Thursday, September 3, 2009

YSR's blend of populism and geniality made him unbeatable

NEW DELHI: Congress's big win in Andhra Pradesh not only powered the party to a big win in the Lok Sabha, it reinforced the party's faith in its

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has died in an air crash.
welfare and social sector schemes that were implemented by the Y S Rajashekhar Reddy government with zeal as part of his development agenda.

His chief opponent, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, did his best to outdo YSR's populism and also levelled corruption charges but failed to dislodge the chief minister. Graft allegations did not stick as his effort to present himself as the man who thought of the poor seemed to work, negating his critics.

UPA MPs point out that YSR's personal style helped him win friends as he came across as polite. "When you meet him, there is no arrogance of power. We are praying that he is safe," said MIM's Asauddin Owaisi. TDP leader-turned-Congress MP M Jagannath said the party was waiting for news with bated breath. "He is a leader who worked for the poor. The needy are convinced of this," Jagannath said.

The 2009 Lok Sabha fight was closer than what the final results showed, particularly at the Assembly level. The Congress government was facing the burden of sweeping price rise and a TDP-Left-TRS coalition. While Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam helped Congress, there is no taking away that YSR's programmes like Arogyam and free highway ambulance service were hits.

While Arogyam funded medical treatment for BPL families, subsidised rice also helped. His irrigation programmes, though only partially effective, did make a mark and the government managed to deliver enough power to agriculturists to keep them from turning against him. With his adroit use of resources, he was able to blunt the appeal of TDP's promised direct cash transfer scheme.

YSR has a rough-and-ready aspect to him, as the bloody politics of Rayalseema suggests. Bomb culture is seen to be part of the political ethos but the leader's geniality and soft-spoken presence have made those who met him wonder at the tales they had heard. Somehow, the CM's claims to a simple lifestyle carry credence as when he says he has decided to shift to a common variety of rice at home for his meals.

The sheer weight of his success drove his rivals in the party out of the frame long ago and caused despair in the Opposition. Ironically, it used to be NTR who had a towering state-wide presence while Congress CMs always carried the stamp of being the high command's nominees. If NTR was able to invoke the "Telugu pride" plank, it is YSR who now strides the state looming larger than any regional chieftain.


Trisha was excited to shoot in black beach!

Trisha is a busy bee now. Her movie Shankam with Gopichand is almost ready for release. Now she is shooting Namo Venkatesa movie with Venkatesh in eastern parts of europe. She is new to some of the beaches and glaciers of the Iceland. Trisha was thrilled about the black beach.

"We shot at the Blue Lagoon where the temperature was minus one degrees, this place has a huge geothermal spa and I was thrilled when I heard that anyone who suffers from any ailment just has to take a dip in this pool. Even though I’ve travelled a lot I’ve never seen a black beach anywhere -the entire beach including the sand, water and the rocks are all black here. When I saw this I was very curious to learn more about this and this is when one of the local consultants explained to me that the colour was a result of the volcanic eruptions that take place once a decade and this is mixed with the seawater. But all said and done, this spot offered us a picturesque location for our songs." tells the tollywood queen trisha.

Photos: Uday Kiran and Swetha basu in Romantic movie

Who will be the next CM of Andhra Pradesh?

HYDERABAD: It is not merely that a serving chief minister has been killed in office. The death of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has plunged the Andhra Pradesh administration in a state of chaos and collapse. Reason: YSR ran a tight ship controlled by the chief minister's office. "It was a one-man show and especially in his second term YSR had appointed ministers at entirely his personal choice," a political analyst pointed out.

Finance minister K Rosaiah's name has now been cleared by the Congress high command as the interim chief minister. This choice has fallen on him because of his seniority, but Rosaiah was not the No. 2 to YSR in his second term. YSR's No. 2 was a person he called his "chellema" (little sister). Sabitha Reddy was a housewife a decade ago but the death of her politician husband brought her to politics. YSR thought she was his lucky mascot and appointed her the home minister and his unofficial No. 2.

YSR ran the state along with his close confidant and friend of 30 years K V P Ramachandra Rao. Formally called public adviser, Rao was sent to Rajya Sabha last year to hold the YSR flag high in Delhi. But KVP, as he is called, continued to run the state administration along with the CM. No policy decision or appointment in the police or bureaucracy could take place without KVP's clearance. More importantly KVP was also Reddy's dealmaker. This was an important role because YSR was a major resource mobilizer for the Congress party in Delhi.

"With YSR removed from the scene, the top leaders the Congress will have to really put their heads together about a replacement for him. Its quite clear that Rosaiah, a hard-working man with a reputation for integrity cannot really take the place of YSR," the political analyst said. "He will only be the temporary boss. This is clear."

It is expected that jostling for the chief minister's post will begin the moment YSR's funeral is over. The names of Union minister Jaipal Reddy and Purandeswari (daughter of N T Rama Rao) are doing the rounds. However interests who would like the status quo to continue are already batting strongly for YSR's son, Jaganmohan Reddy. Jagan, as he is called, was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in the last elections from the family turf of Kadapa. Otherwise Jagan runs businesses, a newspaper and a TV channel. The allegations are that Jagan's empire has been built with more than a little support from the government.

With the death of YSR, not only factionalism raise its head in Andhra Pradesh once again, but the Telangana issue that had gone on the backburner will begin to simmer. YSR had completely decimated all other Congress leaders in the state. "The Congress in AP will look like what it was earlier and what it is in every other state. I can predict that," said a Congress leader.

Courtesy: TOI

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ISRO 41 photographs failed to locate YSR Chopper

Low-flying aircraft of Indian Space Research Organization took 41 photographs near nallamalla forest area but unfortunately it failed to locate the missing Chopper carrying Chief Minister YSR.

The Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh government Ramakant Reddy told media after midnight that there was no trace of the missing aircraft in the photos which the ISRO aircraft had taken while flying over the Nallamalla forest area in Kurnool district.

AP People are praying God for safe return of YSR. Hope God listens and sends our chief minister safely back.

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