‍‍‘Every good thing you do always God will return back to you’. Will this saying save Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy to retain power in 2024 elections? This had become a million dollar question in  political circles.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and his core team appear to be least bothered about the growing anti-incumbency factor in the state following inconveniences faced by people in the form of hike in the prices of essential commodities at the beginning of the second half of the YSR Congress Party’s rule.

Their confidence levels are so high that they are stating that people of Andhra Pradesh would ‘repose’ confidence in the YSRC government simply because of the monetary benefits they get from the government, irrespective of the inconveniences, from ‘Navaratnas’  — nine gems i.e.welfare schemes — that cover various sections of society, including farmers, women, students and others.

One would be astonished to know that a total of Rs 2.47 lakh crore needs to be distributed among the beneficiaries of these welfare schemes. Jagan often boasts that he has been depositing thousands of crores of rupees into the bank accounts of beneficiaries of various welfare schemes. He pats himself for zero corruption in the gigantic exercise of money disbursement.

Members of the public may not be aware of the bare fact that Rs 2.47 lakh crore of rupees would be sufficient to build at least four irrigation projects like the Polavaram multi-purpose project.

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Everybody knows the truth that the present estimates of funds required for the completion of Polavaram project is Rs. 53,000 crore. The lakhs of beneficiaries under various welfare schemes might be ignorant of the fact that this huge outgo towards Navaratnas is leading to bankruptcy of their own state.

“We are doing what we said in our manifesto,” is the stock reply that party leaders give when faced with questions about the propriety of government spending on unproductive schemes.

Sections of society who do not come under the ‘poor’ category are restive. For, their duty is to pay taxes to the government by way of purchasing goods and commodities.

Their heartburn is that their money goes to fund welfare schemes that do not benefit them directly. At the same time, there is no guarantee that beneficiaries of these welfare schemes would vote for the ruling party.

Intimidation of voters may not work as beneficiaries of welfare measures belong to all political parties. If the government ensures that all eligible people get welfare benefits, irrespective of their political affiliations, there is no question of the beneficiaries voluntarily voting for ruling party. They will simply go by their conscience while exercising their franchise.

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In such cases, the ruling party won’t get the expected percentage of votes. Anti-incumbency factor always benefits the Opposition, probably the principal opposition, except on very rare occasions when one-sided voting is registered in favour of the ruling party.

At a time when the state government is literally crying for the attention of the Union government regarding the release of funds required for the speedy completion of the Polavaram project, people are witnessing the same gov⁵ernment spending huge amounts on welfare measures. The Jagan government will have spent Rs 2.47 lakh crore for the implementation of ‘Navaratnas’ in its tenure of five years.

A sum of Rs. 1.37 lakh crores has already been ‘spent’ via deposits into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The State government has slipped into a situation where it cannot do anything without financial support from the Union government.

Every family eligible for welfare measures has benefited to the tune of one lakh rupees so far. But the additional burden on people following the abnormal hike in prices of essential commodities like petrol, diesel, LPG cylinders and electricity charges is also causing great concern among the beneficiaries of welfare schemes. This imbalance may affect the electoral prospects of the ruling party.

Still, the ruling party is confident of winning again in 2024 as it strongly believes that voters would show ‘gratitude’ towards Jaganmohan Reddy. Every person who has received money from the government would definitely vote for the ruling party.

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This is the strong belief of YSRC. It may be recalled here that the erstwhile TDP regime transferred huge amounts to the bank accounts of  beneficiaries of self help groups (SHG)of women.

Every woman got nearly from Rs.20,000 to Rs.30,000 just 10 days prior to the elections of 2004. Yet, change of guard took place due to that election.

Internal bickering among YSRC leaders may cause some damage to the electoral prospects in the days to come. Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has urged his MLAs to retain all 151 seats in the next elections as the government has disbursed lakhs of crores of rupees to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Jagan sees no reason on the part of people for negative voting. What would the state government achieve from non-productive expenditure? How many decades will the government need to clear the total debt burden of more than Rs.6 lakh crores? What about the need for creation of assets for future generations?

A statesman thinks about the next generation.Only a politician thinks about ways to win the next elections. People of AP would prefer Jagan to be a statesman! #KhabarLive #hydnews

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.