AP ministers irate over CM's 'self-promotion'
Opposition to Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s ‘heavy-handed’ approach in making policy decisions has been growing amongst his cabinet colleagues, who have taken umbrage over the announcement of schemes in recent times allegedly without consulting the cabinet.
The PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana on Friday sent a memo to party high command complaining about the CM's high handed actions and unilateral announcements of schemes. Led by Deputy Chief Minister C Damodar Raja Narasimha, the group of ministers including -Vatti Vasant Kumar and Jana Reddy-met at Botsa’s residence on Thursday and discussed the fallout of Kiran Kumar's unilateral and autocratic actions.
The ministers are angry that the chief minister chose to ignore the cabinet even while deciding on vital policy decisions and announcing schemes at his own whim. At Medak last Saturday, Kiran announced ‘Bangaru Talli’ scheme, two days after TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu announced “Mahalakshmi" scheme. “Our CM is trying to beat the TDP chief by aping him,” they lamented. More ministers are expected to join this dissident group to find ways of taking the issue to the high command and tame the chief minister, who is junior to them.
“Our CM thinks he is the cabinet and also the government,” Vatti Vasant Kumar reportedly said.
The chief minister’s relationship with his deputy Damodar Raja Narasimha snapped as he chose to visit Medak –Damodar’s native—to announce schemes when the deputy CM was on a foreign tour. Health minister D L Ravindra Reddy, along with Botsa and Vatti Vasant Kumar, criticised the Bangaru Talli scheme by calling it mediocre that was announced without cabinet consultation.
“I don’t know why the CM is in such a hurry to announce programs which are not feasible. Take the Amma Hastam (nine goods package for just Rs 185) which has attracted criticism from everyone - consumers, PDS dealers and also party MLAs,” he said.
Seemingly unperturbed by criticism, the chief minister is going ahead with his pet schemes and is reportedly spending Rs 10 crore for each public meeting to announce schemes.
Those at Sangareddy last week, where the chief minister announced Indiramma Kalalu scheme, were astounded to see the large hoardings and posters that resembled an election campaign.
“This is to promote Kiran... not the Congress party or the scheme,” said a government official. The secretariat building is similarly plastered with the CM’s lifesize cutouts. In C-block, the portrait is accompanied by a list of schemes he has announced so far.
Kiran, the third chief minister in this government’s tenure who completed two years in office last November, is sending a clear message that there is no going back for him after 2014 general elections and beyond.