Jagan Reddy Becomes The Only Chief Minister To Get 5 Deputies In One Go
Jagan Mohan Reddy, who took power in Andhra Pradesh last week, will have a record five Deputy Chief Ministers. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister told his party lawmakers in a meeting this morning that he would have five deputies and a full 25-member cabinet, which would represent the aspirations of all communities.
The new ministers will take oath on Saturday.
The deputy Chief Ministers will represent Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, minorities and the Kapu communities, said leaders of Jagan Reddy's YSR Congress.
Jagan Reddy reportedly also told his legislators that the cabinet would predominantly comprise members from the weaker sections, "contrary to expectations that the Reddy community would get a lion's share".
Jagan Reddy has set for himself an ambitious target of earning for Andhra Pradesh the tag of 'best-governed state' within six months or one year. He said the cabinet would be reconstituted after a mid-term review of the government's performance.
In the previous government headed by N Chandrababu Naidu, there were two deputy Chief Ministers, one each from the Kapu and backward classes communities.
46-year-old Jagan Reddy led his party to a huge victory in the recent state and national elections in Andhra Pradesh.
The YSR Congress won 151 of the 175 seats in the state assembly, wiping out N Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party. The party also won 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Chandrababu Naidu was the first chief minister of Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation to carve out Telangana five years ago.
Jagan Reddy also wants to fulfill the expansive promises he made in the run-up to the polls. These include hiking pension for senior citizens, Rs. 12,500 per year as investment support to each farmer in the state, fee reimbursement for students up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per year, Rs. 15,000 to mothers who send children to school, free borewells and interest-free loans, free borewells, to eligible farmers and so on.
However, all this will cost several thousand crore rupees, at a time when Andhra Pradesh has a debt burden of Rs. 2.97 lakh crore, three times over what it was in 2014-15 when the revenue deficit stood at Rs. 16,200 crore.
Jagan Reddy says he will have a corruption-free administration and will stop wasteful expenditure by reviewing all projects. This includes dream capital Amaravati, where Mr Naidu had planned to spend over Rs. 50,000 crore rupees, Polavaram and several other irrigation and infrastructure projects.
For all these, the YSR Congress chief has already stopped all contracts where work has not been grounded. Work has stopped in every other project where not more than 25 per cent implementation has happened.
Jagan Reddy is hoping that his measures will bring in what he calls "Rajanna Rajyam", an adulatory reference to his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy's era.