Ever since Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power after his party’s spectacular victory in the 2019 Assembly Elections in Andhra Pradesh, there have been never ending comparisons with his late father and former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. In fact, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s pitch during the campaign leading up to the elections has been to bring back Rajanna rajyam. Moreover, the Praja Sankalpa Yatra undertaken by Jagan was done precisely to establish a feeling of nostalgia with respect to YSR. So much so that it is pretty obvious to the most uninterested observer that Jagan has painstakingly copied the body and speech language of his father. But ever since the victory, many critics have pointed to stark differences between the two in terms of their administrative and leadership capabilities.
It is agreed by people across the political spectrum that YSR was a magnanimous figure, or at the very least, projected himself that way, and consciously acknowledged democratic values too. He admitted in the assembly that he has already forgiven his father, Raja Reddy’s killers. In fact YSR, who had a factionist reputation, had to cultivate the image of a good doctor out to heal society. Nonetheless he managed to do more than a good job of it. Similarly, he was known to be extremely efficient in administration. He was known to have understood that seeming democratic and accessible works as a safety valve to diffuse anti-incumbency. This leadership capability earned great respect for him and kept chipping away his feudal factionist image.
Jagan on the other hand is already being seen as someone who is impulsive when it comes to decision making. Every court judgement that went against the Government, starting from painting Government buildings with YSRCP colours to the removal of SEC N. Ramesh Kumar, stand testimony to this fact. The 3-capital announcement, whatever its merits and demerits, is nothing but an impulsive decision. Moreover, Jagan has been labelled vindictive and vengeful unlike YSR. This vindictiveness has gone to such a far extent that many are confused whether YSRCP is anti-TDP or pro-people. Overt and suffocating displays of sycophancy by YSRCP leaders and its ministers clearly points to the fact that such eulogizing is dangerous for democracy. Therefore, the CM would do well to learn from his father and learn to be accommodating, even as a strategic move, than being or coming across as authoritative.