While scrapping projects and cancelling contracts ushered in by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government in Andhra Pradesh is also changing the colour of most installations in the state, painting them in the party’s colours of blue, green and white, according to opposition leaders in the state.
While opposition parties question the need to change the colours of everything from gram panchayat offices, graveyard entrance arches, pedestals of busts of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, horns of buffaloes, plastic cans at public drinking water outlets to overhead water tanks and even a few temples, thereby “wasting” public money, a ruling party leader maintained that people, and not the government, are behind this. Leaders of TDP, BJP and Janasena pointed out that YSRCP’s “obsession” is not limited to unveiling statues of late Y S Rajashekara Reddy, former chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh and Jagan’s father, but also with painting everything in party colours.
But YSRCP legislator A Ramakrishna Reddy, who is also chairperson of AP Capital Region Development Authority, claimed that fans and followers of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy are painting installations. “People are happy and thankful to Jagan for initiating so many schemes that benefit them directly. They are huge admirers, so they are painting his portraits and party colours everywhere.” Hitting back, he said during Chandrababu’s tenure the TDP also painted its Anna canteens in yellow.
On October 30, Opposition leaders took on Jagan after a national flag painted on Tammadepalli gram panchayat office in Anantapur district was repainted with the YSRCP colours. After a furore, it was changed.
TDP leader Lokesh Naidu said: “Temples managed by the Endowments Department are also slowly being painted in YSRCP colours. Yellow and black colours on road medians and dividers, pillars, etc, are all being painted in YSRCP colours.”
State BJP chief Kanna Lakshminarayana said, “YSRCP leaders are on a repainting spree. They are misusing government money, and even Central funds, to paint gram panchayats, village secretariats, temples, etc. TDP also painted things in party colour but the YSRCP is overdoing it.”
“A few days back they repainted the national flag with YSRCP colours; then they painted the pedestal of Gandhi statue. What are they going to do tomorrow,” asked Janasena chief, actor-turned-politician K Pawan Kalyan.
A new controversy arose on Wednesday, with opposition TDP criticising installation of a statue of late Rajashekara Reddy at Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) in Guntur, which is set to be unveiled on Thursday.
TDP MP from Srikakulam Rammohan Naidu said previous state governments focussed on adding infrastructure and improving resources in universities while the Jagan government is bringing politics into campuses.