Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
Did you notice the manner in which YSR Congress Party president and chief minister designate YS Jagan Mohan Reddy addressed the media at Delhi? Did you observe the simplicity which marked his style? YS Jagan is extremely proficient in English. He spoke both in Telugu and English demonstrating his fluency, with great clarity. He expressed his views and responses in Telugu directly and clearly. In other words, he established the fact that the chief minister Andhra Pradesh has seen so far was different from what his successor would be. YS Jagan spelt out his views on relations with the Centre and also on his interaction with the chief minister of Telangana.
Perhaps YS Jagan chose to address the first press conference in the national capital because he wanted to interact with the media on his discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the state. He spoke frankly about his talks with PM Modi and also expressed the wish that had NDA secured 250 seats in the Lok Sabha, it would have been better. It would have been easier to achieve Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh and other demands under those circumstances, he observed.
YS Jagan also clarified on his meeting with BJP president Amit Shah and termed it a routine, courtesy call. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had once said in the assembly that strained relations with the Centre will impact the flow of funds to the state. Oddly enough, it was Chandrababu who developed strained ties with the Centre and began blaming it for many things. Moreover, BJP and TDP became highly critical of each other once Chandrababu walked out of NDA.
On the other hand, YS Jagan was never an ally of the BJP. By according due respect to the Prime Minister and the President of BJP as a matter of courtesy, he demonstrated that AP could achieve more through a cordial relationship with the Centre. On his part, PM Modi also responded positively saying that he had an excellent interaction with the chief minister designate of Andhra Pradesh and that the Centre would extend all possible help to the state. The PM‘s reaction would have pleased YS Jagan.
The YSR Congress party president and chief minister elect pointed out that it was important to have cordial relations with the neighbouring state of Telangana. He also made it clear that he would be firm in dealing with past acts of omission and commission. He had earlier complained to the Centre with regard to the massive land scam relating to the capital city of Amaravati. YS Jagan had pointed out that through insider trading, proxy investments and forcible acquisition of land from farmers, Chandrababu and other TDP leaders had benefited enormously to the tune of lakhs of crores of rupees.
With the YSRCP ascending to power, the onus now lies on the new government to prove these facts and unearth the scam. YS Jagan has assured the people of the state that he would get the scam probed and bring the guilty to book. He has also promised to come out with a white paper on the scams in various departments, the state of economy and the irregular expenditure indulged in by the TDP government. He also hinted that his government would reveal facts on how borrowings had risen over the past five years and the reasons behind these debts.
The TDP has every reason to feel jittery about this. All these years Chandrababu, his ministers and other official spokesmen would deny all wrongdoing and brush allegations aside. It is likely that the TDP would now play victim and term it as vindictiveness if the new government probes its scams. However, as a responsible chief minister heading a new government it would be incumbent upon YS Jagan to get to the bottom of these scandals indulged in by the TDP over these 5 years, for fact-finding and not for political reasons, whatever the TDP might say.
Perhaps, YS Jagan has decided to first review the functioning of each department and then take up the task of inducting new ministers into his cabinet. This is probably the reason why he stated that he would be sworn in first and in the course of a week to ten days, the oath-taking ceremony of other ministers in his cabinet would take place.
The chief minister elect reiterated his resolve to eradicate the menace of liquor. He admitted indirectly that the financial crunch which would follow would have to be dealt with. It would be better therefore, on his part, to take up these welfare schemes sequentially.
Through his simple, forthright and candid media interaction, the chief minister designate gave pressmen and the people at large, an idea of the shape of things to come after he takes office.