There is a saying in telugu which roughly translates, “You only need to touch one rice grain to determine if the rice is cooked”. This is a phrase used in various contexts and one context is to determine one’s pysche.
This article is an observation on the 30-day governance by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Though it is too early to completely sway towards either positive or negative, these 30 days are definitely a teaser on what is yet to come. After being in the Opposition for nearly 10 years, the CM seems to have learned a lesson or two in what throws political parties off the Government. He keenly observed a major cause of anti- incumbency, failure to deliver poll promises.
Starting from day one he has been insisting and re-affirming that he would contest the next election only after delivering ‘The NAVARATNALU’. He declared that his Government had already implemented 65 per cent of the promises under the party’s Navaratnalu (nine key promises in YSRC’s poll manifesto). In tune with the poll promises, Jagan has given over 60 per cent share in the cabinet to SC, ST, BCs and minorities.
On his swearing in ceremony, he signed his first G.O increasing the pension for the aged, widows, weavers, toddy tappers, fishermen, traditional cobblers and PLHIV (people living with HIV) as promised. This would be increased to 3,000 rupees in phases in four years with a hike of 250 rupees every year. Ours being a welfare state, welfare has to be delivered to those who are in desperate need of it.
The Agri Gold victims coming under 20,000 rupees capping were promised to be reimbursed by the CM in three months. Though the previous Government issued a G.O to reimburse victims under 10,000 with a 250 crore rupees corpus, it was not materialised. The victims expressed joy over his decision and are hoping the new CM would keep up his promise.
The CM launched the ‘AMMA VODI’ scheme in Penamaka, Guntur district. This prestigious scheme gives 15,000 rupees to mothers who send their children to school. Later, the eligibility was increased to intermediate students too. School fees have become a burden over the past few years. This burden on the income of minimum earning households is forcing school dropouts. The CM believes his government’s scheme would drastically reduce dropouts and would be an incentive that encourages parents to provide education to their kids.
The first cabinet decided to create a price stabilisation fund with 3000 crore rupees and a natural calamity fund with 2,000 crore rupees corpus. ‘RYTHU BHAROSA’ scheme that gives 12,500 rupees per year to farmers is to be implemented from October. The plight of farmers is one the governments have failed to acknowledge. Farmers have been demanding a better price for their produce and the unstable prices determined is a cause for concern. In times of floods, crops are destroyed and this is forcing farmers to commit suicides. Even after nearly 75 years of independence, the plight of farmers is heart breaking. Though it may sound cinematic it is not exaggeration to say, “The one who feeds is the one who pleads”. Though ours is a largely agrarian based economy, farmers have been overlooked. The Chief Minister’s father Dr.YSR was known to be a farmer sympathiser during his regime. The CM declared that he would like to be branded as one too.
Salaries of social workers working in various capacities as ASHA workers, Tribal Area Community health workers, sanitation workers were also hiked. This was a cause of delight for over 7,000 social workers across the state. One’s way of living can only be improved with sustainable income. Salaries of ASHA workers were hiked from 3,000 to 10,000 rupees. Salaries of Tribal Area Community health workers were hiked from 400 to 4000 rupees. Sanitation workers will receive 18,000 rupees.
27% Interim Relief
As promised to the Government Employees, Interim Relief (IR) was increased to 27 percent. A committee to look into the cancellation of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) was promised. From day one, the CM has been advocating a friendly relation with the Government employees.
At the Collectors’ conference, he delivered certain instructions on how he wants the Collectors and the Police to work. He advised the Collectors to advocate a friendly approach. He asked them to show their teeth often. He wants them to deliver a people friendly administration. He ordered the Police to be fair and not to favour any accused no matter what their status is. He even asked them to arrest the accused even if they belong to the ruling party. From an analytical point of view, this is a dynamic and bold move. We have to wait and see if his instructions come to life.
Heavy Hand On Graft
On one hand, the CM is ensuring that his ‘NAVARATNALU’ take life and on the other he is coming down heavily on the previous government’s alleged corruptive practices. He decision to demolish the Praja Vedika built on the river bed quite close to the ex- CM’s residence came as a shock and surprise to the officials. Other establishments illegally constructed including Chandrababu’s residence were also served notice by the officials. He made it clear that he would not tolerate any ill and corruptive practise by anybody including his own party members. He strongly believes there was misappropriation by the previous government while contracts were assigned. The Government is now heading towards reverse tendering if necessary. He said the contract would be re-assigned to anybody quoting less than the previous eligible bidder.
To ensure corruption wouldn’t occur in his regime, he intends to constitute a legal committee headed by a High Court judge. The Committee would study and analyse every contract before its assignment to the eligible bidder.
Transparency is the mantra the Chief Minister has been chanting.
In conclusion, the Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy is on war footing to deliver his poll promises. There is no doubt that he has brought a new style of working to the Chief Minister’s office. He is exhibiting enthusiasm to leave his mark on administration.
People are eagerly waiting and hoping he would deliver the change he promised in its entirety. Succeeding in delivering all his promises over the five years would furthermore increase his graph among the masses.
-Deeksha Prasad .G, Executive Editor