Wishing the Alliance a Huge Success…….
The news that the TeluguDesam Party (TDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JanaSena Party (JSP) are coming together as allies and are fighting the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh as a grand alliance is really heartening to know. These parties have a similar ideological base and most importantly all of them are speaking the language of “Growth”.
Increased per capita income, more jobs and change of the mind set were the hallmarks of TDP’s rule from 1994-2004. The then Chief Minister of AP Shri Chandrababu Naidu tried hard to push the reforms in every sector and tried to create
opportunities for growth and development in Andhra Pradesh. He cut down on a lot of welfare schemes and replaced them with opportunities and jobs that brought in more wealth to a poor family than a welfare scheme would have bestowed on them. The BJP at the center tried for similar stuff and focused on creating more jobs and more wealth in the country. They really worked hard to improve the infrastructure facilities and came up with projects like the golden quadrilateral, more green field airports, interlinking of the rivers etc..
The combined effect of these measures made AP visualize a very high growth phase during the late nineties and the early 2000’s. However, with the arrival of UPA-1 and return of Sopocracy both at the state and center ensured that growth took a back seat in AP. The existing businesses did well, but the new businesses were hard to find, the focus went to sops and these successive
govts have brought in a sense of entitlement in the minds of the people. YSR’s regime in AP went on doling out schemes after schemes, a kilo rice for Rs 2, engg college fee reimbursements, Aarogya Sri etc .. then we had the center coming up with NREGA, Loan Waivers and recently the food subsidy bill etc ..
I am not against the schemes, but then, they never come with a fixed expiry date. They do not have a target end date and they would never say “ we will empower so many people in so many days and then roll this scheme back.” Once they give it, it stays for ever. With this please-all and sop driven economics the treasuries were indeed bleeding and the govts are now finding themselves in deep trouble as the growth is tumbling. The worst part of this sort of economics in a country like India is that as the delivery channels have loop holes many a time these welfare funds do not reach the right person at the right time.
Had they invested some part of this money in setting up industries and creating more opportunities for people , or improving the infrastructure of the nation and the states things would have been different. Today , while the rulers are themselves in neck deep crisis and clueless on how to restart the engines of growth. The youth are feeling helpless and betrayed as growth and job opportunities are becoming mere illusions.
While crisis of that sort are felt all across the nation, AP is having some problems that are very unique to it. The bifurcation and the separation of Telangana now mean that AP is devoid of its capital and has to search for one in the coming days. AP is not just capital-less now, it is also clueless and rudderless, Clueless on how to pay the salaries of the employees thanks to the 7000 cr revenue deficit due to the bifurcation and it is rudderless in exploring its growth opportunities. Hence growth is not a luxury but an absolute necessity as far AP is concerned. TDP is speaking of growth, Naidu is unveiling his
plans in most of the praja garjana sabhas held by TDP. Similarly we hear about economic growth in almost every speech of Shri Narendra Modiji, he is yet to hold a general meeting in the residual Andhra Pradesh but his pro growth stance is quite visible from his pan-India campaign. We do not know much about JayaSena and Pawan Kalyan’s views on economics, but that party too was speaking about creation of opportunities.
Coming to the political picture of the state , while congress is not a key player anymore the main fight is between YSRCP and TDP. YSRCP seeks to continue the policies of YSR while TDP moving away from its no sops line, they say that they will balance growth and social welfare. The contest between these parties is neck-to-neck as Jagan and YSRCP have been successful in stoking emotions and garnering the sympathy vote. Given this situation, it is extremely critical that every vote against the policies of bad economics gets consolidated and ensures the victory of the parties that follow good economics and fiscal prudence.
Wondering as to why I am stressing on this one point, that votes should not get split ? Here is the reason; many people felt that the policies of Congress and YSR were bad in 2009 itself. However, in the 2009 election the congress party, the then incumbent in the state of united Andhra Pradesh, barely managed to cross the half way mark in AP assembly. It ended up with 156 seats where 147 were needed for a simple majority in the house. This party lost 29 seats from its 2004 mark and garnered about 36.56% votes (1,53, 74,075 votes) in the election. The principal opposition party TDP contested that election in alliance with TRS,CPI and CPIM and together these parties garnered 34.77% votes (1,46,24,868 votes). The third place
went to the Prajarajyam Party, a party that founded about 9 months before the election by a very famous actor, The Megastar of telugu screen Chiranjeevi. They garnered about 16.22% (nearly 68,20,845 votes)
The difference between the Congress and the principal opposition was a mere 1.79% votes (7,49,207 votes) and we had a third player who corned almost 17% of the vote. The 17% vote which Chiranjeevi had was obviously anti incumbency vote and this almost ruined AP of a non congress govt and due to this people had to suffer for 5 more years.
I was inherently wishing that, the anti YSRCP vote should not get split and we should not be going back to another 2009 like verdict where YSR’s son would get to the top job by splitting the votes of the opposition. All the 3 parties that came together have good following in the people of AP and if they contest individually they would only do more damage than good for AP. Good that all of them are coming together and all of them are joining forces to give the people of AP a better tomorrow. I also wish that the Lok Satta Party headed by Shri Jaya Prakash Narayan also joins this alliance makes it a true grand alliance for the people of AP. There were reports that he too would join this alliance and all the parties would fight it out together . However , it has not happened till now.
Whether that happens or not, I am happy 3 parties with sizable following have come together for the good of Telugus. Hope that they succeed in the election and drive AP towards growth, peace and prosperity.