In every ruling political party there is anti-incumbency factor which seldom becomes a hurdle to conduct a fair governance. This is what Jagan government is facing nowadays in Andhra Pradesh. In this post, we will try to find out the root cause.

There aren’t many choices for YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, to expertly address the perceived anti-incumbency factor. Because his government has already alienated some groups of people by placing an inappropriate emphasis on welfare programmes despite the state’s financial situation. Even worse, the millions of people who receive benefits from welfare programmes are aware that the government needs loans badly to pay its debts.

Notably, the majority of loans have payback schedules that span almost three decades. This suggests that the process of debt repayment would last for thirty years while charging excessive interest rates. Therefore, the government led by one party would borrow money and use it to fund various public programmes, such as welfare programmes, with the subsequent administrations then being required to repay those loans. Those in positions of power could conveniently overlook the thin line that separates taking out large debts from being there to repay them on time. In order to malign their political rivals, they create their own agendas and engage in the blame game. Such a government policy will only cause the state’s financial issues to worsen, necessitating the necessity to take more and more loans from agencies like RBI multiplying year after year.

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Some sections of elite people with proper educational background opine that the loans taken by one party’s regime should be completely cleared by it before the end of its tenure! Although it looks strange and impracticable, it appears to be a reasonable considered opinion on the part of responsible citizens.The frequent hikes in the prices of essential commodities and petroleum products have made the lives of common people miserable. Even the beneficiaries of various welfare schemes, who get some extent of the monetary benefits, feel similarly as their perceived benefits vanish in the face of hikes in prices of essential commodities and fuel.

Besides, one must take note of the embittered feelings of those who pay taxes to the government, but do not get commensurate benefits or amenities and facilities from the government. People who sincerely pay their taxes feel that their hard-earned money that the government gets in the form of taxes should be used only for concrete developmental purposes, including creating assets that would benefit future  generations. For example, the Polavaram multi-purpose project appears to be not a priority for the state government, which is heavily dependent on the Union government for its continued funding.

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The AP government has spent more than Rs 1.5 lakh crores towards the  implementation of welfare schemes. This translates to depositing huge amounts in the bank accounts of beneficiaries of welfare schemes. The total spend on welfare schemes so far is four times higher than the funds required for the completion of Polavaram, which can cater to the irrigation needs of the entire state, including stabilising Krishna delta.  At present, it may not be in the list of priorities of the government as the Polavaram project is no more a votes-drawing factor.

The Jagan government perhaps believes that the beneficiaries of various welfare schemes will bring votes for the ruling party YSRCP, regardless of Polavaram.That is why even the probable date of completion of the Polavaram project is not clear as yet, with two ministers representing irrigation portfolio and the Chief Minister declaring differing dates for the completion of project. Strategically, the present Minister for Irrigation announced that there was no time frame for the completion of the Polavaram project. This implies that Polavaram is not a poll-related subject anymore.

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Government employees are sore over the non-implementation of the recommendations of the Pay Revision Commission, including stoppage of Dearness Allowance.There are intractable issues concerning taxes imposed on loans obtained by them. At the present juncture, the state government is handling employees carefully as they might influence voters against the ruling party in the months ahead.

Andhra Pradesh is slowly moving into election mode, though the polls are due only in 2024. So, the state government is eyeing measures that would bring immediate and tangible benefits. It is okay if the Polavaram project takes a back seat.

Castes equations are now in the spotlight. The ruling party is trying to recruit members of the Kapu caste, which has the greatest vote share of any caste. Chief of the Jana Sena Party Pawan Kalyan was targeted by Kapu Ministers and MLAs. The statement made by the leaders of the ruling party that “Kapus are being honoured by the government on par with the ruling class (Reddy community) in the state” was humorous.

Beneficiaries of various social programmes are not pleased with how governing party legislators name-call them during their public demonstrations of “Gadapa gadapaku mana prabhutvam” (our government is at every doorstep), if not disgrace them. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hydlive