Last Updated on July 21, 2021
Yeduguri Sandinti Jagan Mohan Reddy (born 21 December 1972), also known as Y. S. Jagan, is an Indian politician serving as the 17th and current chief minister of Andhra Pradesh since 2019. He is also the founder and president of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). He is the son of the former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy. He had served as the leader of opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly between 2014 and 2019.
Jagan Mohan Reddy started his political career by campaigning for the Indian National Congress in the 2004 Andhra Pradesh state elections in Kadapa district. He was elected as Member of Parliament from Kadapa constituency as a member of the Indian National Congress in the 2009 Indian general election. After his father Rajasekhar Reddy’s sudden death, his popular Ōdārpu yatra, a consoling tour for the people, led him to form YSR Congress Party in 2011. He led the party to several victories at both the state and national levels. His party won in the 2019 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election with 151 seats of the total 175 seats, one of the landslide victories in the history of Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan Mohan Reddy was born on 21 December 1972 in Jammalamadugu in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh to Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Y. S. Vijayamma He studied at The Hyderabad Public School up to 12th grade. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He has a younger sister, Y. S. Sharmila, who is also a politician. His parents were Christians.
On his religious beliefs, Reddy said, “Humanity is my religion” In December 2020, Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed a writ petition of quo warranto against Reddy which claimed that he visited Tirumala Venkateswara Temple despite being a non-Hindu. The Court observed that the petitioner failed to show any material evidence on record which establishes Reddy as a professing Christian. The court further noted that one cannot be considered a Christian merely for attending the prayers in Churches.
Reddy married Bharathi Reddy on 28 August 1996. The couple has two daughters, the eldest of whom studied undergraduate in London.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’s father Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, was a two-time chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, serving from 2004 to 2009. He started his political career campaigning for Indian National Congress during the 2004 elections in Kadapa district In 2009, he was elected as Member of Parliament from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency.
Following the death of his father in September 2009, he started efforts to take up the political legacy left by his father. The majority of the legislators favored him to be appointed as the Chief Minister, but this choice was not approved by party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
Six months after his father’s death, he began an odarpu yatra (condolence tour), as promised earlier, to go and meet the families of those alleged to have either committed suicide or suffered ill health on the news of his father’s death. The Congress party’s central leadership directed him to call off his odarpu yatra, an order which he defied leading to a fallout between the high command and himself. He went ahead with the yatra, stating that it was a personal matter.
2010–2014: Founding of YSR Congress Party
Following the fallout with the Congress party high command, on 29 November 2010, he resigned from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency and has also quit the party. His mother, Vijayamma, has also resigned from Pulivendula Assembly constituency and has quit the party as well. He announced on 7 December 2010 from Pulivendula that he would be starting a new party within 45 days In March 2011, he announced that he would launch the new party, named YSR Congress Party, at Jaggampeta of East Godavari district. Later, his party went to by polls in YSR Kadapa district and won almost all the seats with a huge majority Reddy, as the president of YSR Congress, faced by-election from the Kadapa constituency and won by a large margin of 545,043 votes. His mother has also won the Pulivendula Assembly constituency by 85,193 votes against Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy.
On 27 May 2012, Jagan Mohan Reddy was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on embezzlement charges. CBI has accused that Jagan Mohan Reddy has amassed huge assets through illegal means by using his father’s office, Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy, when he was the chief minister. CBI has also accused 58 companies of investing in Reddy’s businesses, for the favours they received in the form of mining leases, allotments of projects. His Judicial custody was extended repeatedly as the investigation proceeded. The Supreme Court dismissed his petition on 4 July 2012, 9 August 2012, and on 13 May 2013.
As a sequel to allegations that CBI had selectively released information to the press to tarnish the image of Reddy, the Central Vigilance Commissioner sought a report on the matter from the investigating agency The YSR Congress Party and Reddy’s family have been alleging a political conspiracy behind Reddy’s investigations. BJP has noted that CBI has been pursuing this case with greater vigour than that of government-aligned politicians with similar charges such as Sushil Kumar Shinde or Vilasrao Deshmukh.
While in jail, Reddy started a hunger strike opposing the United Progressive Alliance’s decision to endorse the creation of a separate Telangana state. After 125 hours of indefinite hunger strike, his sugar levels and blood pressure were down. He was moved to Osmania General Hospital for treatment. His mother, Vijayamma, was also on hunger strike protesting the formation of Telangana. After his release, Reddy called for a 72-hour bandh protesting the formation of Telangana. Both Reddy and his mother resigned from their legislatures opposing the decision favouring the formation of Telangana
2014–2019: Leader of opposition and Padayatra
In 2014, the YSR Congress Party was a pre-poll favourite among most analysts and psephologists. But, the YSRCP has lost the 2014 elections, winning only 67 of 175 seats in the state assembly, with 45% of vote share. The Telugu Desam Party vote share went up to 47% and the 2% gap led to the defeat of YSRCP.
As a leader of the Opposition in Assembly and YSR Congress Party’s President, Reddy launched his 3,000-km-long walkathon named Praja Sankalpa Yatra, popularly called padayatra, on 6 November 2017 at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district. YSR Congress party coined a slogan “Raavali Jagan, Kaavali Jagan” (transl. Jagan should come. We want Jagan.) for the foot march that took him across 125 Assembly segments all over the state in 430 days and ended on 9 January 2019. Reddy while boarding a flight to Hyderabad was attacked with a cock fighting knife in the VIP Lounge of Visakhapatnam Airport on 25 October 2018. He received a lacerated injury on his shoulder and had to undergo a surgery.
2019–present: Chief Minister
In the 2019 National and State election held in April and May 2019, YSR Congress Party swept the polls and won 151 of the total 175 assembly seats and 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh. He took oath as the Chief Minister on 30 May 2019. His chief ministership has been marked by a slew of welfare schemes such as Jagananna Amma Vodi, Navaratnalu.Jagananna Amma Vodi provides financial assistance for mothers or guardians from the below poverty line, to educate their children. Navaratnalu is a collection of nine welfare schemes covering farmers, women, medical and health, education and Special Category Status. He scrapped the plans for a new capital at Amaravati, proposed by the former TDP government, and has proposed three different capitals for the judicial, administrative and legislative branches at Kurnool, Amaravati and Visakhapatnam respectively. The proposal resulted in widespread protests by the farmers of Amaravati.
Reddy founded the Telugu daily newspaper Sakshi and the television channel Sakshi TV. He also served as the chief promoter of Bharathi Cements.