Decode Politics: Chandrababu Naidu’s first 5 decisions as CM — Amaravati as capital to jobs, skill census | Political Pulse News

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday immediately got down to work, approving five promises that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) made in its manifesto. Naidu took charge at 4.41 pm at the Secretariat in Velagapudi in Guntur district.

Right after reducing the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress (YSRCP) to 11 Assembly seats, Naidu, who contested the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Pawan Kalyan’s JanaSena Party (JSP) and BJP, announced that Amaravati would be the sole capital of the state. He also announced his intention to revoke the Land Titling Act and decided to increase pension amounts, publish an annual jobs calendar, and order a skill census.

What is the significance of the Amaravati decision?

Naidu first announced Amaravati as the capital when TDP came to power in 2014. But after losing power in 2019, in which the party was reduced to 23 seats, the project was scrapped by the YSRCP government that proposed a “three capital formula” for “decentralised governance”.

The Jagan government halted the capital development project, leading to a loss of jobs and livelihoods of thousands of people. It also angered the farmers who donated, according to unofficial estimates, around 33,000 acres of land for the capital.

“This is a no-brainer. This was bound to be the first announcement. People voted him back to power to ensure they get a capital. It has been 10 years since the state was bifurcated and we still do not have a capital. We hope to set up the capital in the next two to three years,” said a close aide of TDP MLA Tenali Sravan Kumar. Amaravati falls under the Tatikonda Assembly constituency in Guntur district.

What other decisions did Naidu make?

Festive offer

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Naidu has decided to revoke the Land Titling Act and increase the welfare pension amount. Both issues came up during the campaign.

The YSRCP government passed the Land Titling Act in September 2022 to digitise land survey records through new surveys. Naidu who had termed the Act a “Land Grabbing Act” during the campaign vowed to revoke it if voted to power. He alleged that the YSRCP had brought in the law to take over people’s lands in the name of surveys. The issue struck a chord with people, especially in the wake of alleged discrepancies in a similar “Dharani portal” in neighbouring Telangana.

A senior TDP leader in May told The Indian Express that the issue had turned into a “game changer” for the party. “It was one issue where we managed to set the narrative. Our consistent attacks on the government had paid off and Jagan was forced to respond to it even as people started to believe the YSRCP was out to take their lands,” the leader said.

The second issue is pension. The Election Commission (EC) in April issued a directive to the Jagan government not to assign volunteers for any political work, including doorstep delivery of pensions. The move sparked a slugfest between the TDP and the YSRCP, with Naidu’s party accusing the latter of “not having funds” to disburse welfare benefits. Jagan in turn accused the EC of working at the TDP’s behest. Amid this backdrop, Naidu announced he would hike the monthly pension from the existing Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000.

Welfare pension was one of the Jagan government’s “Navaratnalu (nine gems)” that the YSRCP chief was banking on to help him sail through. But the controversy appeared to have damaged his party’s prospects.

What about jobs, investments, and other schemes?

The lack of jobs and investments was one of the TDP’s major poll planks. On the campaign trail, the Andhra CM accused Jagan of taking the state “20 years back” with his “regressive policies”. He criticised his predecessor for going back on the promise to publish an annual district selection committee (DSC) job calendar.

“Naidu is an able administrator and has a proven track record of bringing in investments to the state. Moreover, with the DSC file, he wants to walk the talk while showing the people how Jagan had cheated them over the past five years,” said a TDP leader from Kadapa, the YSR family’s turf.

The government has also decided to get the Anna canteen scheme up and running. The previous Naidu government started the scheme, as part of which breakfast, lunch and dinner were provided for Rs 5, in 2018. Named after TDP founder NT Rama Rao, who was popularly referred to as “Anna (elder brother)”, the Jagan government tweaked the scheme after coming to power but it never took off. TDP leaders allege that the YSRCP deliberately finished off the scheme to end NTR’s legacy. “By bringing the scheme back to its glory, the government will ensure people are fed while NTR’s legacy remains intact,” a TDP leader said.

What is the skill census?

Ahead of the elections, Naidu provided his twist on the Opposition’s national caste census demand by demanding a skill census. “Through a skill census, we will gauge the skill level of people and compare it to the global skill requirement. This will help us address the skill shortcomings and make people more employable. Thus, it will automatically lead to welfare,” he said at the time.

What is the political signal that Naidu intends to send out?

By moving fast to fulfil the promises made on the campaign trail, TDP leaders say that Naidu is looking to strike the iron when it is hot and extend his lead over the YSRCP at a time when it seems to be down and out.

“Naidu spoke of welfare plus development during the campaign. This is his first step towards it. This will also be a crushing blow to the YSRCP after its defeat as it will show the people how a government can function without relying too heavily on welfare schemes,” said a senior TDP leader.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

First uploaded on: 13-06-2024 at 19:05 IST


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