Controversies haunt Jagan in 2020; he steadfastly holding ground

Vijayawada: Even as a slew of pro-poor welfare incentives have attempted to consolidate his support base, there seems to be no end to controversies that began haunting Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2020.

Right from trifurcation of State capital for what he termed ensuring decentralised development, to removal of State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, the YSR Congress Party Government has been receiving several hostile verdicts from the judiciary. He also sprang a surprise by dashing off a letter to Chief Justice of India Justice S.A. Bobde against alleged misuse of position by his senior the most colleague in the apex court Justice N.V. Ramana in delivering adverse judgments through his juniors in AP High Court.

In the letter released to the media through his principal adviser Ajeya Kallam, it was alleged that he was being influenced by his bete noire and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu in denting image of an elected government.

The reinstatement of Ramesh Kumar after his removal following reduction of his tenure through Ordinance route was set aside by the court, considered a huge setback to the government.

A probe was ordered by the government to go into alleged insider trading by Naidu and his close lieutenants in buying land in Amaravati area before taking a formal decision on locating capital at Amaravati. Two daughters of Justice Ramana figure in the FIR registered by Anti-Corruption Bureau in purchasing premium land in Amaravati.

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The YSRCP bigwigs went on record saying the grandiose capital planned by Naidu would have cost Rs.1.09 lakh crore whereas Visakhapatnam as executive capital would cost just 10% of it.

Trifurcation decision led to steep fall in realty price in riverfront area of Amaravati forcing a section of farmers in the region to continue agitation against it for a year.

Polavaram multipurpose Irrigation project, which saw several twists and turns is facing uncertainty even as BJP-led NDA Government has given it national project status.

The government after cancelling contracts awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd during the TDP regime, has given the job to Megha Engineering & Infra Ltd through reverse tendering. The government said it led to saving of Rs.780 crore.

The Ministry of Finance capped the expenditure of the mega project at Rs.20,398 crore. YSRCP insists on approving revised cost estimates at Rs.47,735 crore done as per 2017-18 price line.

The controversies notwithstanding, the implementation of Navaratnalu-the nine welfare schemes promised by the government like free houses to the people below the poverty line, jobs to locals, increase old age and widow pensions and direct money transfer has consolidated support base of the ruling party.

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Finalised on the basis grievances received from the public during his 3,648-km padayatra preceding general elections, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced a roadmap to implement all the pro-poor policies as a top priority.

The welfare schemes are being implemented despite Covid-19 pandemic impacting badly on revenue collections.

For Amma Vodi programme alone, which gives Rs.15,000 per child, for studying in both government and private school, in the account of mothers, Rs.6,000 crore was earmarked in 2020-21.

TDP Leader of Opposition in Council Yanamala Ranakrishnudu alleged that due to mismanagement the State has become a fit case for promulgating financial emergency. Capital expenditure was less than Rs.10,000 crore than last year and the estimated share of debts to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was 27%. Mismanagement would increase it to 37%, he said alleging the total outstanding liabilities had gone up to Rs.4.68 lakh crore.

While Chandrababu Naidu said the government is pursuing vendetta politics because of its brute majority in Assembly, BJP State president Somu Veeraraju alleged the YSRCP was staking claim for allocations released by the Centre by giving various names to the projects on its own to gain political mileage.

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