Shri YS Chowdary often jokes that he got into politics not by design but by providence. However, once he embarked on his political journey, his unwavering commitment to effecting positive change in people’s lives became his guiding light. As a first-generation politician, he had to swiftly acclimate himself to the intricacies of the political arena and wholeheartedly dedicate himself to the cause of reform.
His affiliation with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a political entity he held in high regard, was a consequence of his profound admiration for the principles established by the late Sri NT Rama Rao, the party’s founder. He was initially associated with NTR Trust, run by TDP, helping in expanding and strengthening its charity work.
It was Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the chief of TDP, who guided and mentored Shri Chowdary in navigating the political world. In the year 2005, he made a pivotal shift from the corporate world, relinquishing all his business commitments and stakes in various enterprises, to embrace the challenge of revitalizing the party and leading it back to power.
Recognizing his contributions to the strengthening of the party and its strategy over the years, the party leadership picked him to represent the state of Andhra Pradesh in the esteemed upper house of the Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha.
On June 22, 2010, Shri Chowdary was elected as a Member of Parliament (M.P.) in the Rajya Sabha, representing the Telugu Desam Party from Andhra Pradesh, in an unopposed election. In this role, Shri YS Chowdary displayed remarkable diligence and participation, actively engaging in the discussions of significant issues within the house and conscientiously upholding his responsibilities to both the people and the nation.
In 2014, during the first expansion of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the advice of Shri Chandrababu Naidu, picked Shri Chowdary for the position of Minister of State. In view of his previous expereince in the field of technology, Shri Chowdary was entrusted with the responsibilities of the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences. Additionally, he was elected as the Parliamentary Leader of the Telugu Desam Party in May 2014 and served in that position for five years.
Shri Chowdary’s distinguished parliamentary career encompassed active involvement in various parliamentary groups and committees. He was a vital member of the Indo-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship Group, an initiative aimed at bolstering bilateral relations between the parliaments of India and Singapore. Furthermore, he served on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, the Parliamentary Forum on Youth, and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
Shri Chowdary, as a Minister in the Union Council representing Andhra Pradesh, worked hard to turn commitments outlined in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act into realities for the new state. With the help of the then Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, whom he considered a mentor, Shir Chowdary helped secure a host of benefits for Andhra Pradesh in terms of Central funds and grants.
He played a crucial role in bringing prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) to the state. During his time as a Union Government Minister from 2015 to 2018, Andhra Pradesh received significant help and assistance, making it the best period in Independent India’s history for a new state.
Apart from his parliamentary duties, Shri Chowdary actively participated in humanitarian work on the ground. He adopted villages under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), a rural development program initiated by the Government of India in 2014. This program requires every Member of Parliament to adopt three villages and take responsibility for their overall development.
Shri Chowdary adopted the villages of Ponnavaram, near Vijayawada, and Palaparru in Guntur district. Under his guidance, these villages underwent remarkable changes in various domains, including education, healthcare, and the local economy. Introducing digital learning in classrooms, offering free Wi-Fi access, and providing educational resources made quality education accessible to the villagers. Medical camps were organized, and improvements in sanitation and drainage systems raised living standards, enhancing healthcare and hygiene.
These transformative endeavors were in harmony with Shri Chowdary’s belief that quality education, healthcare, and a clean environment are the fundamental pillars of nation-building. He understood that small, yet constructive steps in the right direction lead to substantial changes that can uplift nations and societies.
Shri Chowdary held his ministerial position until March 2018, when he resigned following the Telugu Desam Party’s decision to part ways with the BJP. Subsequently, he joined the BJP and continued to serve as a Member of Parliament until April 2022. His parliamentary tenure spanned 12 years, from 22 June 2010 to 2 April 2022. He has been an active Parliamentarian.
Even though he no longer holds an official position, Shri Chowdary remains actively engaged in public life, deeply committed to addressing issues of national and regional significance that pertain to the welfare of the people. Drawing from his entrepreneurial journey coupled with his rich political experience, Shri Chowdary’s enduring dedication is evident in his ongoing efforts to enhance the socio-economic well-being of the nation in general and Andhra Pradesh in particular.
Shri Chowdary's political entry was providential. But once he embarked on his political journey, his unwavering commitment to effecting positive change in people’s lives became his guiding light.