100 days of Jagan government: Bouquets and brickbats
One hundred days for an elected government, which is supposed to be in power for a full five-year term, is too small a time to do anything concrete for the people of the State.
The Modi government at the Centre, for example, can claim only some foreign related development and abrogation of Article 370 and the following clampdown in Jammu & Kashmir, for which the sketch was made ready during its last tenure and of course the historical Moon Mission which is being carried out by the national space agency ISRO, in which the Centre has no say other than allotting funds.
But for a new government, which was elected for the first time in the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation, led by a political novice and relatively young leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the 100 days in power is conspicuous with its enchanting welfare schemes and several bold moves that came as an unpleasant surprise for political behemoths like former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and his ilk in the already dying Congress.
Though there have been some rumours about shifting of Andhra Pradesh's capital from Amaravati to elsewhere, Jagan Mohan Reddy denied the reports that appeared in the media following the statement of a Minister in his Cabinet.
Looking at the welfare measures that have been initiated by the Jagan's government as soon as he assumed office, one should appreciate his innumerable welfare schemes that no other State could implement in such a short span of time.
Though there are assertions and allegations by the Opposition parties that Jagan Mohan Reddy is resorting to political vendetta as he cancelled the tenders of Rs 3,000 crore Polavaram Project awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited citing massive scam in the project and his obstinacy in exposing the corruption by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government, the fact is people in the State are in high spirits as most of the pre-poll promises including that of liquor prohibition have started taking wings! Allocation of 60 percent of his Cabinet berths to minorities and appointing four of them as Deputy Chief Ministers itself manifests the government's intention towards good governance.
Implementation of Nava Ratnas, a promise he had made to the people of Andhra Pradesh during his 3,600 kilometre padayatra which propelled him to power with a brutal majority, has made the YSR scion dear to the people of Andhra Pradesh within three-odd months of him being in power.
Despite the fragile finances of the State, Jagan announced an increase in pensions for senior citizens, physically challenged and others and financial aid of Rs 15,000 to mothers of schoolchildren, scrapping of contributory pensions and merger of the Road Transport Corporation with the government, thus drawing himself close to the hearts of millions.
In an unprecedented move, he provided employment to three lakh youth in the form of village volunteers and appointment process is on for another one lakh candidates in village secretariats, something that really deserves kudos.
His weekly grievance redressal programme Spandana is already a huge hit among rural populace.
However, retendering of projects, demolition of a conference hall near Chandrababu Naidu's residence, withdrawal of loans for capital building by WB and ADB, and lack of proper stand on Amaravati have invited a lot of criticism during these 100 days.
Despite political differences, one should hail good work done by any government.