AMARAVATI: The year began with YS Jagan Mohan Reddy completing his odyssey at Ichchapuram clocking 3,648 km of mass contact programme and as the year comes to an end, he emerged as a leader with vision and commitment implementing his manifesto and walking tall amidst the detractors who were dwarfed by the magnanimity of the Chief Minister by his transparent and corruption-free governance.
From unveiling the Pylon at Ichchapuram to the vision of decentralised development, Andhra Pradesh has seen it all during 2019.
The notification of general elections and fixing the elections in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the first phase in April on a single day has given rise to high voltage electioneering. YSRCP, led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was far ahead in electioneering, was more agile, more specific, more focussed and had clarity than the ruling dispensation. The Bye-Bye Babu and Nenu Vinnanu, Nenu Unnanu slogans and Ravali Jagan Kavali Jagan song sunk very deep into the hearts of the people who gave a decisive mandate.
During the initial months of the year, there was a knee-jerk reaction by TDP after seeing the huge response to YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s padayatra and it had quickly announced some welfare schemes emulating the YSRCP supremo.
As the elections were held in six phases, while YS Jagan Mohan Reddy after the April 11 polling, went on a holiday declaring that his Party will win a landslide, TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu looked frustrated and picked quarrels with everyone and even expressed doubts about the functioning of EVMs.
The year has seen the rise and rise of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s graph while the TDP wings were clipped by the people so badly that it has become a featherweight and could not make any impact other than trying to whip up passions and trying to cash in on even small and flimsy contingencies.
With the change of guard and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who steered his Party to a landslide victory winning 151 of the 175 assembly and 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats and surging ahead with his two-pronged strategy of undoing the damage done by the previous TDP government on one side and going ahead with his Party manifesto balancing welfare and development.
The mid-summer swearing-in ceremony stood as a high point of unfurling a new era in Andhra Pradesh putting an end to dark days of nepotism, corruption, discrimination, neglect of welfare and marginalised sections of society. Added to it the greed and arrogance of the previous dispensation have reached to such a degree that the people of the state have reduced the Party to just 23 seats.
Undeterred by the hindrances and the shortcomings which were a result of the financial indiscipline of the previous government, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy strode forward bringing in a slew of welfare measures and showing to the world how different he is when it comes to implementation of welfare schemes and ensuring that the money is reached to the intended beneficiaries within no time by making all payments online.
Social justice has come to the fore and could be seen in the composition of the cabinet with over 60% of berths going to marginalised sections of society and four of the five Deputy Chief Minister posts going to the weaker sections. The State has also passed Bills to provide 50 % reservations to SCs, STs, BCs, Minorities, and Women in nominated posts and contract works.
There was a real boom in the eyes of the beneficiaries when the amount was credited directly into the accounts of auto and taxi drivers under Vahana Mitra, and it was reflected in the same measure of glitter among the pensioners, farmers, fishermen, weavers, artisans and all sections of beneficiaries who could feel the real-time governance.
Village Secretariats have turned a new leaf in public administration and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has become the champion who could provide the mass recruitment drive by providing employment to over four lakh people in the form of Village and Ward Secretaries and Volunteers taking administration closer to people. RTC merger was a high point during the year.
Spandana (Response) was a runaway success with people directly giving representations to the concerned officials, who acknowledge and give a timeline for the redressal has been a unique programme.
When it comes to legislations, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has reacted fast by bringing in Disha legislation which pronounces stringent punishment for crime against women besides setting up of district courts to expeditiously complete the trial wherever there is conclusive evidence.
Setting up of Judicial Preview Commission which will look into all big-ticket contracts was widely welcomed as it sets an example of the transparency in governance. Reverse tendering has benefited the government to a tune of about Rs 1,500 crores.
The decision to introduce English medium from primary level in government schools, which will be supplemented by Amma Vodi, fees reimbursement, Hostel and Mess charges allowance, setting up of Skill Development Centres in Engineering Colleges and ITIs at all the 25 parliament constituencies which come under the umbrella of Skill Development Umbrella, and a Skill Centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) besides taking a decision to add one more year to Bachelor’s Degree with job orientation course in the final year have been the major decisions taken by the government on the education front. Nadu Nedu is the other scheme launched during the year which aims at renovating the 45,000 government schools in three phases by providing basic amenities like toilets, running water, blackboard, English lab, maintenance and the like. The same scheme is applicable to hospitals as well and MoUs were signed for the purpose.
Providing 75 % jobs for locals, breathing life into YSR Aarogyasri and making it available in major cities, bringing all treatments which cost more than Rs 1,000 under the scheme, taking firm steps towards prohibition and closing down all belt shops and permit rooms, bringing in Lok Ayukta, YSR Kanti Velugu and the YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan, setting up of Market Stabilisation Fund which helped in supplying onions at Rs 25 per kg through Rythu Bazaars when entire country was selling it at a premium price are the notable aspects of the Government.
The irregularities of TDP in land pooling were thoroughly exposed in the Assembly by the Government and decentralisation of administration and the concept of three capitals came to the fore and a high power committee will give its findings after a comprehensive study to the GN Rao Committee Report and the one of Boston Consultancy Group Report which is scheduled to come early next year.
On the development front, the Chief Minister had addressed the Diplomats’ Outreach Programme and addressed the Indian diaspora.