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Andhra Pradesh - Cuddapah Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

A 26-year wait for the top job

By M.V.Subrahmanyam

CUDDAPAH, MAY 12. It is a dream come true for the Congress stalwart, Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy (55), who is taking over as Chief Minister of the State on May 14, after a 26-year-long political career in which he never tasted defeat at the hustings.

The 55-year-old crowd-puller of the Congress is succeeding the IT-savvy Chief Minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who served in the post for nine years, although they were contemporary politicians. A MBBS graduate from Gulbarga Medical College in Karnataka, he began his career by joining the Campbell Mission Hospital at Jammalamadugu as a medical officer. Later, he practiced medicine for five more years at Pulivendula, where his father, Y.S. Raja Reddy, constructed a 70-bed hospital. He was simultaneously president of the house surgeons association in Sri Venkateswara University.

Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy entered politics in 1978, when he was elected to the State Assembly from Pulivendula in Cuddapah district. He never looked back and went on to become the Cuddapah Lok Sabha member for four terms and won as Pulivendula MLA for the fifth term now. He became the Minister for Medical and Health in the State Cabinet in 1980-81, Minister for Rural Development in 1981, Excise Minister in 1981-82 and as Minister for Education in 1982-83.

YSR, as he is popularly known, became the youngest Congress Committee president in the State from 1983-85. He led the party as the APCC president for the second time in June 1998. He went on to become the vice-president of the Congress Legislature Party in 1999 end and became the CLP leader. Hailing from Balapanur village in Simhadripuram mandal in Cuddapah district, he strained every nerve to enthuse the party cadre, arouse public opinion against the Chandrababu Naidu Government's policies with his padayatra, bus yatra and rode on the Congress wave to power.

His unrelenting efforts to expose the TDP policies finally yielded fruit and he is donning the mantle of the Chief Ministership. Chief Ministers from three Rayalaseema districts - Kurnool, Cuddapah and Chittoor - served in the past and now Cuddapah district has got the opportunity, with YSR at the helm.

The Congress cadre in Cuddapah district is elated that their charismatic leader is becoming the Chief Minister and scores of them have gone to Hyderabad to greet him for the landslide victory of the party under his leadership. People of the district are also hoping that the `son of the soil' would accord priority to developing the perennially drought-prone district, by augmenting irrigation facilities and generating employment besides implementing the promises such as free power supply to agriculturists.

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