In the consumer parlance, there is something called buyer’s remorse. The developments that have been taking place in Andhra Pradesh, ever since voters there gave a thumping majority to YSRCP led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, clearly show that people in the state are now being pushed into a feeling of voters’ remorse.
Jagan Mohan Reddy was given a massive mandate by people in AP, which no other leader including NTR or his (Jagan’s) father Dr YSR could not get in their lifetime. YS Jagan is given more than 50 per cent of vote share, which itself is a record of sorts.
People who voted for him in large numbers and those did not vote for him had high expectations from him. During his innumerable Odarpu Yatras, Pada Yatras and electioneering, Jagan made several promises to the people from all sections of society. Fed up with the Chandrababu Naidu’s regime, especially with largescale corruption among his cronies, from top to the local Janmabhoomi Committees, massive nepotism, AP voters gave a decisive victory to Jagan. Everyone including the hard core critics of Jagan, thought, being a young leader, having massive public support, he would offer transparent, effective and innovate governance which in turn change AP State for the better.
Within six months of coming to power, Jagan did everything to destroy what he had gained during and after the election. Due to his vendetta politics against CBN and a section of leaders, people from a particular social group, Jagan made major policy decisions targeting them and their business interests. Be it cancelling the contracts given for the Polavaram and other irrigation projects and schemes, stopping the bill payments to the private Power companies, especially alternative power producers, refusing to pay for the small, medium, petty works done during the TD regime.
His whimsical decisions like cancelling the land allotments to several major national and international companies in SEZs, reversing every policy and decision made by the TDP government in their five-year term have caused immense damage to the AP’s reputation.
This led to a fear psychosis among the investors, contractors, business and trade communities. So much so that several national and international companies have issued advisories not to invest in AP. The real estate took a severe beating. In other words, AP’s loss is proved to be Telangana State’s gain. Without any effort, investments are flowing into Telangana State and real estate is the big gainer in Telangana.
With the mess that Jagan has created for AP and for himself, he is now bent upon establishing three Capitals for AP, Executive (Visakhapatnam), Judicial (Kurnool) and Amaravati (Administrative). Though Jagan and his colleagues argue that they are decentralizing the administration, the reason for setting up three capitals is a known secret.
Jagan, as he alleged CBN on several occasion, feel that insider trading took place while fixing Amaravati as the capital. Jagan had already ordered an inquiry. But this logic of linking insider trading to the formation of three capitals is not justifiable. If insider trading has indeed taken place, then an in-depth inquiry by a proper agency should be ordered and the culprits brought to book. But Jagan is Jagan. For him there are no niceties when it comes to finishing his opponents more so someone like CBN.
In a parliamentary democracy, any political leader, after attaining power, would keep his personal vendetta out of his governance. In the past, for several decades, this country has seen political parties coming to power and losing it later. But at every change of leadership at Centre or in the State, there was never a political or personal vendetta.
After a long wait, when YSR became chief minister of the then united AP. He was able to rise above his personal rivalry and ruled the State focusing on top priorities like development and welfare. He did not reverse every decision that the earlier CBN regime had taken. YSR not only continued several projects, schemes and programmes launched by CBN but also improvised on them. Jagan seems to be in no mood to follow his father.
Despite opposition from several quarters including from farmers who gave their land for pooling for Amaravati, Jagan being adamant in all aspects of his political life. He is going ahead not bothering about the welfare of AP and its people. Everyone welcomes the decentralization of administration and governance. Jagan has several workable options like increasing the number of districts and making them small as was done in Telangana.
He can create a separate High Court Bench at Kurnool; develop Visakhapatnam as the industrial hub along with developing the Visakha Port to international standards. He has the option of making the entire Rayalaseema region into a manufacturing zone with umpteen major, medium, small and cottage industries. Jagan could have developed the nature’s gift to AP, the long coastline into a revenue-generating model. The entire Konaseema region often called as Mini Kerala into a vast tourism hub. Jagan could have taken up innovative schemes like making the Buckingham Canal a major waterway connecting AP to Puducherry via TN.
This water route was very famous during the British Raj. In other words, Jagan had a plethora of options that would change the entire economic and fiscal position of AP for the better. He also has options to change the entire administration and bring governance at the doorstep of people. But Jagan will not utilise these options. His only aim seems to finish off CBN politically. Thus far no further! Even if it is at the cost AP getting destroyed. In such a sordid scenario, what will voters in AP do other than indulge in remorse?