Y S Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR)
Born in July 1949 at the nearby Jammalamadugu town mission hospital, Y S Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR) has been a ''good student." A Doctor by profession, YSR completed his MBBS degree from Gulbarga in Karnataka in 1972. Six years later he plunged into Andhra Pradesh politics, contesting the 1978 assembly elections from Pulivendla as a Congress party nominee. He served as the Rural Development Minister in T Anjaiah’s Ministry from 1980 to 1982.
In the year 1983, he became the youngest ever Congress Chiefminister in the state. In the year 1989, YSR won the Cuddapah Lok Sabha seat for the first time and repeated this feat in 1991, 1996 and 1998.Flitting from one controversy to the other, YSR is known to have made as many friends as enemies during his political career. Several Congress and Opposition leaders alleged that he was among those who instigated the 1990 Hyderabad communal riots. After the success of the Congress party in the 1994 assembly elections, YSR was tipped to be the hot favourite for the CM’s post, but again ysr had to see the back, as senior leader Kotla Vijaya Bhankar Reddy grabbed the position.In the past decade and half of Andhra Pradesh politics, the Congress Party has seen its best and worst times. At times, they overwhelmed the Andhra voters and grabbed the power from ruling N T Rama Rao of Telugu Desam Party. But after his death, his son-in-law Mr Nara Chandra Babu Naidu has taken charge of the proceedings and have kept the boat sailing.In an exclusive interview with www.khojhyderabad.com, he shared his anguish about the policies of present ruling set-up in the state.Excerpts from the interview:Q.Inspite of having some dynamic leaders like you, Mr Rosaiah and some others, what is the reason for the downfall of the Congress Party in the state ?A.What do you mean by down ? (with stress in his speech) During the 1994 assembly elections, our strength was 26 and now it is 91. Do you mean to say that it is better or worse…we have improved our position, from 26 to 91 and from here we are moving towards the 150 mark. It is only a matter of time for us.Q.What was the major reason for the defeat in the last elections?A.Chandra Babu Naidu has used the money power extensively. He spent more than Rs 50 – 60 lakhs in reserved constituencies. This was one major factor. Secondly, the combination of TDP – BJP, especially the advantage which BJP had because of Kargil War and some sort of sympathy towards Vajpayee helped them a lot. This helped them in getting more number of seats. And incidentally, in the last assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Congress Party secured 43 % of the votes, which is the highest that any single party got anywhere in the country. In the same elections, with 38 % of the votes, Congress Party came to power in Karnataka
.Q.But still, Congress could not come to power in Andhrapradesh ?
A.That is exactly what I am trying to say, the combination has helped them (TDP) a lot. But as a single party, we got the highest percentage of votes.
Q.Tell me three negative points about Congress party in AP ?
A.Congress party is not a regional party, and at the regional level, we have some inner party conflicts, which is one negative factor for us. And for any decisions to make at the regional level also, we have to look up to Delhi and wait for the high command’s reply. This is one more major negative point for us.
Q.So, is Congress also looking for tie-ups and alliances with other parties ?
A.We basically are not interested in tie-ups, except when it is absolutely necessary. We want to build on our own self, and from 43 % if we can improve to 50 %, no combination will be able to deter us
.Q. What do you have to say about the tehelka.com episode?A.What should I say (brief pause), the entire country saw that, through all the television channels. Even after this, the Vajpayee government is not ready to take any sort of action against Bangaru Laxman…what sort of democracy is this, what more can I say…tell me.Q.As an oppostion what are you doing then…
A.We are trying to take this issue into the people and educate them about the misdeeds happening. As a responsible opposition party, we always try to oppose the government.
Q.With the advent of this IT boom… are you satisfied with the development of the state?
A.When the IT boom started in the year 1995 – 96, our software exports were just about less than 40 crores than that of Karnataka, this year our IT exports are less than 4000 crores than that of Karnataka.
Q.But the overall exports levels have increased…
A.(Starts with laughs) Earlier, in 1995 – 96 we were No. 3 in IT exports, now we have dropped down to No. 6, do you think that this is progress. Now it is for you to decide.
Q.What about the other development policies of this government…have they not showed any progress for the state…
A.What more policies do they have…these fellows do not how to govern…they don’t know what the priorities are. For example, of the 28,000 crore rupees, which Chandra Babu Naidu has taken as loans after he came into power, only 11,000 crores have gone into development activities, the rest 17,000 crore rupees have gone to bridge the gap of revenue defecit. Do you call this progress ?
Q.After all this…can you tell me at least one positive point about this government?
A.This government, without doing much work, without doing any real development talks upon it. It is a totally mismanaged