Is it really time for voters to re-think YSRCP’s rule in Andhra?
Like they say, when you become self-destructive, even nature cannot stop you from falling off the cliff (in life and in reality too). The pessimism and narcissism of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and his haphazard decisions are hitting Andhra Pradesh so badly that the hapless citizens do not know what to do but just repent over the situation.
Andhra Pradesh was India’s most business-friendly state in 2016, 2017 and 2018, according to separate studies conducted by the Union commerce ministry, the World Bank and the National University of Singapore. But few would agree with that claim now.
Jagan has not only rattled investors’ confidence by rolling back some of former CM N. Chandrababu Naidu’s decisions, putting current and future investments in the southern state at risk, but also made most investments exit the state. From wanting to renegotiate solar and wind power tariffs to cancelling infrastructure projects to taking back land allotted to companies, the 47-year-old first-time chief minister appears to have set a dangerous precedent.
The chief minister has also reversed several other decisions taken by the previous state government, including allotment of 14 acres in Visakhapatnam to Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group for a commercial complex and a Rs 3,200 crore hydel power contract awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company. The Navayuga group also lost the land parcels allotted to it earlier for a special economic zone and a port.
From non-payment of pensions to the elderly to lack of salaries for the government staff, from driving out investments to intolerant behaviour & violence towards Opposition parties, from emptying the state coffers to pushing in into unimaginable debt, the state is in doldrums and is in dire need of help.
Foremost of these haphazard decisions was the move to go back on the plan to develop a “world-class, people’s capital” in Amaravati, a project closely identified with Naidu. The 35,000-acre expanse near Vijayawada, conceived in partnership with a Singapore consortium, was buzzing with construction activity till mid-2019.
Ever since his government assumed power in 2019, it has been perceived to be in constant confrontation with the judiciary. Numerous rulings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court have either nullified administrative orders due to their controversial contentious moves. Not just that, but even blatantly accusing the Supreme Court Chief Justice of bias towards the TDP was outlandish.
Additionally, on the legislative side, his decision to scrap the legislative council, where the TDP had enjoyed a majority, has come in for a lot of criticism. Just like this, there are umpteen moves by the YSRCP government that are putting Andhra on the path to destructive death.
But, If we stop asking questions, then what would we be measuring and to achieve what outcomes; simply put, will it not be disastrous for sustainability or for the state’s own existence? This is a question only Andhra’s voters will have to answer for themselves!
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.