By Reshmi AR
It was nine years ago when YSRCP president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy lost his father that the world under his feet seemed to have been shaken to its very core. The late Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy passed away in tragic circumstances on September 02, 2009 plunging the state into a sea of grief. Countless admirers of the great visionary chief minister died of shock or committed suicide in the subsequent days.
It was then that YS Jagan resolved to visit the families of victims who either died of shock or committed suicide in those difficult days. He wanted to be by their side, console them and share their sorrow in their hour of crisis.
YS Jagan gave them his word. Nothing on earth could stop him from acting on it. He was intimidated, threatened with cases and yet he remained committed to his word. Soon, political vendetta revealed its worst face when false cases were foisted upon him. His character came under attack from his political rivals first. Later, they unleashed an economic offensive on him and framed him in false cases. Then they sent him to jail for over an year.
Yet, they could not break YS Jagan’s spirit. In the most recent instance, his political rivals ramped up their hostility to an all-time high and carried out a heinous and cowardly murder attempt on him. The YSR Congress president remained unfazed after his providential escape. Dignified in his response to this murderous attack on him, he asked security personnel present in the Visakhapatnam airport where this murder attempt took place, not to rough up Srinivasa Rao, who lunged at him with a sharp knife inflicting a deep injury in his left shoulder.
Moreover, in order to make sure that people across the state did not get agitated by this dastardly murder attempt, he remained composed and quietly left the airport to the Hyderabad-bound flight as scheduled. This is the story of a leader whose spirit remains unwavering and whose commitment to serve the people of the state has the same unflagging zeal today, which it did nine years ago.
It was on April 9, 2010 that YS Jagan, while still being with the Congress set out on his historic Odarpu Yatra to console the families of those who died of shock or gave up their lives following Dr YSR's untimely demise. All attempts to dissuade him from containing on his mission failed to deter him. Threats and persuasion failed to have the desired effect on the mass leader. It was then that YS Jagan resolved to bid adieu to the Congress party on November 29, 2010. He gave up his posts as Kadapa MP and legislator from Pulivendula constituency. Later, on March 12, 2011 he established the YSR Congress Party.Who can forget the fact that in the by-elections which followed, YS Jagan was elected to the Kadapa Parliament seat with a record majority of 5.45 lakh votes while his mother YS Vijayamma won the Pulivendula Assembly constituency with a majority of over 75,000 votes. The Congress and Telugu Desam came together to create hurdles in the path of the political journey of the YSRCP chief, but at every step he surmounted them and only grew taller in the bargain.
Their backroom conspiracies resulted in implicating YS Jagan in false cases and even sending him to jail for some time. However, the YSRCP chief not only remained true to his word, but also adhered to democratic values of the highest order not seen in contemporary Indian politics. Not once did he attempt to dislodge Kiran Kumar Reddy's government by luring MLAs over to the YSRCP. On the contrary, he always made sure that any politician who came to the YSRCP gave up his post before doing so. Similarly, he refused to make tall promises at the time of elections which he would not be able to fulfill.
YS Jagan is in the last leg of his padayatra which he aims to resume over the next few days. In doing do, he will prove that he is a man who matches word with deeds, as he has during the nine years of political struggle. In these nine years, the YSRCP chief has emerged as a man of the masses and an important player in the national political scene.