Young YS Jagan has completed the first six months of his tenure. If the first six months are any indication, it is clear that he is in for a long haul and a significantly game-changing stint in power. Morning shows the day, so goes the adage and YS Jagan's first six months has given enough indications of his pro-people attitude and firm governance to the people of the country at large and the people of Andhra Pradesh in particular.
Jagan had won a massive mandate, comparable only to NTR's landslide way back in 1983. He has secured more than 50 per cent votes. He has given enough indications of what his governance model would be. He told in no uncertain terms that he would implement the manifesto to the T and everything said in the election manifesto would be turned into reality. Jagan's rule is marked by a clear pro-people intent and not mere pomp and showing off.
"Nenu Vinnanu... Nenu Unnaanu" (I heard you. I am here for you) .. these were the first words that Jagan uttered when he spoke after he was sworn in. Soon after taking over, he hiked the pension amount to the senior citizens by Rs 250. Though one expected him to raise the pension amount by Rs 1000, this was a firm and phased beginning. Soon, he followed it up with implementing Rythu Bharosa, Amma Vodi, Arogya Sri, Vahana Mitra, Nayee Brahmana Mitra and other schemes in the right earnest. More importantly, he began the process of paying amounts to the victims of the Agrigold scheme. All these have created a confidence among the people about YS Jagan's intent and determination.
Most importantly, there is a spate of employment opportunities in the government when Jagan recruited volunteers and secretarial employees on a large scale. What pleasantly surprised everyone was that there wasn't an iota of corruption in the recruitment process. As a result, the opposition criticism fell by wayside. Jagan seems to have learnt lessons from the erstwhile TDP government's acts of omission and commission. He is moving forward with a long term approach and is not guided by the selfish considerations.
Thanks to the corrupt ways of the Telugu Desam Government, the state had emerged as the fifth most corrupt state in the country. But, the latest report of corruption index released on Friday says that AP is now 13th in terms of corruption. Though at least 50 per cent of the people still pay bribes to get their works done,, this is far too less compared to the 89 per cent who paid bribes during the last report released during the TDP rule. This in itself undoubtedly is a big achievement for YS Jagan Government.
There were no major corruption scandals involving any minister or MLA. When there were stray reports of bribe-taking while effecting the transfers of police personnel, Jagan immediately called up the MLA involved and severely reprimanded him. He made the MLA pay back the amounts. This instilled a sense of fear among the MLAs and the fear that they may be taken to task if they resort to corruption has worked very well.
Phase-wise prohibition is one of the assurances that YS Jagan gave during the elections. He is moving in this direction. The wine shops are now getting closed at 8 pm. The belt shops are gone. This has endeared YS Jagan to women who now are happily experiencing the positive impact of his moves.
During the last six months, YS Jagan has taken firm steps to improve the lot of various caste groups. He has special focus on Kapus, who are in significant number. In another significant decision, he has also set up Kamma and Vysya Corporations to address the economic concerns of the poor people from the so called upper castes.
On the flip side, Jagan had a tough time handling the sand supply crisis. During the TDP government sand quarrying was a milch cow for the ruling party. There was a cartel of ruling elite and illegal sand miners. YS Jagan tried to break this nexus and change the corrupt ecosystem. With an intention to end this, he introduced the new sand policy. But, by the time the policy was put on track, there were heavy floods and a massive sand supply crisis ensued. Due to this, over 35 lakh families of construction workers had lost their livelihood. This was fully exploited by the TDP and the Jana Sena. But, with the floods receding, the things are back on track now.
Another significant decision he has taken is the introduction of English as a medium of introduction from Class I. The Opposition tried to make this a big issue out of this and tried to rake up a controversy claiming that this was an anti-Telugu move. But, soon, the realisation that the people were fully backing Jagan's move dawned on them and they fell silent.
On Amaravati too, there was lot of misinformation. But, Jagan was firm that the capital works should be taken up without any show off and pomp. When Chandrababu tried to take out a yatra to ignite passions, the farmers of the region have opposed it and sent him back.
Thus the first six months of Jagan's government has shown that the leader has got a clear vision and that he is unafraid of taking risks. Though there are several stumbling blocks, the direction appears to be quite clear and intent very firm. It's advantage Jagan now in Andhra Pradesh.