Student politics: President of the students' union in medical college. Later
became president of the House Surgeons Union at S V Medical College, Tirupati.
Why he came to politics: Dad Raja Reddy was a major political figure in Kadapa district. YSR nurtured political ambitions since college days. After a brief stint at a mission hospital in Jammalamadugu and setting up a 70-bed hospital in Pulivendula, he turned to full time politics.
Political inspiration: Indira Gandhi. Deeply influenced by her during her socialist phase. Impressed by her 'Garibi Hatao' slogan, nationalisation of banks and cancellation of privy purses.
First electoral experience: Ran for the Assembly from Pulivendula in 1978 at the age of 28. Trounced D Narayana Reddy of the Janata Party by 20,000 votes.
Political mentor: Father Y S Raja Reddy.
Strongest political act: Sat on a hunger strike at the MLAs' hostel when an agitation against the power tariff hike was at its peak. Going on a padayatra of drought-hit districts in the high summer of 2003 to highlight the people's plight. That yatra made him the tallest leader in the AP Congress.