Y S Bharathi Reddy,wife of jailed Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy,is emerging the new face of the YSR clan,particularly in its business dealings.
The usually shy Bharathi,34,has taken up the role of defending her jailed husband and the family,while Jaganmohans mother Vijayalakshmi continues in her role of attending party meetings and making speeches.
Bharathi has also taken control of all the familys businesses including Jagati Publications that includes the Telugu daily Sakshi and Sakshi Telugu news channel. Bharathi,who has a degree in business administration (finance) from Sri Krishnadevaraya University,Anantapur,is already in charge of Bharathi Cements,named after her,as its director since it was established.
She was once very reluctant to speak to the media,keeping largely to herself and looking after their two daughters while Jaganmohan was on an odarpu yatra for nearly two years. She now speaks quite confidently when approached by reporters,though she is modest as ever.
I look after the financial part of Sakshi and other businesses and of course I have to take decisions as and when necessary, she says,sitting in her Lotus Pond house. In fact,it was since Jaganmohan launched the YSR Congress Party in February 2011 and dedicated himself to cultivating his political base that Bharathi started taking an interest in running his businesses.
While Jaganmohans mother looks after the politics,Bharathi is seen frequently outside the Chanchalguda Jail where her husband is lodged. Besides meeting him twice a week,she also liaises with the legal team defending him. Last Tuesday,she met Jaganmohan for about half an hour; it was their 16th wedding anniversary. The hearing on his bail petition will be taken up in the Supreme Court next week. I am hoping for something positive, she says.
It is only because Jagan wanted to go on the odarpu yatra and the Congress did not want him to that he is being targeted. When he promised people that he would visit the family of every person who either died or committed suicide after hearing of YSR Reddys death,he did not think whether the Congress would like it or not. Then,it became a matter of keeping the word he had given to the people. He did what he thought was right and he is paying the price, she says.
Bharathi studied at Bishop Cotton School in Bangalore. Both her parents are doctors. Her father,Dr E C Gangi Reddy,is a renowned pediatrician while her mother,Sugana Reddy,was a classmate of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy during his MBBS days in Gulbarga. It was this connection that resulted in the marriage between Jaganmohan and Bharathi in 1996,soon after Bharathis graduation.
Until Jaganmohan plunged into politics,Bharathi was content being the housewife and raising their two children,although she also looked after the administration of a few schools such as the one that the YSR Foundation Trust runs in Kadapa, says M Reddy,her cousin. Now,she is more involved in the familys business and administration and running Sakshi newspaper and the TV channel. She takes decisions on behalf of Jaganmohan. Of course,she is guided by him.
An official at Sakshi credits Bharathi with keeping employees confidence going after the CBI attached its bank accounts. She told them they would not be asked to leave and that they would receive their salaries on time.
Bharathi says she insists that their newspaper ensures fair reporting at all time. From the management I do not interfere in the editorial,and it was the same with Jagan, she says.
The first time anyone really saw the tenacious side of her in public was on May 27 when she opposed Jaganmohans arrest by the CBI. When it became clear that he would be in jail for some time,she shook off the tag of a shy housewife.
She has really transformed. In spite of the troubles and challenges she faces,she has maintained her composure and has been taking care of the family very well. She is also involved in running the business and is keenly involved in the day-to-day affairs, says the partys Ambati Ram Babu.