YS JAGAN MOHAN REDDY ESTABLISHES CREDIBILITY.
RECEIVES PRAISES ALL OVER FOR KEEPING UP POLL PROMISES.
GOVT CLAIMS TO HAVE DELIVERED 80 PERCENT OF POLL PROMISES.
ECONOMICALLY WEAKER SECTIONS JOYOUS OVER CM’S SCHEMES.
OPPOSITION HEAPS CRITICISM, GOVERNMENT RETALIATES.
OPPOSITION CLAIMS DEVELOPMENT IS PUNCTURED.
YS. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Government completed six months in its five year journey. After coming to power with a glorious landslide victory, owing to his father’s positive image and years of struggle as the opposition, the Chief Minister was keen on delivering his poll promises despite paucity of funds. Party leaders and Ministers are constantly re-iterating Jagan’s signature slogan, ‘I heard (your woes), I am here (for you)’ a captivating slogan, an assuring slogan, Is it sweet in reality though? Let us examine.
CM”s Will Power
With a unique one of its kind single paper manifesto, his party received tremendous support from all sections of the society. In a bid to keep up the poll promises and to shield his party from the criticism the previous government faced, the Chief Minister started implementing the ‘Navaratnalu’ on war footing. Critics and senior political analysts expressed concern over the pathetic financial condition our State is in. Delivering these promises is a suicide mission especially considering the debt the State is in, they warned. The Chief Minister being a first timer to governance, some raised red flags and were sincerely worried. The negative surge didn’t seem to affect his will to deliver.
First Signature for ‘Navaratnalu’
The Government welfare agenda started by implementing one of YSRCP’s poll promises to gradually increase old age pension from Rs 2,000 to 3000. The pension was hiked to Rs 2250 from June this year. It will be further increased to Rs 2500 the next year, and then to Rs 2750 subsequently, and ultimately raised to Rs 3000. The opposition initially criticised for not increasing the amount at a stretch to Rs.3000, the ruling party responded by broadcasting on media platforms YS Jagan’s campaign speeches, where he promised to increase it in phases.
Rise In Employees’ Salaries
Increase of Asha workers’ salary from Rs.3000 to Rs.10,000. Sanitation staff working in teaching hospitals, area hospitals, primary health centres and community health centres salaries increased to Rs 16,000. Increase from Rs 18,000 to Rs 21,000 for Home Guards. VOA (Velugu Animators) salary increased from Rs 3, 000 to Rs 10, 000. 108 Pilot Drivers remuneration increased from Rs. 13,000 to Rs.28,000. The salary of the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) will be increased from Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000. 104 Vehicle Pharmacist and Lab Technicians Salary Rs 17,500 to Rs 28,000 and Driver Salary Rs. 15,000 to Rs 26,000 increase. Increase of monthly salary for mid-day workers to Rs.3000. In addition to providing a better lifestyle, increased salaries demand accountability from the employees. The quality of services rendered will eventually improve.
Reverse Tendering Yields Results
Apart from the 700 odd crores of rupees saved from Polavaram project head works reverse tendering, another 500 odd crores were saved in various other Government tenders. This is a huge relief to our straining state economy.
The ever-rising unemployment issue is haunting the nation, Andhra Pradesh youth have been expressing anger towards the Government for not taking measures to curb unemployment. The newly formed Government in a revolutionary attempt provided jobs to over four lakh youths, out of which one lakh forty thousand jobs are permanent. Village and ward secretariats are established to cater decentralised administrations, owning Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of ‘swaraj’ – self rule. The appointed youth would work in or in co-ordination with these secretariats. Issues are aimed to be solved within 72 hours. As of now, this mechanism is yielding positive response, if the status quo is established, it would fetch more praise for the Government.
Implementation of Prohibition
A shockingly brave decision is to implement prohibition of alcohol. Previously, Governments relied on alcohol sales as a major source of income, to reduce and restrict alcohol is considered a suicide mission, it was the late former Chief Minister Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao who first implemented liquor ban, women praised and supported his decision then, the succeeding Government lifted the ban and worked to boost sales. Ys Jagan during his tour on foot (padayatra) promised to ban alcohol in phases, as promised, phase wise prohibition is underway, forty four thousand belt shops were removed, and licensed liquor shops were reduced.
Women Hail Move
Women in rural areas are welcoming this move, as their husbands who work on daily wages spend their hard earned money on alcohol rather than supporting their families. This is a tough transition for consumers who are addicted, there is an underlying risk of shift in dependence to drugs. Drugs and other intoxicants also need to be strictly restricted. The inflow of drugs from other states needs to be checked. Nevertheless, this is a welcome move, crimes committed under intoxication would gradually decrease, according to a report published by NCRB, around 85 percent of crimes against women are committed under the influence of alcohol.
Support to backward classes
Over two thirds of the population belong to the backward classes, it is a known fact that whichever political party succeeds in garnering their trust, ultimately rises to power. All political parties concoct a detailed action plan scripted in their election manifestos, offering economical support for their upliftment, in forms of subsidised loans, and or direct transfer of money. An overwhelming majority trusted and voted for YS Jagan, it should and have been the first priority for the Government to extend support to these classes, welfare specifically targeted towards these social groups showered the state. As part of social engineering, around 60 percent of ministerial positions were offered to the elected belonging to BC, SC, ST and minority sections, legislation is passed to reserve 50 percent of nominated works to these classes. When economical and social equality is achieved, the need for reservation desists, equal economical opportunities are the first step towards reaching equality.
‘YSR Aarogya Sri’ revamped
The scheme that immediately floods one’s imagination when reminded about the late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy is Aarogya Sri, it not only yielded positive results but also made him a demi-god among the masses. His positive reputation and welfare schemes transferred his parent Congress party’s vote bank to YS Jagan’s YSRCP with little or no difficulty. The burden to uphold his father’s legacy fell on the now Chief Minister. In addition to providing free health care, a sum of Rs. 5000 per month will be given to patients who undergo surgery. The scope of the scheme is further increased, hospitals in neighbouring states are earmarked, where patients can avail quality healthcare.
Nadu Nedu and Amma Vodi
Right to education is a fundamental right, a right wrongly neglected by our administrators. Instead of viewing Government sponsored education as an investment, they considered it a burden on the state exchequer. There is a widely popular criticism that Governments opted to systematically phase out Government schooling to boost private institutions, many feel private education is expensive, and out of the common man’s reach. Yet, parents go far to afford private education, some reduce their monthly expenses, a few are even forced to take out small loans from friend and family. Some Private institutions made news for harassing students, restricting them from appearing for examinations due to pending fees. Parents expressed grief and requested the Government to come to their aid, they affirmed that they are opting private schooling as the condition of the Government schools is pathetic; lack of proper infrastructure, negligent attitude of some teachers, lack of English medium education are some issues they expressed concern.
During his election campaign, the Chief Minister promised to address these issues. In accordance to his promise, he started ‘Nadu- Nedu’, a flagship program to transform schools as temples of learning, where gender, economic and social inequalities don’t hinder any child from receiving the much needed education, English medium of instruction is introduced, offering a level playing field to compete in the ever growing global competitive market. Annually an amount of Rs.15000 will be deposited into the bank accounts of the mothers who send their children to schools, as an added incentive and encouragement to improve attendance and to provide some financial relief to the parents.
Measures To Check Corruption
The emphatic reduction in corruption is evident through the recently conducted corruption survey, Andhra Pradesh fell a few places to be ranked 13th, when compared to Telangana which was ranked 5th , it is definitely a sign of a state moving towards a corruption free environment, a much bigger success for a Chief Minister tainted with corruption allegations. Major credit lies with the smooth functioning of the ward and village secretariats. A judicial review committee is formed to restrict corruption in the future.
Veera Vahana A Jagan’s KIA
The Government has signed an MoU with Veera Vahana Udyog Private Limited for setting up of an electric bus manufacturing unit in Anantapur district. The firm will invest Rs 1,000 crore on the plant in the first phase. The plant with a capacity to produce 3,000 buses per year, will come up in 120 acres. The Government apparently is in talks with various other investors who are eager to set up shop in Andhra.
A few bumps along the road defamed the Government; the sand issue could have been prevented if the previous sand policy was phased out instead of abruptly stopping the supply, floods further dampened the situation, preventing the mining of sand. An official report of suspected suicides allegedly due to unemployment is yet to be released. The painting of official Government buildings with party colours is criticised by the opposition, some over enthusiastic party workers allegedly painted the pedestal of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue.
The Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu criticised Jagan’s Government for halting developmental activities. He strongly condemned Jagan government’s attitude towards major MNC’s and their consequential withdrawal from the state. Without developmental activities, the state cannot sustain and will be buried deep under debt, he re-iterated. One has to wait and watch before drawing any conclusions. Apart from these issues, the Government fared well in the public, economically and socially backward classes are publicly voicing their opinion in favour of Ys Jagan’s government. Little unrest prevailed during the sand scarcity crisis which was later sorted out. As of now, the Government is enjoying the majority’s support, which can further strengthen if welfare and development are balanced, ignoring either one could defame the Government.
Deeksha Prasad.G, Editor in Chief