By Reshmi AR
This is an oft-repeated million dollar question in the minds and hearts of people of Telugu states. While some may disagree with this hypothesis, it is very likely that there would not have been a separate Telangana State, unless Dr YSR himself agreed to the bifurcation of United Andhra Pradesh.
The visionary that he was, it is very likely that he would have seen merit in the argument for a separate state for which the people of Telangana had been agitating for more than four decades. Had Dr YSR been alive, the fortunes of the Congress would probably have been on an upswing regardless of the ills and shortcomings that impeded governance under UPA.
Most significantly, welfare governance would have been revolutionised further under the great Dr YSR. His pioneering healthcare initiative Arogyasri became a model for states across the country to emulate. Countless lives were saved by timely medical intervention, thanks to Arogyasri. Would anyone earlier have imagined the poor having access to the best of corporate healthcare facilities? Such was the vision of Dr YSR firmly backed by action on the ground. Similarly, Dr YSR's dream to empower the youth of the state took shape in the form of the fee reimbursement scheme which changed the fortunes of millions of families across united Andhra Pradesh. Students who could never dream of becoming engineers, doctors dentists o pharmacy graduates completed their courses successfully bringing a transformation in their lives and of those around them. Dr YSR envisioned a state where every home would have drinking water supply and every farmer's land would be irrigated. He initiated Jalayagnam to ensure that the most arid regions of Andhra Pradesh were irrigated. Being a son of the soil himself, his heart beat for the poor farmer. Little wonder then, that the first file which he signed after taking oath as chief minister was loan waiver to farmers apart from free power supply to the agricultural sector.
During his reign, Dr YSR ensured that the poor farmer who slaved through the year got minimum support price for his produce.
All these facts made Dr YSR a veritable god in the eyes of the common citizens of Andhra Pradesh. They looked up to him with respect, affection and hope. He was the messiah of the suffering millions of the state who still feel the void left by his sudden tragic demise.