Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy (8 July 1949 – 2 September 2009), popularly known as YSR, was the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He represented the Indian National Congress party.
He was elected to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Lok Sabha from the Kadapa constituency for four terms and to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for five terms from the Pulivendula constituency.
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YSR was a medical doctor by profession and a politician from his student days. Eldest of the five sons of Y.S. Raja Reddy, a dynamic local leader in his heydays, he evinced interests in politics while studying at M.R. Medical College, Gulbarga in Karnataka. He was the elected leader of the House Surgeon's Association at S.V. Medical College, Tirupati. After completing his MBBS, YSR served as medical officer at the Jammalamadugu Mission Hospital for a brief period.
In 2003 he undertook a three month long Padayatra, or walking tour, across several districts in Andhra Pradesh. He led his party to victory in the next general and assembly elections held in 2004. On September 2, 2009 a helicopter carrying YSR went missing in the Nallamalla forest area. On the morning of 3 September, 2009, media agencies reported that the helicopter had been found crashed on top of Rudrakonda Hill, 40 nautical miles from Kurnool. This was later confirmed by the Prime Minister’s office and all five persons aboard were pronounced dead at the scene.
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The hope of the Congress party and that of the people of Andhra Pradesh was shattered with the sudden demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy. A man of commitment and compassion, Reddy was a masses man and was always coming up with schemes for poor and farmers. His strong desire to provide free electricity to the farming community when there was a severe shortage of power in the country as well as in the state, shows his kindheartedness toward his people. He fearlessly announced it and successfully implemented after he came in to power and with that he became a guide for his fellow chief ministers, irrespective of political affiliations. He also played a big role in waving the crop loans to the tune of seventy thousand crores of rupees for the farmers.
He suggested Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh to waive off more loans but that could not be materialized for various reasons. Otherwise more than one lakh crores of rupees would have been waived. As he was not satisfied with the waiving of loans for only defaulters, he himself took a decision to please the honest payers, giving confidence to them and announced an incentive of five thousand rupees. This had cost the exchequer for fifteen thousand corers of rupees.
Jalayagnam, a pet programme of Reddy made some progress in the state agriculture sector. Already 20 lakh acres of land was brought under irrigation through some new irrigation projects and many such projects are still in progress. His dream of Polavaram project has got clearance and will be materialized by the end of 2014. To irrigate Telangana area, he took up number of lift irrigation projects on Krishna River. Pranahita-Chevella will be the major project, which he wanted to complete during this term.
Besides agriculture, he also gave importance to the education sector. Thinking that poverty restrict brilliant students only to degree courses like BA and BCom, he announced the reimbursement of fee, which amounted to nearly twenty five thousand crore of rupees. This helped thousands of poor students to study engineering and management courses. Regarding education, one can remember his innovative idea of starting IIIT institutes in three regions of the state. Every institute is a deemed university and accommodates 2000 rural students every year. Apart from these, he also fought with the Central government for an IIT and it was achieved.
As a politician, he was left out by his seniors and high command of the party; he never discouraged and proceeded further to strengthen the party. Padayatra was one among his programmes, which gave boost to the party in state of Andhra Pradesh. He was a leader who never faced defeat in his life. He was elected to legislative assembly for six times and four times to Parliament.