Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy Biography: Wife, Net Worth, Age, Nationality, Death, Wikipedia

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye March 5, 2024

Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, was an Indian politician who served as the 14th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 2004 to 2009.

He was a leader of the Indian National Congress party and a four-time member of the Lok Sabha from the Kadapa constituency.

He was also a five-time Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly member from Pulivendula constituency, winning every election he contested.

He was known for his mass appeal, welfare schemes, and ambitious padayatra, a 1,500-kilometer-long walk across the state to interact with the people and understand their problems.

He died in a helicopter crash in 2009, leaving behind a legacy of popularity and admiration among the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Profile

  • Full name: Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy
  • Nickname: YSR
  • Date of birth: July 8, 1949
  • Age: 60 years old (at the time of death)
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Pulivendula, Madras State (present-day Andhra Pradesh), India
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Profession: Physician, Politician
  • Height: 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm)
  • Parents: Y. S. Raja Reddy (father), Y. S. Jayamma (mother)
  • Siblings: Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy (brother)
  • Spouse: Y. S. Vijayalakshmi (m. 1971)
  • Children: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy (son), Y. S. Sharmila (daughter)
  • Relationship status: Married
  • Net worth: Rs. 510 crore ($71 million)

Early Life and Education

Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who would have been 75 years old in 2024, was born on July 8, 1949, in Pulivendula, a small town in the Cuddapah district of Madras State (now Andhra Pradesh).

He belonged to the Reddy community, a dominant caste group in the region.

His father, Y. S. Raja Reddy, was a wealthy landlord and a local leader of the Congress party. His mother, Y. S. Jayamma, was a devout Christian who converted from Hinduism. He had one younger brother, Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, who also became a politician.

YSR grew up in a politically active family and developed an interest in politics at a young age. His father, who was close to the Congress stalwarts such as K. Brahmananda Reddy and P. V. Narasimha Rao, influenced him.

He was also inspired by national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Indira Gandhi. He studied at the local schools in Pulivendula and later joined the Loyola College in Chennai for his intermediate education.

He then pursued his medical degree from the Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College in Gulbarga, Karnataka.

He was elected as the president of the students’ union of his college and also the president of the House Surgeons’ Association of the S. V. Medical College in Tirupati. He completed his MBBS in 1973 and became a licensed physician.

Personal Life

YSR married Y. S. Vijayalakshmi, the daughter of his maternal uncle, in 1971. The couple had two children: a son named Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy and a daughter named Y. S. Sharmila. Both of them followed their father’s footsteps and entered politics.

Jaganmohan Reddy is the current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and the president of the YSR Congress Party, a regional party founded by him in 2011 after breaking away from the Congress.

Sharmila Reddy is also a leader of the YSR Congress Party and has recently announced her intention to launch a new political party in Telangana.

YSR was a devout Christian who regularly attended church services and prayed. He was also a philanthropist who established a 70-bed charitable hospital in Pulivendula in 1973, named after his father.

He also donated land and money for various social and religious causes.

Career

YSR began his political career in 1975 when he was appointed president of the Cuddapah District Youth Congress Committee.

He contested his first election in 1978 when he won the Pulivendula assembly seat as a Congress candidate.

He retained the seat for six consecutive terms, becoming one of the region’s most popular and influential leaders.



He also debuted in national politics in 1989, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kadapa constituency. He represented the constituency for four terms till 2009.

YSR held various ministerial positions in the state and central governments. He was the Minister of State for Rural Development in the T. Anjaiah government from 1980 to 1983.

He was also the Cabinet Minister for Excise, Education, and Health in the B. Venkataram Reddy and K. Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy governments from 1982 to 1989.

He became the president of the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) twice, in 1983 and 1998. He was also a member of the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body.

YSR’s political career reached its zenith in 2004, when he led the Congress to a landslide victory in the state assembly elections, defeating the incumbent Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by N. Chandrababu Naidu.

He became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on May 14, 2004, and embarked on a series of welfare schemes and development projects that earned him the admiration and support of the masses.

Some of his flagship programs were the Aarogyasri, a health insurance scheme for the poor; the Indiramma, a housing scheme for the rural and urban poor; the Jalayagnam, a massive irrigation project for the farmers; the Rajiv Arogya Shree, a free medical treatment scheme for the children, the Pavala Vaddi, a microfinance scheme for the women, and the Fee Reimbursement, a scholarship scheme for the students.

He also implemented the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and the farm loan waiver scheme in the state.

YSR’s popularity soared after he undertook a historic padayatra, or foot march, across the state in 2003, covering 1,500 kilometers in 60 days.

He interacted with thousands of people, listened to their grievances, and promised to solve their problems if he came to power.

The padayatra was widely seen as a turning point in his political career, as it boosted his image as a mass leader and a man of the people.

He repeated his electoral success in 2009, leading the Congress to another thumping victory in the state assembly elections. He became the first Chief Minister to retain power in Andhra Pradesh since 1983.

Awards

YSR received several awards and honors for his achievements and contributions to the society. Some of them are:

  • Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University in 2007
  • Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International in 2009
  • CNN-IBN Indian of the Year (Politics) in 2009
  • NDTV Indian of the Year (Politics) in 2009
  • India Today’s Best Chief Minister in 2009

Death

YSR died in a tragic helicopter crash on September 2, 2009, while he was on his way to Chittoor district to launch a new welfare scheme.

His helicopter, a Bell 430, went missing in the Nallamala forest area due to bad weather and poor visibility. The helicopter was later found crashed on top of Rudrakonda hill, 40 nautical miles from Kurnool.

All five people on board, including YSR, his secretary, his chief security officer, and two pilots, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Andhra Pradesh government confirmed the news of his death, which plunged the entire state and the nation into shock and grief.

YSR’s death triggered a massive outpouring of emotions and condolences from the people who thronged the streets and the airports to pay their last respects to their beloved leader.

His body was brought to Hyderabad and kept at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium for public viewing.

Thousands of people, including political leaders, celebrities, and common citizens, attended his funeral, which was held at his family estate in Idupulapaya, Kadapa district. He was buried with full state honors next to his father’s grave.

Controversy

YSR’s political career was not without controversy and criticism. He faced several allegations of corruption, nepotism, authoritarianism, and human rights violations. Some of the major controversies that he was involved in are:

He was accused of amassing huge wealth through illegal mining, land grabbing, and tax evasion. He was also alleged to have used his influence to favor his son Jaganmohan Reddy’s business interests, especially in the media and infrastructure sectors.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed several cases against him and his family members for disproportionate assets, money laundering, and quid pro quo deals.

He was criticized for his role in the Telangana agitation, a movement to create a separate state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. He was accused of being indecisive, insensitive, and opportunistic, as he neither supported nor opposed the demand for statehood.

He was also blamed for the deaths of hundreds of protesters and students who committed suicide or died in police firing during the agitation.

He was condemned for his alleged involvement in the murder of his political rivals and opponents. He was suspected of having a hand in the killings of his uncle Y. S. Raja Reddy in 1998, his brother-in-law Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy in 2019, and the TDP leader Paritala Ravindra in 2005. He was also accused of orchestrating the assassination attempt on the TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu in 2003.

He was denounced for allegedly violating human rights and civil liberties. He was accused of using the police and the administration to harass, intimidate, and arrest his political opponents, journalists, activists, and civil society members. He was also alleged to have misused the anti-terror law, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), to target the Maoists and their sympathizers.

Social Media

  • Twitter handle: N/A
  • Instagram handle: N/A

Net Worth

According to a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), YSR had a net worth of Rs. 510 crore equivalent to $71 million.

He was India’s fourth-richest MLA and Andhra Pradesh’s richest. His assets included agricultural land, commercial buildings, residential properties, shares, bonds, bank deposits, vehicles, and jewelry.




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