Jagan overhauls CMO, reviews Naidu’s decisions on constructions works
Andhra Pradesh’s new chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy began overhauling the chief minister’s office and putting the brakes on controversial decisions of his predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu.Updated: May 31, 2019 22:36 IST
Within hours of taking oath as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has begun showing his mark on the administration by undoing the controversial decisions taken by his predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu and shifting officials perceived to be close to him. Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party won a landslide victory in the assembly elections bagging 151 of the 175 seats.
The chief minister, who vowed to provide a clean and corruption-free administration while addressing the gathering at the swearing-in ceremony, directed chief secretary L V Subrahmanyam to stop all the construction and engineering works till they are reviewed by the new government. Accordingly, Subrahmanyam issued orders cancelling all the projects which were sanctioned by the Naidu government before April 1, but not yet “grounded” [work not commenced]. Similarly, the projects that took off but the expenditure incurred on them is less than 25% of the original estimate should be reviewed. Payment of bills for these works would require prior permission from the superior authorities, he ordered. “A number of engineering works were sanctioned even by relaxation of Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) norms causing huge burden on the state exchequer,” Subrahmanyam said. Enacted in 2003 by Parliament, the FRBM Act is aimed at bringing financial discipline on government expenditure.
Stating that the new government would be pro-poor with zero tolerance towards corruption, the chief secretary asked the secretaries of all the departments to undertake a thorough review of the works and take corrective steps if business rules were modified or sacrificed in any work. Soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Jagan Reddy took up overhauling of the chief minister’s office (CMO) by removing all the senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials — Satish Chandra, G Sai Prasad, Girija Shankar and Adusumulli Rajamouli — who were perceived to be close to Naidu. He brought in K Dhananjay Reddy as additional secretary in the CMO. The officer had earlier worked with Jagan Reddy’s father late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy between 2004 and 2009. Another officer, P Krishna Mohan Reddy, who was also close to the YSR family, was appointed as officer on special duty to CM.
By evening, Jagan issued orders shunting out director general of police R P Thakur. Gautam Kumar Sawang has been appointed new police chief while Thakur was moved to the nondescript department of stationery and printing. Former state intelligence chief A B Venkateswara Rao was also shifted.