By Srinivasarao Kommineni
One need not check the entire bowl of rice to know if it is cooked, for sampling a grain of rice is enough. In the same vein, the working nature of a chief minister can be understood from his first week in office. Just sample the decisions of the 45-year old YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who with his sheer hardwork, ascended to the chief minister's office, one can see a certain level of conviction in him.
While taking the oath of office, YS Jagan made it clear that he wouldn't make a fuss about the caste, region and other such needless details of the beneficiary in implementing welfare schemes. As per his promise made during campaigning, he first hiked the old-age pension. Although such a decision is extremely difficult in this current financial situation of the State, YS Jagan, however, ensured that his first decision benefitted elderly persons, whom he fondly calls 'Avva, Thathalu'.
Probably YS Jagan met the maximum number of such elderly people when he was in his Padayatra. He first-hand saw their miserable living conditions. So his first decision was to hike their monthly pensions. He has never promised that he will increase their pension at one go. All he said was he would increase the pensions gradually. But TDP leaders have already start a disinformation campaign against this.
Former minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao has leveled allegations on this front. In the last five years, TDP leaders have lied throughout and vitiated the environment in the State. At least being in the Opposition, they should now start speaking the truth. If they don't do so, they will have to pay a huge price. Politicians like Ganta Srinivasa Rao should realise that people are in no mood to tolerate the pack of lies bandied out by persons of their ilk.
Honestly, people like us felt there will be a hike of Rs 200 per year. But YS Jagan determined that he will increase it upto Rs 3,000 in four years. Not just that, as per his promise made during campaign, he immediately honoured it to provide Rs 10,000 pension per month for patients of kidney ailments. He also increased the pay of Asha workers to Rs 10,000 a month.
When YS Jagan was in Vishakapatnam recently, his humane side was in full display drawing people's attention. This is what the girl who held that banner requesting help for her friend struggling with cancer said: "Jagan said he will have people call him a good CM in six months, but within six days he has become one." Does YS Jagan need any better contentment than this?
If one were to review his decisions so far, we can say with certainity that he is according a great deal of importance to people at the lower-rung of the society and who are marginalised struggling for basic amenities day-in and day-out.
Not limiting there, he has taken more good decisions already. He promised to prohibit the sale of alcohol in a gradual manner and already issued orders to ban belt shops in the State. This is certainly not an easy decision, considering that it will create lot of problems politically. But YS Jagan did not deter, but he is moving forward with his determination.
Although in 2014 as chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu signed on five key files to begin with, four of those five promises had lot of difficulty in being implemented. Infact, he told District Collectors back then to openly support TDP leaders and workers in their districs stoking a controversy. But in complete contrast with his predecessor, YS Jagan made it clear that there will be clear segregation between the party events and government programmes. One can see the stark difference in this very basic premise between the two leaders.
While the decisions of N Chandrababu Naidu, who never misses a opportunity to boast about his 40 years' seniority, has created controversy on several occasions, YS Jagan's decisons are received with jubilitation from people from all walks of life. The decisions such as increasing the remuneration paid to agencies which provide midmeal days to children and the decision to annouce Saturday as 'No-bag' in schools are worth appreciating.
The quick moves made by YS Jagan to bury the hatchet with sibling state Telangana by establishing a camaraderie with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao also filled the hearts of Telugu people across the world with happiness. Telugu people from both sides of the border are a relieved lot to see YS Jagan demonstrating a completely different picture compared to his predecessor who did nothing but flared up tensions with his proactive and controversial statements. The picture of KCR himself offering YS Jagan a bite of fruit on the occasion of their first meeting after the latter became chief minister has left a smile on everyone's lips.
Also, his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and getting Modi's assurance to help the State of Andhra Pradesh will certainly benefit YS Jagan. There is a fundamental difference YS Jagan and Chandrababu Naidu. YS Jagan has become chief minister with his sheer tenacity and hardwork. Although he did not get it easily, the fact remains that Chandrababu Naidu ascended the seat by forcing his father-in- law NT Rama Rao to step down, and he then conquered it. He then continued to stay in power by riding on the piggybacks of Vajpayee, Modi and Pawan Kalyan. But he forget this and lived in a delusion that he came into power on his own. He always felt that there's not a single leader who is as senior as he is. He always spoiled for a fight with Telangana Chief Minister KCR. In a stark contrast, YS Jagan is coming acros as person with utmost respect towards others maintaining the dignity of his position.
He appears to have a single-minded concern as how to fulfill the promises he made to the people. Although it is MLAs who have elected YS Jagan as the chief minister, but he has won praise from people in just a week's time. Even Opposition parties like Communist Parties too lauded the work of YS Jagan. I don't think so there is a need for another certificate on his work. So well done YS Jagan, keep it up!
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