Government sources have confirmed that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy has died in a chopper crash in the jungles of Nallamalla near Kurnool. His body was found on Thursday morning after an intensive search operation by the Army commandos who have also recovered dead bodies of four other people who were on board the twin-engine Bell 430 helicopter. The helicopter was found wrecked near the hill top after it had crash landed on the Rudrakod Hill.
Known as a people’s leader for initiatives for their welfare, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was on his way to launch yet another mass contact programme when the helicopter carrying him went missing in the dense Nallamalla forests, an hour after take off. It was found nearly 24 hours later on Thursday.
It was only on Wednesday that senior police officials in Chittoor district were informed by the Chief Minister that he would be visiting Anuppalle village to launch ‘Racchabanda’ programme. YSR chose a remote village in Anuppalle to launch the programme of surprise visits to villages to know people’s problems.
“I want to know the problems in village through this visit and want to have a direct interaction with the villagers. I told them (the officials) only today that I will be visiting the village as they have to make security arrangements,” YSR said in his last interview before boarding the helicopter here at 08.35 hrs IST on Wednesday.
“If I tell the officials in advance about my visit they will rectify some problems and hence this programme is being launched,” he said.
“I want to know how the concerned departments are working to deal with drought, whether farmers are getting the required assistance, whether the village has drinking water supply. I also want to see if there is any poor person who has not got a ration card, house or pension. We have promised that every poor will get a house and ration card,” he said.
“This is a representative sample as I can’t visit all 20,000 villages in the state. I will go on such visits for three to four days in a month and will cover four to five villages in a day to check relief measures for drought,” YSR had said.
Those were the last words of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy in an interaction with the media before he boarded the helicopter which went missing an hour after taking off.
Reddy, 60, said, “I want to check the delivering mechanism in villages. I want to check all the problems like drought and unemployment and check if all policies have been implemented”, he said. He intented to visit 2 to 3 villages every month.
It has been reported that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President of the Congress Party, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi will go to Hyderabad.
In the meanwhile Minister K Rosaiah has been named as caretaker Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.