TOUGH DAYS AHEAD for Telugu CMs

  • Problems continue to haunt
  • Metro notes is disturb in
  • Pensions list is confusing

(M Ramdas)

It increasingly appears that both Chandrasekhar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu will face more stormy days and nights as Chief Ministers. Bifurcation had initially seen popular rejoicing and a build-up of high expectations among the masses. But, after six months of belied expectations and broken promises, the outlook is very different. For example, land pooling for a new capital has not gone smoothly for Naidu with farmers questioning the modalities and the offered package. Similarly, Rao is wrestling with the farm loan waiver scheme and the flawed pension scheme, ‘Asra’.

The much-heralded pension scheme appears to have no clear guidelines for selection of beneficiaries. In a mindless manner, the Government has, it appears, excluded thousands of eligible people from the list. Even pensioners already enjoying the benefits have been struck off. There is worry and apprehension about the moves of the Telangana Government.

The Metro Rail project which is hoped will ease future traffic congestion in the twin cities and lead to cheap, swift travel, is bogged down in controversy. It has to be said that KCR is allowing politics to take precedence over practicality and promises made. The Opposition is not amused. After prevailing upon the Project directors to realign certain sections to save the architectural splendour of the Assembly building as well preserve the livelihood of hundreds of Sultan Bazar traders. But suddenly, KCR wanted a realignment in the Old City because of pressure from his ally, the MIM. Will not this unprofessional approach further delay the already limping Metro scheme? People are already weary of the extensive and endless construction activity creative havoc with traffic jams and restricted movement. Will the reputed international body backing the Project allow this is kind of vacillation by the Chief Minister?

Both the CMs have ambitious plans and want to move ahead and achieve some success. But their constituents are not convinced and are sceptical of their motives. Farmers especially have seen the promises of a rosy future dashed. They are also quite savvy and aware and not gullible as before. But the rural scene in Telangana is cause for serious concern, with poor marginal framers taking their lives in protest against an indifferent and unfeeling bureaucracy. KCR faces a real crisis of confidence and his grip over his electorate is slipping. Naidu is somewhat better placed as a leader. However, building a brand new capital is no cake walk. Both the divided Telugu supremos are sure to have a rocky road ahead, with no relief in sight in the near future.

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