KCR’s Thousand Days As CM, A Mixed Fare
Hyderabad: Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) has completed a thousand days in office as chief minister of newly carved Telangana State on Sunday. There have been ups and downs in his graph of performance. There are some remarkable achievements in administration and political firmament. Some bold initiatives were taken to resolve age-old problems that have been afflicting Telangana.
On political front, some values have been abjectly compromised for temporary gains. KCR has gained complete hold on all the districts by encouraging defections from opposition MLAs who defeated his own party candidates in 2014 elections. He had also made them ministers. So much so, there are as many persons in KCR’s cabinet who fought for Telangana as those who were sailing with N Chandrababu Naidu who ostensibly supported the movement but did everything clandestinely to dilute it. Induction of defectors into the cabinet did not go well with the people. Even the contractors who have been bagging hefty works in Telangana State are the same persons from costal Andhra whom KCR was deriding in the statehood movement. In the name of cordial relations between the two Telugu States, he has been assiduously cultivating the people from AP. All these developments are considered as anti-thesis of KCR’s politics.
As far as administration is concerned, the first and foremost step KCR had taken soon after taking the oath of office as chief minister was to strengthen the police force. He ordered new Innova vehicles and hike in salaries and allowances of the police personnel. He made it clear that he would not allow any rallies or protests. His government has been handling protest marches with iron hand. Two flagship programmes KCR had launched early in his term are: Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha. The first one is being handled by his nephew T Harish Rao and the second mission by his son K Taraka Rama Rao. Both are young ministers known to be efficient. Mission Kakatiya is meant to revive the village tanks and ponds by de-silting and building bunds and planting saplings around them. Thousands of tanks have been thus revived. The work is in progress. Mission Bhagiratha is expected to provide drinking water to all the households in Telangana State. The work is going on at a steady pace and funds are being made available without delay. TRS government has also been implementing various welfare measures for SCs, STs, BCs and minorities. Residential schools have been added for the children belonging to these sections. Kalyana Laxmi is another welfare programme which is benefiting thousands of poor families which are paid by the government to meet the expenditure of the girls’ marriages. Old age pension has been hiked from Rs300 to Rs 1000. This has been of great help to the poor in the State.
Redesigning of major and minor irrigation projects is a pet subject with KCR. There are always allegations and unconfirmed reports that there is big ticket corruption in major irrigation projects. There is no way to know the truth. The government has encountered problems in acquiring lands for Mallanna Sagar Project. The 2013 land acquisition law made by UPI-II government was sought to be circumvented by a GO No 123. The whole issue is under the examination of judiciary. Other major projects are yet to be taken up seriously.
One major flaw in KCR’s dispensation is that women have been denied their due. There is not a single woman in his cabinet. Women were not thought of even while appointing chairpersons and directors of various corporations. There are only two women who are seen prominently. One is K Kavita, Nizamabad MP and CM’s daughter and the other is deputy Speaker of Telangana Assembly Padma Devender Reddy. Strangely, there has been no protest from women groups.
KCR has been ruling the State with a strong hand brooking no interference in his administration or political management. He spent a lot of public money on a building complex for chief minister’s residence. Crores of rupees from public exchequer have been spent on his thanksgiving to the deities both in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. There is no worthwhile opposition to bother KCR. He is still the most popular politician in the State. The challenge from Prof Kodandaram is real and it can give anxious time for KCR at a future date. As of now, he has nothing to worry about politically.