Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is an accomplished Indian politician, presently serving as the 17th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Son of veteran Indian politician and 14th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly referred as YSR, Jaganmohan began his journey in politics campaigning for Indian National Congress in Kadapa District during the 2004 elections.
He was a member of Congress when he won election in 2009 and became Member of Parliament from Kadapa constituency. After his father’s accidental death, Jaganmohan started the Odarpu yatra tour across Andhra Pradesh and following a fallout with the Congress he formed his own political party called Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) and serves as its president. He served as Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly before assuming office as the 17th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Although Jaganmohan is a distinguished politician, he got entangled into high-profile corruption scandals and was arrested on embezzlement charges that led him to serve 16 months in jail.
Childhood & Early Life
Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy was born on December 21, 1972, in Jammalamadugu, in Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh, India, in the Catholic Christian family of Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) and his wife Yeduguri Sandinti Vijayalakshmi, also referred as Y.S. Vijayamma.YSR was an Indian National Congress strongman and won every election he contested. YSR was a two-time Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Vijayamma is a house wife-turned Indian politician. She served as Member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for Pulivendla and presently serves as chairperson of the YSRCP.Jaganmohan’s grandfather Yeduguri Sandinti Raja Reddy was also an Indian politician, and his younger sister Y. S. Sharmila presently serves as party convener of the YSRCP.
Jaganmohan attended ‘The Hyderabad Public School’ till 12th grade and then completed his graduation obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Career in Politics
Scion of a political-business family, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy followed footsteps of his grandfather and father into politics and commenced his political career campaigning for Indian National Congress in Kadapa District at the time of the 2004 elections. He was elected as Member of the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Kadapa constituency in Andhra Pradesh and held office from June 1 that year to May 18, 2014. Meanwhile sudden accidental death of YSR, the then-incumbent Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009, led most of the legislators to support appointment of Jaganmohan as the new Chief Minister. However President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi and her son and General Secretary of the party Rahul Gandhi were not in favour of such move.
Reportedly several people including young supporters and those who benefited from YSR’s social welfare schemes died of shock or committed suicide after hearing the news of YSR’s death. Count of such deaths according to the Telugu television station NTV was 122. Jaganmohan promised to meet families of those who died and six months after his father’s death, he commenced an Odarpu Yatra (condolence tour) across Andhra Pradesh to console those families. The Congress leadership did not support the tour and Jaganmohan was ordered to call it off, which he refused. He continued with the tour calling it a personal matter leading to his fallout with the Congress high command. The tour nevertheless became an immense success and Jaganmohan emerged as a prominent political figure in state politics. He said the Congress mistreated him and created rifts in his family by luring his uncle YS Vivekananda Reddy with a state ministerial seat following death of YSR.
In November 2010, Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother, Vijayamma, resigned from the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies respectively. They also resigned as members of the Congress. On December 7, 2010, Jaganmohan announced of starting a new political party in 45 days and eventually YSRCP was formed on March 12, 2011, with Jaganmohan as its president. Several Congress leaders loyal to him joined YSRCP. This weakened strength of the Congress in the assembly as well as in the Lok Sabha leading to by-elections where Jaganmohan’s party won majority of the vacated seats with record-breaking margins. He won from the Kadapa constituency by a large margin of 545,043 votes. A corruption case was filed against Jaganmohan Reddy was CBI investigation was launched against him on the charges that he took Rs 1,172 crores as bribe from different investors and aided them in getting favours from the state government, particularly in obtaining mining leases, land and licenses for new industries, when his father was the chief minister. A disproportionate assets case was lodged against him and he was arrested by CBI on May 27, 2012. The next day, a special court of CBI in Hyderabad remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days. He was kept in the Chanchalguda Central Prison till June 11, 2012.As investigation on his case proceeded, judicial custody of Jaganmohan was extended repeatedly. His petition was also dismissed by the Supreme Court on July 4 and August 9 in 2012, and on May 13 in 2013.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court passed an order in March 2012 directing the CBI to investigate 6 ministers and 8 senior bureaucrats who allegedly issued 26 Government orders that aided the companies that invested in firms of Jaganmohan. The latter’s family and party alleged that a political conspiracy was going on against him. Jaganmohan strongly opposed bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh in forming the separate state of Telangana. He went on a hunger strike in jail after the United Progressive Alliance government resolved to endorse formation of a separate Telangana state. Vijayamma also protested against it and started a hunger strike. The indefinite fast took a toll on Jaganmohan’s health when his sugar levels and blood pressure fell after 125 hours and he was shifted to Osmania General Hospital. He continued his protest post release and called a 72-hour bandh. He and his mother also resigned from their legislatures. Jaganmohan contested the 2014 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, however his party lost it, garnering just 67 of 175 seats. He assumed office as Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on June 19, 2014, and served the position till May 25, 2019.
On November 6, 2017, he paid homage at the grave of his father in the Kadapa district and then launched the PrajaSankalpaYatra, his 3,000-km-long walkathon. The slogan “Raavali Jagan, Kaavali Jagan”, meaning Jagan should come. We want Jagan, was coined by YSRCP for this foot march of Jaganmohan that continued for 430 days till January 9, 2019, and saw him visiting 125 Assembly segments in 13 districts of the state. His party did not contest in Telangana Assembly election in 2018. On October 25, 2018, he was attacked in the VIP Lounge of Visakhapatnam Airport with a cock fighting knife while he was boarding a flight to Hyderabad. He suffered from a shoulder injury and underwent a surgery. During the 2019 general elections YSRCP gained a sweeping victory in both the 2019 Andhra Pradesh assembly elections and 2019 General elections winning 151 out of 175 seats and 22 out of the 25 seats respectively.
On May 30, 2019, Jaganmohan succeeded N. Chandrababu Naidu and took oath as the 17th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (2nd Chief Minister after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh).
Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy launched the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh based Telugu language daily newspaper Sakshi on March 24, 2008. His wife owns the newspaper and it is run by K. Ramachandra Murthy. Jaganmohan also founded the television channel Sakshi TV and is the main corporate promoter of Bharathi Cements.
Family & Personal Life
On August 28, 1996, he married Bharathi Reddy. The couple has two daughters. He is a communicant member of the Church of South India (Diocese of Rayalaseema). He attends the Church of South India-Town Church in Pulivendula.