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AP CM: Failure of unbridled power

By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan- 19 Oct 2020
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Yeduguri Sadinti Jaganmohan Reddy's march to state power was tumultuous. His crowning as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, though, is turning out to be more tumultuous for the state. Despite winning 151 out of 175 seats in the state assembly election of 2019, he is set out on a self-destructive spree that has huge consequences for the state and its people and their livelihood.

First, to spite former TDP CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu who is as good or bad as any other politician, he stopped and terminated all work on the new capital Amravati. This thoughtless vengeful act discredited him, the state, and the country in the eyes of international investors. So much so that even after global supply chains started shifting from the People's Republic of China (PRC), none has moved to AP.

What's more disturbing is the fallout of the AP CM's vengeful misdeed: despite the best efforts of the central government in the last one year, not many international companies see India and its states as a favorable destination. According to some reports, out of 500 companies that have moved base from PRC, only three are said to have come to India.

Catastrophic temperaments of CMs like Jagan and a few others including Mamta have already cast their perilous shadow over the Central government's overtures for stepping up domestic and foreign investments.

Now, instead of addressing the issues of rising unemployment and deceleration in the state economy, Jagan has preferred to pick up a straight fight with the judiciary by making the charge of 'impropriety' against next-in-line Supreme Court Chief Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana. The charge was contained in a six-page letter addressed to the CJI SA Bobde and dated October 06.

Why did Jagan choose October 06 as the critical date for launching his vengeful letter against Ramana, and whose content he also revealed at a presser later?

It could be that his astrologers might have advised him about the suitability of the date by working out its alignment with his Rajyoga stars. Empirically, however, there was another factor weighing on the AP CM's decision-making ability. On Saturday, October 03, the Telangana High Court directed the Special CBI Court, Hyderabad, to restart the hearing (postponed since February 2020) in the alleged disproportionate assets cases against Jagan Reddy and several others including YSRC MP V Vijayasai Reddy, MLA Dharmana Prasada Rao, P Sabitha Indra Reddy, who is now the Education Minister of Telangana, and several senior IAS officers and industrialists.

This might have frightened the AP CM and shut his eyes towards reality. Justice Ramana was nowhere on the scene.

The provocation for the Telangana HC direction to the CBI on October 03 followed a recent SC order in Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and others vs Union of India and others case.

Accordingly, the Telangana High Court issued orders directing the Metropolitan sessions judge at Hyderabad, special judge for the trial of cases against MPs and MLAs, special judges under the Prevention of Corruption Act for speedy trial of cases of embezzlement of scholarship amounts in the Social Welfare Department at Hyderabad and Principal CBI Judge and Principal ACB Judge at Hyderabad to take up the hearing of the cases pending before their courts against the MPs and MLAs on a day-to-day basis.

The AP CM has been particularly cheesed off by the court's provision of his personal appearance. He has been trying to get off this hook by filing petitions several times in the CBI courts as well as the Telangana HC but had got no relief.

Now his battle against the judiciary has landed him in an unintended terrible conflict with the Bar Council of India and the SC Advocates on Record, who have demanded his sacking for the deliberate contempt. As if this was not enough to signal him to extricate himself from the clutches of the judicial system, his supporters compounded his problem by calling up BCI members and threatening them.

Clearly, the AP CM has no idea of the world he is living in. Unless he learns faster, the unbridled power that the people of Andhra gave him would sink him quickly in the seas off Vizag.

(By M K Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan)

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