The political storm making  on renaming the NTR Health University in Andhra Pradesh by ruling YSRCP government. The NTR loyalists are making hue and cry on the decision made by YSRCP supremo YS Jaganmohan Reddy. Political pundits termed this decision is biased and effect on YSR loyal votes in future.

Will renaming the medical university be favourably received by the public? The answer is unclear, but YS Rajasekhar Reddy’s renaming of the NTR University of Health Sciences after him may assist bring the community that the Jagan administration appears to have targeted together.

The YSRCP has been provoking the Telugu Desam Party at every turn. For many years in the merged AP, NTR and YSR both served as legendary leaders in the TDP and the Congress, respectively. The communities of Kamma and Reddy have been attempting to assert themselves since the breakup.

Since the creation of Andhra State in 1953, the Reddy community has dominated the merged state. Eight chief ministers from castes other than the Reddy had a chance to lead the merged state, which had been ruled by eleven Reddy chief ministers. Three of the eight CMs who were not Reddy were Kammas, two were Brahmins, one Velama, and one was a Vysya. As the nation’s first chief minister from the Scheduled Castes, legendary leader Damodaram Sanjeevaiah of the Scheduled Castes (Mala) also got the opportunity to head the state in the early 1960s.

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Post bifurcation in 2014, K. Chandrasekhar Rao (Velama) became the Chief Minister of Telangana State. While Reddys had largely dominated politics in the combined state under the erstwhile Congress rule, the Kammas had found voice with the advent of Telugu Desam Party in 1982. The TDP could easily position itself as an alternative to the Congress. The TDP, headed by NT Rama Rao, secured more than 200 seats (in alliance with the Sanjay Vichar Manch of Maneka Gandhi) and brought the curtains down on 30 years of Congress rule.

Observers say AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has needled the Kamma community by renaming NTRUHS. Due to Jagan’s efforts, prominent leader Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao @Nani(Gudivada) from the Kamma community switched his loyalties to YSRCP. Knowing well that a united Kamma community could unseat YSRCP in the future, Jagan seems to be bent upon breaking their unity. The renaming of the medical varsity has created a flutter in the Kamma community as well as in TDP.

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People appreciated Jagan’s decision to give NTR’s name to the newly created district of Vijayawada, though he had only sought to embarrass TDP president Chandrababu Naidu, who never had such an idea during his tenure as the chief minister. Critics of Naidu who had played into the hands of Jagan are tight-lipped on the renaming episode, while facing embarrassing moments during interactions with their community members. The comments of YS Sharmila, president of YSRTP, opposing the renaming of the medical varsity caused rumblings in the ruling party in AP, but its leaders are not in a position to counter her.

The Jagan government previously took back the Rs 400 crore corpus of the varsity, drawing criticism from the public. This may have triggered the idea of renaming the varsity. Every year thousands of doctors would come out with medical degrees bearing the name of the university. So, perhaps the state government chose to rename the varsity for taking direct credit.

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All told, the renaming of the medical varsity would only help unite people belonging to the Kamma community, say observers. Although accounting for only 7% of the population of the state, the community is capable of influencing people from all walks of life.

Reactions of NTR’s widow Lakshmi Parvathi and Junior NTR are not appealing to the general public. It may be mentioned here that Lakshmi Parvathi had declared that she was joining hands with Jagan (merging her NTR TDP with YSRCP) only to defeat Chandrababu Naidu, who had dethroned NTR. She announced that she would revive NTR TDP after seeing the defeat of Naidu.

Even though Naidu was defeated three years ago, she cleverly sidestepped the subject when she was named chair of the Telugu Academy of Andhra Pradesh. Junior NTR only stated that no one could make people hate NTR. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hyderabadlive