HYDERABAD: Overenthusiastic and talkative ministers in the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet- Ravella Kishore Babu and Palle Raghunatha Reddy - had to taste the indignation of their boss N Chandrababu Naidu, first hand.
An affable Naidu, who generally refrains from publicly reprimanding his Cabinet colleagues, on Saturday harangued both Raghunatha Reddy and Kishore Babu one after another while interacting with respective district collectors, officials and members of women self help groups through a video conference from Lake View Guesthouse here.
When Naidu was issuing guidelines to officials over construction of public toilets and on providing a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to all the women members of self help groups, who have crossed the age of 60, and some other welfare programmes, to be launched by the government from October 2, IT Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy, who had joined the video conference from Anantapur, intervened and tried to give a lengthy advice over construction of toilets in rural areas to his boss.
Then the Chief Minister cut in and asked Raghunatha Reddy to remember that the video conference was not intended for the ministers to offer their advice.
At the same time, Kishore Babu intervened in the video chat from Guntur and requested Naidu to give him an opportunity to seek clarity on the guidelines to implement welfare schemes.
But, an irritated Naidu denied any opportunity to Kishore Babu, saying, “Kishore Babu it is not the forum for ministers either to express their views or seek clarity on welfare schemes. The purpose of this video conference is to issue guidelines to officials at the grass-roots level. Ministers have other fora such as Assembly and Cabinet to discuss government schemes”.
Though the Social Welfare Minister once again requested his boss to give him little opportunity to ask for further clarifications, the Chief Minister unequivocally rejected Kishore Babu’s plea, saying, “If you (ministers) people speak now, officers don’t find time to express their doubts. I want to interact with lower-rung officers directly through this video conference”.
SMSes to Pensioners
During the video conference with officials, Chief Minister Naidu announced that henceforth the government would provide old-age pension to only one member per household. “We are enhancing the pension amount to Rs 1,000 per month. Hence, the government has decided to provide old-age pension to only one member in each family,” Naidu said. The Chief Minister further said henceforth the government would collect the cell phone numbers of pension beneficiaries so as to send them SMSes as and when their pension amount is deposited in their bank accounts.
Mana Vooru from Oct 2
The AP Chief Minister announced that the “Janmabhoomi -Mana Vooru” programme would be held from October 2 to 20 across the State. During the video conference with officials, Naidu ordered them to prepare lists of eligible beneficiaries for enhanced pensions. He also directed them and synchronise the list of beneficiaries of welfare schemes with Aadhaar numbers to weed out ineligible persons. The Chief Minister further asked officers to give priority for 100 per cent construction of individual and community toilets in all villages.