DC Edit | Jagan sets an example

Jagan Mohan Reddy reject family politics, refusing to allow any other member in his family from joining his government

In the brief five-year interregnum during Mughal emperor Humayun’s reign, visionary ruler Sher Shah Suri took many pioneering steps, built marvels and achieved remarkable results, most of which we continue to use even today. He was most renowned for extending the Grand Trunk Road from modern-day Bangladesh to Afghanistan, introducing the currency we use today called rupee, creating and implementing the mansabdari (revenue) and modernising the postal systems.

But what he could not leave as a best practice for other Indian rulers who followed him in the highest seat of power in Delhi was his viewpoint on law – make easy laws, implement them ruthlessly and spare no one. He famously punished his own nephew for insulting an ordinary citizen.

Until Monday.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the son of late chief minister of united AP, was born to be a typical political inheritor, who wanted to be nominated as the successor to his father when he passed away in a tragic helicopter accident in September, 2009. But destiny willed otherwise, and he was forced down a path of extreme struggle for a decade, rebelled against the Congress Party, went to prison, formed his own party and won power from the people.

Having rejected the family inheritor path, he has strongly decided to reject family politics, refusing to allow any other member in his family from joining his government, which forced his sister Y.S. Sharmila to migrate to Telangana to set up her own party.

And with the conviction of a Sher Shah Suri, Mr Reddy on Monday has his own kin, a cousin, Y.S. Konda Reddy, arrested in an extortion case. There was an allegation against his cousin for seeking and forcing bribes out of a construction company, in his capacity of YSRC party in-charge in the YS family home district of Kadapa.

By not hesitating to arrest his own party leader and cousin over an allegation of corruption, and for refusing to allow family members take ministerial positions in his government, with unprecedented intrepidity, Mr Reddy has set on a path seen to be sui generis in our politics.

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