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S.Jaipal Reddy: The eternal spokesperson of politics

S.Jaipal Reddy: The eternal spokesperson of politics

From a student leader who rose from Andhra Pradesh's Osmania University, Jaipal Reddy made his own mark in the national politics. He took on former prime minister Indira Gandhi in then Andhra Pradesh's Medak constituency in the 1980 Lok Sabha polls after quitting the Congress protesting against Emergency.

Despite losing, Reddy established himself as a gritty, uncompromising politician who never allowed his affliction with polio to affect him. 

He was one of the main voices in the opposition when the Congress swept the 1984 Lok Sabha elections and was general secretary of the Janata Party. 

Reddy took on the Congress governments firing salvos at corruption scandals. He represented Mahbubnagar in 1984 and later got elected from Miryalguda (1999 and 2004) and Chevella in 2009. 

He emerged as one of the main architects of the coalition politics and played a crucial part in the formation of United Front government and also become a minister in the Inder Kumar Gujral's cabinet. 

His oratory skills earned him the best Parliamentarian award in 1998 and he became a well-known face being a spokesperson of the parties he represented including the United Front.

His political life took another turn when he returned to the Congress and became Union minister in Dr. Manmohan Singh's cabinet in 2004. 

He handled ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Urban Development and Culture. In the second stint of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, his removal from the petroleum ministry stirred a political storm as he was shifted to ministry of science and technology and earth sciences.

He retreated from the national political scene after the Congress was wiped out in 2014. 

Reddy himself lost from Mahbubnagar, and confined himself to Telangana politics but could not revive the Congress' fortunes in the state. 

The Congress lost the Telangana Assembly elections, which was a personal setback for Reddy. His close relative Revanth Reddy, who was the working president of state Congress Committee, could not win his own seat. 

Many Congress leaders deserted the party and blamed Reddy for his style of functioning. Reddy's critics often felt that despite being a prominent and articulate voice in New Delhi's political corridors, he was never at ease in state politics despite a prolonged career.


Tags: Congress Jaipal Reddy Andhra Pradesh Medak