Jaganmohan Reddy: Man in hurry to be chief minister (Profile)

By Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS
Monday, November 29, 2010

HYDERABAD - His father, the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, struggled for over two decades to become chief minister. But son Jaganmohan Reddy, who Monday resigned from the Congress as well as from parliament, is an ambitious man unwilling to wait that long.

Rajasekhara Reddy appeared to be in haste too to groom his son, popularly known as Jagan, as his political successor when he tried to make his brother resign from Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in 2005 to pave way for his election.

YSR’s younger brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy readily agreed. However, Congress president Sonia Gandhi scuttled the move and asked Vivekananda to continue and advised YSR and his son to wait till 2009.

Claiming to be a true successor to YSR’s political legacy, Jagan was keen to become chief minister after his father’s death in a helicopter crash last year.

YSR had to wait and struggled for over two decades to become chief minister in 2004. But the 38-year-old Jagan would like a quicker climb up the ladder of success by cashing in on the popularity of his father. The Congress leadership did not like his haste, finally leading to his twin resignations Monday.

The industrialist-politician had meteoric rise in state politics thanks to his father. The 2009 election saw the emergence of a young face on the political scene. Jagan campaigned for the party not just in native Kadapa but five other districts and proved his political mettle.

The industrialist-politician, whose material fortunes have risen dramatically, proved an instant hit with mannerisms resembling that of his popular father.

In Kadapa, it was a cakewalk for Jagan, who defeated the Telugu Desam Party candidate by over 179,000 votes.

His father’s sudden death in a helicopter crash just as he was learning the tricks of the trade shattered Jagan’s dreams.

Even before YSR’s burial, his loyalists began the ‘Jagan as CM’ campaign. When the leadership turned down the demand, the loyalists, barring a few, dumped Jagan.

Since then, he has been a running a defiant campaign against the leadership. He launched ‘odarpu yatra’ to console the family members of those who died of shock or committed suicide following YSR’s death.

The huge crowds his ‘yatra’ attracted set the alarm bells ringing in the party and his rivals mounted pressure on the leadership to act.

Born on Dec 21, 1972 in Kadapa district, Jagan is the only son of YSR. A graduate in commerce, he entered into business at a young age. He is married to Bharathi Reddy and has two daughters.

Jagan, who has interests in mining, cement and power generation in several states, last year launched the Sakshi Telugu television news channel and newspaper.

He also used the media outlets to further his political ambitions following the death of his father and to take on his rivals within and outside the party.

The dramatic increase in Jagan’s wealth has triggered demands from his rivals in the party and the opposition for a thorough probe.

The demands picked up momentum recently after Jagan topped the list of taxpayer politicians. He paid Rs.84 crore as advance tax in the first six months of the current financial year, indicating that his annual income to be above Rs.500 crore.

In contrast, he had paid Rs.2.92 lakh tax for 2008-09 and Rs.6.72 crore for 2009-10.

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