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Andhra economy crippled in the name of clean-up: Kanna Lakshmi Narayana

Andhra Pradesh BJP president Kanna Lakshmi Narayana is of the view that the new system of YS Jaganmohan Reddy has done harm to the state's economy. Narayana says the current regime failed to prove any irregularity in the previous regime even after...

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 18, 2019, 11.05 AM IST
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Kanna Lakshmi Narayana (President, Andhra BJP)
The new dispensation of YS Jaganmohan Reddy has crippled the Andhra Pradesh economy on the pretext of fighting corruption in the previous regime and reviewing vital contracts and policies but failed to prove any irregularity till date, said state BJP leader Kanna Lakshmi Narayana. Referring to the state’s attempts to review and reverse power purchase agreements, Polavaram irrigation project, Amaravati greenfield capital city and sand policies of the previous regime, the BJP Andhra president said domestic and foreign investors were frightened and lakhs had turned jobless. Edited excerpts from an interview with ET.

How does BJP assess the rule of YS Jaganmohan Reddy so far?
The people of Andhra gave a chance to Jagan hoping he will revive their prospects, after having lost hopes on the administrative experience of Chandrababu Naidu to help improve the economy after the bifurcation of Andhra in 2014. Instead of focussing his efforts on reviving the economy, Jagan has crippled the Andhra economy by resorting to immature decisions of revisiting and reversing the vital contracts and policies of the previous regime. While decisions to revisit and reverse the contracts were taken on the pretext of corruption and irregularities of the previous regime, Jagan’s administration has failed to prove even a single irregularity and penalise the offenders to recover public money. Forget about reviving the economy, the new regime added further burden on the exchequer with its decisions.

What kind of decisions are you referring to?
The YSR Congress government has accommodated nearly 4 lakh of its party workers in government jobs and salaries. Merging the state road transport corporation into the government and setting up village secretariats are similar decisions that added further burden on the state exchequer.

While the government is claiming to have provided jobs to 4 lakh persons within 100 days, the fact is that the number of people who lost lobs and livelihoods during this period is multifold. Lakhs of people working on outsourcing basis with various government departments for over a decade have lost their jobs. Lakhs of construction workers have lost their livelihood as the civil construction works have come to a standstill with scarcity of sand, thanks to the ruling party men taking control of sand reaches and stockyards. With lakhs of crores worth construction works coming to a standstill for want of sand over the last few months, the state has suffered huge losses.

But the Jagan government is claiming to strive for jobs to locals by stipulating 75% reservation in all private industrial jobs.
The 75% reservation to locals is a regressive decision and will prove a major setback to the state’s development. This decision comes at a time when states are competing with each other fiercely to attract domestic and global investments. Today, states are not in a position to dictate terms to the industry and no industry will look at a state that dictates this kind of regressive terms on job reservations to locals. Development in Andhra will take a backseat as the industry will look at other states. Even the local industrialists will prefer to set up industries in other states. Foreign investors were frightened with Jagan’s decisions over reviewing and reversing the PPAs in wind and solar energy projects.

What is your take on Jagan administration’s move to shift the capital away from Amaravati?
BJP wants the capital city to continue at Amaravati since over ?9,000 crore was already spent after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone. The previous regime had finalised tenders for some ?39,000 crore of works. However, we want the ecological concerns raised on the capital city construction to be addressed and also ensure a decentralised growth.

How do you react to the allegations that what is happening in Andhra is vendetta politics?
The only change we see in Andhra is power shifting from one regional party to the other. There is no systemic change. Corruption and vendetta politics continue. In fact, vendetta politics has taken a more crude form. Almost all the elected ruling party legislators are busy settling scores through vendetta politics, with physical attacks, harassments with police cases and coercing defections.

There is a talk that many top Telugu Desam Party leaders including parliamentarians defected to BJP at the behest of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu to protect their interests and to join hands with BJP at a later date.
Many top TDP leaders lost confidence in the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu and have been joining the BJP, finding it the best alternative in the state. Leaders from many parties including the ruling YSR Congress have also been joining us. BJP had suffered badly twice in the past by forging alliances with TDP. Going by this bitter experience, BJP prefers not to entertain relations with TDP.
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