Hyderabad, May 15: Chief Minister K Rosaiah has proved his political detractors wrong by emerging as the Chanakya of AP politics through deft handling of murky party politics, sensitive public and crucial administrative issues, precarious finances and the sentimental Telangana agitation.
The empty State coffers notwithstanding, Rosaiah has been successfully managing to continue the populist schemes and welfare programmes launched by his predecessor, Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy, except for downsizing the number of seats in the State-run IIITs. Contrary to the Opposition's criticism, he has in fact released more funds for irrigation projects, a pet scheme of YSR.
Rosaiah, who personally inspected the progress of Handri-Niva Srujala Sravanti irrigation project in Kurnool district on Saturday, reiterated that all the good schemes launched by YSR would be continued. "Even in the testing times, I have not scrapped or withdrawn even one welfare scheme in the last nine months. Though the finances are under strain, my government has decided to continue all the good schemes," he said.
When Rosaiah took the oath on September 3 last year, many thought it was a stop gap arrangement. The political situation was fluid. Even the Nature did not support him, with the State witnessing unprecedented floods in a millennium. Quick on the heels came the political turmoil in the form of Telangana agitation with Congress legislators submitting their resignations and his Cabinet colleagues taking sides on regional lines.
But the septuagenarian chief minister weathered away successfully all major storms, both Natural and political, to emerge even powerful. Even as he is faced with the charge of "watering down" popular schemes, Rosaiah makes it clear that he had not initiated the integrated survey to weed out bogus ration cards.
"I have made it clear to officials that not even a single ration card of an eligible family should be withdrawn. If genuine cards are cancelled, I will take action against officials concerned," Rosaiah said.
He has grown stronger by the day through astute statesmanship and his friendly nature to win over arch rivals. Rosaiah, who is “groupless”, has succeeded in taking along all the groups in the Congress in the last nine months of assuming power. His good equations with the Congress high command and his no-nonsense style of functioning back home has silenced even the main Opposition Telugu Desam.
Despite the industrial backlash the Telangana agitation has brought in its wake, Rosaiah turned the tide in favour of the State by creating an investment-friendly atmosphere. "I am happy that the investment environment has improved in the last two months. IT companies have been enquiring about the growth opportunities in Andhra Pradesh and many of them are willing to invest in other cities, besides Hyderabad," the chief minister observed.
The silent achievements of Rosaiah, who has presented the State budget for a record 16 times thus far, include good fiscal management without going in for overdraft even during the hard times, controlling of the Telangana agitation without bloodshed, full grip over the State and district administration with his choice of officers, and reining in his Cabinet colleagues, who were divided on regional lines, with his characteristic carrot and stick policy.
Rosaiah, who has never faced any charge of corruption in his 50 years of political life, has reactivated the Anti Corruption Bureau, with raids regularly conducted on senior officials.