YSR`s diary written during padayatra in book format

Debate on who inherits the real legacy of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is perpetual in Andhra Pradesh polity but it seems Congress would just not willingly cede the space to the leader`s rebellious son and family.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2012, 15:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Debate on who inherits the real legacy of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is perpetual in Andhra Pradesh polity but it seems Congress would just not willingly cede the space to the leader`s rebellious son and family.

Fighting hard to reclaim the legacy of the departed leader, who galavanised and brought the party back to power in Andhra Pradesh, Congress has now stumbled upon a treasure trove - a diary written by YSR during his historic `padayatra` of the 2003 summer.

Despite the strenuous journey that he covered by walking 1,470 km, YSR never forget to pen his thoughts about sufferings of the farmers and most importantly how people still remembered Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and saw Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as a glimmer of hope.

The diary, which was in the possession of YSR`s close aide and Congress leader V Aruna Kumar, will be released in a book format published by the late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister`s `Man Friday` and Congress MP K V P Ramachandra Rao tomorrow.

Though Rao calls it a "personal effort", the move seems to more of Congress` efforts to reassociate itself with YSR and his legacy as it fights hard to restore the party to its old glory in the state.

The diary has interesting quotes about almost all members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, the status they enjoyed in the party and how still people remembered and revered them.

"By 2014 general elections, Congress will get absolute majority on its own and Rahul Gandhi will become the Prime Minister of India. Nobody can stop this," Reddy had wrote.

Rao, known in political circles as `inner conscience` of YSR when he was alive, says the book is part of the events to commemorate his third death anniversary which fell on September 2.

The ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, which is almost
divided on regional lines after the Telangana tangle resurfaced in late 2009, has been making constant efforts to reclaim YSR`s legacy snatched away by Jagan.

The Congress had been distancing itself from YSR for a few months but last year it made a conscious attempt to regain the space from Jagan when most of its senior leaders came on one platform to release a pictographic book on the departed leader.

The book seems to be part of Congress` strategy to reclaim YSR`s legacy and to make a firm statement that it does not want to cede the space to his son, whose fledgling YSR Congress is making deep inroads into the parent party`s votebank.

The debate on YSR`s legacy has been dominating the politics in Andhra Pradesh ever since he met with an untimely death in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009.

Jagan claims he is the `genuine inheritor` of his father`s legacy, while the Congress says it vests with it as YSR became a powerful leader and then chief minister only because of the party.

PTI