High expectations: On Chandrababu Naidu as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister

Mr. Naidu must focus on creating jobs while continuing welfare schemes 

Updated - June 13, 2024 08:26 am IST

Published - June 13, 2024 12:20 am IST

With Telugu Desam Party leader Nara Chandrababu Naidu having taken oath as Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister for a record fourth time, the expectation is that this will bring to an end the vacillations over several policy decisions that have plagued the State and its economy. The grand ceremony saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several National Democratic Alliance partners in attendance. As anticipated, top priority has been accorded to Mr. Naidu’s unfinished dream — a world-class capital at Amaravati, nestled between two of Andhra’s biggest cities, Guntur and Vijayawada, and on the banks of the Krishna. Mr. Naidu has already indicated that he would revitalise this project that was stalled by his predecessor, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. It would be imperative, however, to enact a law on the capital region to settle the matter, as flip flops over a capital for a large State such as Andhra Pradesh have been to the detriment of governance, the economy and businesses, and a psychological dampener for a people already reeling from the loss of Hyderabad. The Chief Minister must also address environmental concerns for the Krishna due to the impending and rapid urbanisation.

Mr. Naidu is viewed as a pro-corporate urbaniser, focusing on building cities and largely neglecting agriculture and allied sectors. While he has been rightly credited for Hyderabad’s emergence as an IT power centre, he must now make good his promise to Andhra’s farmers to lift them out of stagnation and poverty. Indeed, complimenting the “super six” promises in the manifesto of the NDA alliance in the State was an annual ₹20,000 input cost for the farmer. But Andhra’s agriculture sector, much like the rest of the country, requires a systemic approach to increasing farmers’ incomes, generating sustainable livelihoods, reducing food waste by expanding cold storage supply chain facilities, and increasing output efficiency by implementing climate-smart farming practices. As a futuristic leader, one would hope Mr. Naidu would take these cues. But the most pressing concern, of creating jobs, while continuing the unemployment allowance and other welfare measures begun by his predecessor, must be his top priority. Only this will inspire faith in his government and his governance.

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