From being a state where investors queued up to invest, soon after its bifurcation in 2014. From having seen dreams of being the most progressive state in 2014 under former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to now (under Y.S. Jaganmoahn Reddy) being the one that is on the brink of an economic and moral collapse, Andhra Pradesh has seen it all in the last 8 years. From having a GDP growth rate of 10.8% (highest in the country between 2014 and 2019) to falling drastically to a snail-paced 3%, the state is heading towards an impending disaster, socially too.
Well, that’s what happens when you have a leader at the helm who is looking at short-term goals and benefits to stay in power and enjoy it. If you are an insecure leader, you will do what the majority wants – give freebies, introduce schemes that throw away free money and make people lazy and lethargic. But, when you are a visionary leader, you always have the long-term growth in mind and hence, design policies and work towards things that create a safe and sustainable future for the people of the state, whether you live or die. And, that’s what Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing in this tumultuous phase of power struggle.
From being a power-surplus state to now being a state that is facing a continuous blackouts syndrome, Andhra Pradesh is now among the dark states which has weekly power cuts in the commercial sector apart from 50% power cuts in the industry sector to power holidays across the board. The fact that “power holidays” are back in the state under Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy after Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy (who was famous for declaring power holidays for industries due to his competence to ensure power supply to industries) shows the dire situation AP currently is faced with.
What is appalling is the legacy that Chandrababu Naidu created for Telugu people with Information Technology jobs and good education is now in ruins. Telugu people around the world, especially in the US, are those with the highest per capita income of US$1,20,000 whereas native Americans’ per capita income stands at US$64,000. Their first-mover advantage, ability to work hard, speak English fluently and be good at tech and math has made them the amongst superior working class in the world. But, all that economic legacy is now about to collapse.
Now, under the Jagan government, there are neither opportunities for growth nor is there any governance that is furthering development of the state. Unfortunately, the rich legacy and education that Telugu people pride themselves on, is about to be squandered away in the garb of maladministration and misgovernance.
So, is the 2024 Assembly election going to be their last chance to reclaim or build back the rich legacy they’re about to lose under the current administration? Only voters should tell!!
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.