By Parmanand Pandey
Tragic death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy in a chopper crash on the hills of Nalla malla is sad, very sad; but the political drama that has started even before the charred body of the late YSR was laid to rest is a sadder event. It is reported that 148 out of 170 Congress MLA have already signed on a letter of allegiance for Shri Jagan Reddy, son of the late Shri Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy. The way these MLAs lost no time in expressing their fealty to young Jagan Reddy is certainly a matter of grave concern for the democracy because the army of sycophant MLAs of Andhra Pradesh have not left any to make a farce of it.
It is our culture not to speak ill of anybody after his/her death but YSR was not anybody. He was a public figure and he cannot be spared from critical appraisal. There is hardly any doubt that he was a dynamic leader bubbling with energy and innovative ideas. But at the same time, there can be no denying that the public perception about him was of a corrupt leader. He grabbed scores of acres of government land and converted it into his private farm. He promoted the lobby of realtors and within a brief span of two-three years made his son a media baron. Jagan Reddy is now a Lok Sabha member for the last four months, courtesy his father. Politically he is a novice but he has deep connections with the corrupt business lobby of Andhra Pradesh and the same lobby is rooting for him to maintain at least the status quo, if not going beyond his father in showering favouritism on property dealers.
We can only hope that the present leadership at the centre will not allow making the joke of democracy by anointing Jagan Reddy as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Such things do not happen with such brazenness even in feudalism as it is happening in Andhra Pradesh.
This flattering of MLA’s will bring ignominy not only to Andhra Pradesh but to the whole country. One cannot expect Jagan Reddy to put a stop to this shamelessness but the Congress High Command ought to take action against those MLAs who are orchestrating for making Jagan Reddy, a tainted media baron as the Chief Minister, whose biggest qualification is that he controls purse strings. Let us see what happens?