Andhra CM Jagan’s 100 days in office leaves some happy, others miffed
It may have been only 100 days since YSR Congress party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy rode to power on the back of a landslide victory in the newly carved state of Andhra Pradesh, but he has still managed to leave his own mark on the state, for both right and wrong reasons.
Implementation of Nava Ratnas, a set of nine promises Jagan made during his marathon 3,600 km-long-campaign padayatra consumed his administration’s initial days, pushing all developmental programmes to the back burner.
An increase in pensions for senior citizens, physically challenged and others, assistance of Rs 15,000 to mothers of school going children, scrapping of contributory pension, merger of Road Transport Corporation employees with the state government along with the phased total prohibition, have been some of the prominent welfare promises implemented by his government.
In related moves, he handed out political power to the weaker sections and minorities through allocation of 60 per cent of the cabinet berths besides appointing four of them as Deputy Chief Ministers.
Jagan’s weekly programme, Spandana, aimed at receiving grievances from the people has received popular praise. Appointment of nearly three lakh village volunteers for delivering government’s schemes to people’s doors and creating additional employment for one lakh youth under the Village Secretariats programme are other major highlights of his 100-day rule.
However, Jagan’s lack of experience in governance was also evident in many ways. While, he continues to face a CBI inquiry into alleged corruption, he is trying to create an impression that he wants to establish a corruption-free administration by putting projects undertaken by the Chandrababu Naidu government under the lens.
While most of the projects from Naidu’s time have been halted, as many as 30 of Naidu government’s decisions, including the power purchase agreements, Amravati land pooling and irrigation projects like Polavaram, Galeru-Nagari etc were put under probe.
While ordering reverse tendering for the cancelled contracts, Jagan created a judicial commission to scrutinize and approve all the fresh tenders.
These steps have brought various developmental projects to a standstill, leading to unrest among the working class and negative impact on the industrialization. For instance, his decision to review PPAs upset the power producers and also the NDA government, while his proposal to provide 75 per cent jobs to locals in the private industries led to a negative talk in the business circles.
Steps like demolition of Praja Vedika, a conference hall adjacent to Naidu’s residence at Vundavalli, closure of Anna canteens and stoppage of previous government initiated projects has led to the impression that Jagan was focusing on vengeance instead of development.
Above all, his lack of a proper stand on Amaravati as the state’s capital has drawn a lot of flak. While, his ministers made contradictory statements, Jagan is yet to come out with either clear strategy or stance. The withdrawal of loans by World Bank and Asian Development Bank for Amaravati has also also impacted the investment climate in the state.
The TDP president termed Jagan’s 100-days, a big flop. “While the administration has turned chaotic, the YSRC leaders are unleashing a reign of terror in the villages, assaulting the TDP activists,” Naidu alleged.
BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana said Jagan’s 100-day regime was disappointing, while Congress spokesman N Tulasi Reddy compared him to Muslim ruler of Delhi Sultanate, Tughlaq, who had infamously moved his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad before abandoning the project mid-way upon realising his folly.
Political analyst Rajesh Mallu, however, said that Jagan needed to be given at least a year before his performance is judged. “He has just made a beginning and I think it will take at least a year for his plans to yield results, positive or negative. However, Jagan’s too much focus on welfare schemes, ignoring development, will have a long term impact on the state’s economy,” he said.