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Jagan Reddy takes oath as Andhra Pradesh CM, enhances old-age pensions

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu skipped the swearing-in but sent a delegation of party leaders to the ceremony.

india Updated: May 30, 2019 22:53 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Amravati
Jagan Reddy,Jagan swearing-in,Andhra Pradesh CM
YSR Congress Party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy is greeted by his supporters as he arrives for his swearing-in ceremony on May 30, 2019. (PTI)

Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy was on Thursday sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, exactly a week after his YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) won a landslide in the assembly elections, bagging 151 of 175 seats.

Jagan, also the YSRCP president, was the only one to take oath of office on Thursday. He is expected to form a full-fledged cabinet by next week, according to people familiar with developments.

Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath to Reddy at 12.23 pm at a huge function at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. He took oath in the name of god in Telugu.

The brief ceremony was attended by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his cabinet colleagues, Mahamood Ali and Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, Telangana assembly speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M K Stalin and Puducherry minister Malladi Krishna Rao. Jagan’s family, including mother Vijayalakshmi, wife Bharati, sister Sharmila and daughters Harsha and Varsha, were also present.

The stadium was packed to capacity by party leaders, cadre and thousands of people. President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent Jagan congratulatory messages and wished him success in leading the state to progress.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu skipped the swearing-in but sent a delegation of party leaders to the ceremony. He congratulated Jagan and assured him the TDP would cooperate with the development and welfare agenda of his government.

After he took oath, Reddy addressed the massive gathering, stating that his government was committed to implementing every single promise made in his manifesto with sincerity.

He signed his first file, enhancing old-age pensions from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,250 per month, which was one of the nine promises — “Nava Ratnalu” (nine jewels) — he had made. He reminded the people that two months before the elections, his predecessor Naidu had increased pensions from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 to lure voters.

He announced that the pension amount would be gradually raised and, by the fourth year, the amount would touch Rs 3,000 per month.

The chief minister also announced the creation of four lakh “village volunteer” jobs by August 15. The volunteers, who would be paid Rs 5,000 per month, would oversee the implementation of government promises at the grassroots level.

The new government would also constitute village secretariats in all gram panchayats by October 2 this year, as part of decentralisation of administration. Each secretariat would have 10 secretaries, who would attend to people’s grievances at the village level and deliver benefits to people at their door steps within 72 hours.

“In all, 1.62 lakh village secretaries would be appointed as government employees, irrespective of caste, creed and political affiliation. There will be a call centre directly linked to the chief minister’s office (CMO) to record any incident of corruption or irregularity,” Jagan said.

He said the entire administration would be overhauled to root out corruption and bring in transparency in the tendering process while awarding contracts. “We shall request the high court chief justice to spare a judge to head a judicial commission that will clear all contracts after ensuring there are no irregularities in the tendering process,” he said.

First Published: May 30, 2019 22:53 IST