Former MP Chennupati Vidya reminisces about the late Chief Minister. "In his first term as Chief Minister, I felt he probably must reduce his pace. But the second time, he looked unmistakably inspired," she says.
“It was a strange situation wherein I was in a mighty hurry to reach home to host a very special guest who would possibly, I was warned, reach there before me,” former MP Chennupati Vidya, reminisces fond memories of the late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s visit to her home in September last.
Earlier on two occasions, she was informed about Dr. Reddy’s likely visit to her home in the wake of the demise of her husband Chennupati Seshagiri Rao.
“The first time, he had to rush back due to security reasons. The second time, he cancelled his visit to the city at the last minute. This was the third occasion and the element of ambiguity prodded me to take a chance and I flew to Delhi to attend an important meeting,” she recounts. But the very same night, she received separate calls from her son, the district Collector and the local MP, about the Chief Minister’s visit to her home.
“We took the first flight in the morning and rushed back to the city only to be stranded in the traffic snarl caused due to diversion of vehicles to make way for Dr. Reddy’s convoy.
The traffic cops stopped us on Bandar road, refusing to heed our pleas. It took a phone call to the security personnel deployed at home to convince the traffic constables about our identity.” The traffic cops apologised and made way for her vehicle. The mother-daughter duo was dumb-struck when they saw vehicles of the Chief Minister’s convoy outside their house.
“We rushed to the elevator and scurried to the main door after gaining entry into the house through the back entrance and opened it to find a smiling Dr. Reddy standing there. I heaved a sigh of relief and ushered him in,” she narrates. Knowing Dr. Reddy’s weakness for filter coffee, she had asked her daughter-in-law to keep it ready.
“Since it was summer, we first offered them coconut water but he asked for filter coffee.” Dr. Reddy then picked a few rose flowers on a table and placed them before the portrait of Seshagiri Rao. He wanted to know how it all happened. “We gave him a copy of the book we brought out on our father (Seshagiri Rao),” says Rashmi, Vidya’s daughter.
“It’s hard to believe what I am seeing on the television channels today. I know him since 1989 when both of us were MPs.
He used to speak good English and he had a grip on the subject he would raise in the House,” she recalls.
“He always had this strong desire to be the Chief Minister of the State. In his first term as Chief Minister, I felt he probably must reduce his pace. But the second time, he looked unmistakably inspired, raring to go, to wipe out problems of the common man,” she ends on a poignant note.