YSR Congress party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday completed his 100 days in office of the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Riding on the massive mandate given by the people – his party won 151 out of 175 assembly seats in the April 11 elections, Jagan made a good beginning in these 100 days in power, though he is still a long way to go to prove himself as an efficient administrator.
Unlike his predecessors including his father late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, Jagan has a disadvantage.
He had never worked in any government in the past, as a minister or a position with ministerial rank. He has absolutely no experience in administration and no knowledge of how bureaucracy functions.
However, Jagan has a fair understanding of the people’s problems which he had closely observed during his 14-month long padayatra covering over 3,600 kilometres across the length and breadth of Andhra Pradesh. He has will to address their problems. And where there is will, there is way.
So, Jagan has clarity as to what he has to do for the people. That is why, on the day one itself, he has strongly pushed for the implementation of his Nava Ratnas – nine important promises which he had made during his padayatra and incorporated them in his manifesto.
He set his priorities right and has made the first steps in that direction in the last 100 days.
Though 100 days is too short a period to judge his performance, there is a general feeling that the people are yet to feel the impact of his government.
May be, Jagan has not been able to convey his priorities to the people because he is yet to learn the nuances of administration.
Let us quickly understand some hits and misses of Jagan’s rule in the past 100 days.
1. On the day one itself, Jagan has announced his priorities – of providing a welfare-oriented governance. It was evident from the way he announced increase in pensions for various sections soon after taking oath as the chief minister.
2. Implementation of social justice in letter and spirit – by reserving 60 per cent of cabinet berths to the weaker sections and appointing five deputy chief ministers from the socially-deprived sections. Only four Reddys could get the berths in his cabinet.
3. Understanding the precarious position of the state finances, Jagan implemented austerity measures by cutting down wasteful expenditure.
4. Setting of village secretariats to decentralize the administration He announced appointment of over three lakh village volunteers to deliver government services to the door steps of common man
5. Introduction of schemes like Amma Vodi, providing monetary benefit to the families which send their children to government schools
6. Crackdown on belt shops across the state
7. Introducing Spandana programme, through which Jagan could directly reach out to the common man to redress their grievances
8. Sending a strong message to all his party leaders that he would not tolerate corruption at any level and cutting down all avenues of ill-gotten money
9. Setting up of a judicial commission to scrutinize and process all high value tenders of any work
10. Creating an employee-friendly atmosphere in the administration by taking steps like interim relief to government employees and merger of RTC staff with the state government etc.
1. Right from the day one, Jagan has created an impression that he is acting with vengeance against rival Telugu Desam Party, the classic example being demolition of Praja Vedika and serving of demolition notices to Chandrababu Naidu’s residence
2. While nobody would question Jagan’s intentions to eradicate corruption, his aggressive decisions like termination of contracts of Polavaram and various other projects, review of power purchase agreements with the solar and wind power producers, closure of Anna canteens and stoppage of various projects launched during the previous TDP regime showed that Jagan is eager to send Naidu to jail at the earliest, rather than proving the corruption through proper investigation.
3. His decision to stall all the ongoing works in the name of digging out corruption has led to massive unemployment
4. While his decision to review PPAs incurred the wrath of power producers, his proposal to provide 75 per cent jobs to locals in the private industries disturbed the industrial climate. In the last 100 days, no new industrial proposal has come.
5. Jagan government’s confusing stand on the capital city – whether it will continue from Amaravati or be shifted elsewhere – has also brought him some bad name. While his ministers were making contradictory statements, Jagan has not come out with a clear stand yet.
6. The withdrawal of loan by World Bank and Asian Development Bank for Amaravati has spoilt the industrial climate in the state.
7. His ambitious plan of introducing phase-wise prohibition in the state also has no takers. His decision to take over operation of retail liquor outlets by the state government from private traders is expected to make cause loss to the state exchequer.
8. Though Jagan is not at fault per se, his alleged pro-Christian decisions kicked up a lot of controversy in the state, thanks to the BJP.
9. The inconsistent stand on sand supply has also brought him a lot of negative talk as construction labourers lost jobs in a big way.
10. His move to rub shoulders with Telangana government has also drawn criticism from various quarters.