through GST, Professional Tax and other Taxes and Statutory Dues.Andhra Pradesh today stands out as one of the more aggressive States marketing itself as a manufacturing base.
The current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Mr. Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is continuing the legacy of his father Late Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy in all aspects with more vigorous in different phase. Rich tributes to Late YSR on his 12th death anniversary.
- Ramachandra Reddy Palavali