Opinion: Did Jagan Attempt to Overshadow YSR’s Legacy?

Former Chief Minister and PCC president of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. YS Rajasekhar Reddy left an indelible mark in the hearts of the masses with his welfare schemes when he served the state from 2004-2009. This is why his birth anniversary is being celebrated like a festival all over AP and Telangana by his fans on July 8th every year. He was a cut above the rest because of his magnanimity towards the weaker sections and farmers. Even his opponents praised YSR for his impeccable moral compass and for the way he always strived for decency and decorum during assembly sessions and media interactions when he was at the helm of affairs in the state.

Even after 15 years of his death, YSR’s legacy holds relevance in the politics of Telugu states. Every time there is a discussion about issues like education, health care, welfare of farmers, YSR is remembered by the people and the political spectrum. This is because of the people-centric initiatives he undertook when he was the CM of the state. Arogya Sri, Fee Reimbursement, Housing scheme, 108 Ambulances etc. are some of those which made him a demigod among his supporters.

YSR’s son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2019-2024, initially appeared that he would emulate his father’s legacy and live up to the high expectations of the true successor’s tag when he made his political debut in 2011. Unfortunately, general public perception now is that Jagan doesn’t hold a candle for his father. After witnessing Jagan’s style of politicking in the last five years, many came to an opinion that he is no match to his father.

Though it was initially projected that YSRCP was established to uphold the ideologies advocated by his father Rajasekhar Reddy and used his popularity and strong image to consolidate the vote share of the party, Jagan later tried to overshadow him and gave an impression that he is bigger than his father after securing a landslide victory in 2019 elections, opinion few political analysts.

YS Jagan’s vendetta politics, destructive policies and anti-developmental decisions are quite contrary to the ones adopted by Rajasekhar Reddy when he took over the reigns of the state from Chandrababu Naidu in 2004. Moreover, YSR always worked like ‘Leader’ but never behaved like a ‘Dictator’ which is the tag attributed to Jagan after his five year rule. This is why many of YSR’s ardent supporters turned hostile against Jagan in the recent elections. and the historic defeat in Rayalaseema which is one of the strongholds for YSR’s family since they entered politics is a testimony to this fact.