AP People’s No Trust In Chandrababu As YS Jagan Padayatra Reveals

The politics playing out in the name of no-trust vote moved by the TDP is all too evident. To begin with, the BJP is under no threat and the TDP backed by the Congress, TMC, DMK, SP and others is indulging in a political game of bluster.

In Andhra Pradesh the TDP wants to be seen as opposed to the Centre merely to stay afloat with a semblance of dignity. Its image today lies in the shambles because of widespread corruption over weaning arrogance of TDP leaders and their ubiquitous involvement in cases of land grabbing as also illegal sand mining. The no-trust vote is therefore an effor to stay in the spotlight and try to cling to other national parties in the hope that they would rescue Chandrababu and Lokesh when they find themselves in a similar situation as P Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram find themselves today.

Coming to the situation in Andhra Pradesh, what has the ruling Telugu Desam party done in these four years except earn a tainted image? Today, it does not so much have the courage to upload its manifesto in the party website. Try searching for the Telugu Desam Party website and click on telugudesam.org , what you see is a huge picture of Party president Nara Chandrababu Naidu smiling sheepishly at you and smaller images of his son Lokesh and father-in-law NTR, whom he incidentally stabbed in the back to hijack the party and government of the day more than two decades ago.

Isn't it shameful for a party ruling the state to hide its election manifesto which lists out all its assurances? The question is a rhetorical one because the ruling TDP failed to honour its commitments to the people of Andhra Pradesh who were already reeling under the impact of bifurcation of the state.

For the most part, Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and YSRCP president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has been doing what the government is expected to do through various departments and agencies. During the course of his mass contact initiative, Praja Sankalpa Yatra which has now completed 216 days. YS Jagan has been finding out about the day-to-day problems of villagers at the micro level. He proposes to address all the issues plaguing the people of the state under the rubric of navarathnalu, when the YSRCP is elected to power in the next round of elections.

While the TDP government has been functioning in a sleep mode and has been focussing for the most part on non-development issues, its leaders are said to be deeply involved in a wide range of corrupt activities which have come to the fore during YS Jagan's padayatra.

Practically every single day, people highlight instances of landgrabbing, sandmining, prawn farming affecting drinking water, non-waiver of DWCRA and crop loans, non payment of fee reimbursement to students, watering down of Arogyasri and a slew of other schemes that were meant to benefit the poor but have been suffering from government neglect.

It is the government's duty to embrace all sections of society and bring them under the fold of effective governance. Yet the TDP government is driven by partisan politics based on party affiliations. There have been countless instances in which people have come to YS Jagan describing how they have been ignored by the TDP government because the local Janmabhoomi Committee members suspect that their loyalties lie with YSRCP.

At other times, it is casteism which powers the TDP's political decisions, be it in the award of contracts in Amaravati, Polavaram or the corporatisation of education. While the TDP has been pursuing its own perochial agenda, YS Jagan has been meeting people from all segments of society, most of them drawn from the most deprived, backward strata.

In the final analysis, the TDP government is marked by insensitivity and apathy and its leadership has woken up to this painful reality only recently. This is evident in Chandrababu's U-turn on special category status to Andhra Pradesh which he first claimed was of little use and traded it for a special package which he hailed in the State Assembly. This is but only one instance of the chameleon nature of TDP politics suggesting that the party has now been reduced to a shadow of what it was intended to be when it was founded by the legendary NT Rama Rao. A political entity which was born out of anti-Congress sentiment has over the years become its secret ally. Instead of focusing on governance, the TDP leadership has sadly concentrated on publicity for which it is paying a dear price now. On the odd occasion, the Chandrababu regime rushes into damage control mode after problems are highlighted by YS Jagan in his public meetings or after interactions with his people during the course of his Praja Sankalpa Yatra. In the other words, while the Leader of the Opposition is with the people gaining an insight into their day-today lives, the government has been moving further away from them leading an ivory-towered existence alienated from the masses.
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