Why Andhra needs the leadership like in the 90s

Andhra Pradesh, in its united form was a strength to reckon in the 1990s, following the economic reforms. With the state already in limelight for producing good political leaders like P.V. Narasimha Rao, N.T. Rama Rao, Venkaiah Naidu, Chandrababu Naidu, then, it was looked up to for its progressive growth. 
As the Centenary celebrations kick off for former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s birth anniversary, The Better Andhra explores why Andhra Pradesh needs the leadership of those days with a modern twist. If you look at the period right after economic reforms, there were two Telugu people who challenged conventional thinking both at the Centre and the State. 
Progressive Political Leadership & Economic Growth 
While P.V. Narasimha Rao was the underdog in the Congress whose acumen and astuteness for decision-making came to the fore with the Economic Reforms, in Andhra Pradesh, it was N. Chandrababu Naidu who took over as the CM following the death of NTR. Both these Telugu leaders provided excellent leadership for the country and the state. 
It was also a time when States could no longer rely on the Centre for resources, they had to fend for themselves.Upto 1990s, before the economic reforms, the License Raj almost destroyed the Indian economy without a free-market policy. In Andhra Pradesh, the burden of unemployment during this period was massive. 
This meant that both leaders had to push for a paradigm shift in people’s thinking on growth and development because populism would lead their governments into bankruptcy. Wealth creation through social empowerment and reforms became their tools for development.
Cooperative Federalism in True Spirit
The 1990s also became a powerful push-start for states which began attracting investments from foreign investors. With Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi,Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh making progress, it created a healthy competition among states to woo investments and create more jobs. Adding to this was the advent of the Internet and technology being introduced in the government to increase accountability of bureaucracy. 
The following Atal Bihar Vajpayee Government’s pro-active role in creating the IT policy and Task Force also paved the way for India to become one of the world's biggest IT nerve-centres. In Andhra Pradesh, an Information Technology Department, the first in the country, was introduced along with e-Governance and e-Seva for citizen services. 
There are many reasons why the 1990s were the golden period of India’s growth and why Modi-led India needs to open up to new ideas like that of Vajpayee’s times. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s leadership which was a remarkable period of policy making for India. 
He set policy priorities that unleashed private sector growth, brought fiscal discipline into focus, promoted consumption, gave more power to states to implement reforms and physically connected India through cross-country highways. This apart, the electricity reforms, telecom reforms, creating a free-market ecosystem for aviation to the move to introduce borrowing limits for states, were part of the era. 
Modi needs to take lessons on Vision-building from 90s
India and Andhra Pradesh, now more than ever, needs to realise that for a vision, the sufficient time required is 20 years. But, given that our country’s mandate is always for a five-year period, a Vision should include macro as well as micro-plans. The current governments, at both Centre and the state, need to understand that focussing only on welfare and political dividends may destroy their progressive ecosystems and lead them back into bankruptcy. 
The leadership of the 90s for India and Andhra Pradesh included a holistic, balanced and well-sequenced vision, reflecting and reconciling the multiplicity of interests and challenges existing in any society. This is exactly why Andhra Pradesh and India needs right now! 

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