It has been less than 6 months since Jaganmohan Reddy government came to power in Andhra Pradesh. The government has already taken many disastrous decisions, which will damage the socio-economic stability of the state. In blatant show of appeasement to the Christian community, to which Jagan Reddy himself belongs, he has delivered on almost every manifesto promise to the community in a short time span. But, manifesto promises made to other communities, have not gotten the attention of the Andhra government so far.
The government has promised sops to farmers of the state, but, none of those promises materialized in the state budget. In the manifesto, the party announced YSR Rythu Bharosa scheme Rs 12,500 to Rs one lakh to each farmer, annually. In the last five months, not a single decision for the upliftment of farmers has been taken.
His party also promised for full reimbursement fee and an additional benefit of 20,000 rupees to each student. As per the manifesto, the total expenditure to per student will be 1-1.5 lakhs rupees. None of these benefits have been delivered to students so far. Instead of delivering on these promises, the Andhra government has decided to spend thousands of crores to convert government schools to English medium from Telugu- the mother tongue of the state.
The promises made to other ‘sections’ of the community- like pension for poor elderly people, financial assistance to disabled, 1 lakh rupees to women from SC, ST, backward class, and minority community, who are aged above 45, have not found place in this years’ budget.
On 12th July, the newly elected Andhra Pradesh government led by Jagan Reddy presented its annual budget. In the budget presented by Buggana Rajendranath, Minister for Finance, the Jagan Reddy government announced honorarium to Imams is to be enhanced to Rs 10,000 per month and of Mouzzans to Rs. 5,000 per month. Similarly, it is proposed to provide Pastors with an honorarium Rs. 5,000 per month.
Later, a few weeks ago, Minorities Welfare Department Principal Secretary Mohd Ilyas Rizvi announced enhanced the financial assistance to Christians for undertaking the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other Biblical places and it said that pilgrims with an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh would be given Rs 60,000 for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jordan River, Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee and those with an income of over Rs 3 lakh would get Rs 30,000, up from Rs 20,000.
Reddy again stroked controversy as he undertook an extravagant trip to Jerusalem with his family, which was of course on taxpayer’s money the Andhra Pradesh government for releasing funds to the tune of Rs 22.52 lakh on chief minister’s security on the four-day visit.
A few months ago, the Andhra government issued tickets to travelers from Tirupati to the temple town of Tirumala with advertisements of Haj and Jerusalem pilgrimage on the back. Travelers seem to have been agitated by this development and they reportedly raised the issue before the regional manager who stated that a bundle with printed material about non-Hindu pilgrimage had wrongly come to Tirupati.
The government is preparing to deliver on the few other manifesto promises to the Christian community- like plots and house construction for pastors, and financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh for wedding of Christian girls. It seems that the government is hell-bent to deliver on all promises to his religious fellows, but, at the cost of other community.
The Reddy government is pushing the state into financial bankruptcy to appease the Christian community. Almost 33 per cent of Andhra’s total receipt comes from borrowings, and a substantial chunk of total collection goes in debt reserving. The Reddy has not taken a single for financial prudence, instead, the state is spending like there is no tomorrow.