Dr. Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, was born on July 8, 1949, in Pulivendula in the Rayalaseema region.
YSR did his schooling in Balapanur and Bellary, where his father worked. He got a medical degree from the Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College, Gulbarga University, Karnataka and completed his House Surgeonship at S.V. Medical College, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. At medical college YSR was the President of the Student’s Union and was elected leader of the House Surgeon’s Association in SV Medical College. After completing his MBBS, YSR served as the Medical Officer at the Jammalamadugu Mission Hospital for a while. In 1973, he established a charitable hospital named after his father at Pulivendula.
YSR entered active politics in 1978 and was elected five times to the state Assembly. And four times to the Lok Sabha. He never lost an election. During his 25-year-long political career, YSR was president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) twice, he held several important portfolios as minister and from 1999 to 2004, served as Leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
A born leader, YSR as a young MLA rallied Congress MLAs to lead hunger strikes and yatras to highlight important local issues. Then, in 2003, he led a 1400-km and three-month long padyatra covering all backward areas in the state to connect with the people and understand how they lived. That was a turning point. A year later he led his party to victory in the state elections and became Chief Minister.
In 2009, he broke an Andhra Pradesh jinx to win again, the only chief minister of the state to have come back to power after being in office for a full term. YSR expanded his political empire from Andhra Pradesh’s feudal Reddy heartland. He won 4 Lok Sabha and 4 Assembly elections from Kadappa. He was credited publicly and often with being a leader with a huge mass base, a rarity in the Congress party.
YSR was particularly popular for his welfare schemes, which found no match around the country. YSR claimed he was a development man and fought on the back of populist schemes: irrigation, pensions, schemes for women.
YSR was killed after the helicopter in which he was travelling crash-landed atop the Rudrakonda hill in the Nallamalla range, in 2nd September 2009 year. YSR’s body was found along with four others atop the Rudrakonda hill. Commandos reached his helicopter 24 hours after it crashed. Thousands of people converged at the Idupulapaya Estate to bid a final farewell to the man who had touched them in one way or the other. A sea of humanity surrounded the burial site to catch a glimpse of YSR Reddy.
Y.S.R could be described in many ways — a mass leader, a dynamic administrator, a seasoned organisational man and an adept practitioner of local power-play. By the time YSR met his traumatic end, he had emerged as the unifying political factor in AP politics, divided along caste, regional, social and factional fault-lines. After its death Andhra Pradesh lost its glory . Many people criticized him that he is wasting lot of money on welfare schemes.But the fact is He is the born leader with a kind heart for poor. Truly He is the “Father of Andhra Pradesh”