Naidu needs to explain revenue plan, rein in TDP cadre

The TDP has also vowed to resume the development of Amaravati, the capital.
CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu assumes his office at the Secretariat in Velagapudi on Thursday.
CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu assumes his office at the Secretariat in Velagapudi on Thursday. Photo | Express

The overwhelming mandate for the NDA has changed the political landscape in Andhra Pradesh in a way that none may have expected. Winning 164 out of the 175 seats in the assembly is unprecedented and, for this reason, the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP dispensation has a far greater responsibility on its shoulders. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who assumed the chief minister’s mantle for the fourth time, must be conscious of the sky-high expectations that the people have from his government. As promised, on his first day in office, he signed files pertaining to the recruitment of 16,347 teachers, scrapping of the controversial Land Titling Act, raising social security pensions to Rs 4,000 a month and conducting a ‘skill census’ to help the unemployed youth.

The real challenges lie ahead. Andhra has close to Rs 5 lakh crore debt, excluding loans raised through state corporations. Though the economy is recovering well after the pandemic, the previous government had difficulty in implementing its welfare schemes. The new government will face the same problem, more so as the TDP has promised ‘Super Six’ guarantees—which are sure to cost the exchequer much more than the Rs 2.7 lakh crore the YSRC government spent on welfare. During the campaign, the TDP didn’t spell out how it would mobilise the funds except reiterating that Naidu knows how to create wealth.

Now that the party is in power, it needs to get into the nitty-gritties. The TDP has also vowed to resume the development of Amaravati, the capital. The new city will surely cost much more than the Rs 1 lakh crore originally earmarked. As a key partner in the NDA government at the Centre, Naidu might be able to secure grants more easily than the earlier government. But that might not be enough. Though Amaravati will be developed in phases, the scope for borrowing is limited due to the mountain of debt already incurred. Naidu would require all his administrative and marketing expertise to generate revenue without burdening the public.

This apart, the post-poll violence in the state is disconcerting. It is good that Naidu has ruled out vindictive politics, but his message needs to percolate down to the TDP grassroots. If corruption is unearthed in any department, the government is duty-bound to tackle it as per the law. But a witch-hunt of political opponents could backfire, as we saw in the elections.

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