Andhra CM on announcement spree,leaves colleagues clueless

Andhra CM on announcement spree,leaves colleagues clueless

Ministers complain they are not kept in the loop about new welfare schemes

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy,who is enthusiastically announcing one welfare scheme after another,has come under heavy “friendly” fire for not keeping his Cabinet informed about his decisions lately. Apparently,the Chief Minister is displaying undue alacrity in signing up new welfare schemes without even proposing them at Cabinet meetings and having a proper discussion,and when he announces the schemes at his next public meeting,the ministers are caught off-guard.

The ministers were particularly peeved after Reddy announced Thursday ‘Bangaru Talli’ — a welfare scheme for girls and women — which is being considered a boon for BPL families. Under the scheme,a girl born in a BPL family after April 30,2013,would be provided cash incentives totaling Rs 1.5 lakh till she completes college.

The announcement by the Chief Minister took many ministers by surprise as they claimed they were not aware of it. But Women and Child Welfare Minister Sunita Reddy did inform reporters Tuesday that the government was launching such a scheme for overall development of women,raising questions whether the ministers were peeved at the Chief Minister hogging the credit for the welfare schemes being launched without they being invited.

The first to fire the salvo was the Chief Minister’s bete noire Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy who complained to APCC president Botsa Satyanarayana. “I came to know about this new scheme after reading in the newspapers. How come I did not know about it in advance when I am part of the government? In his hurry,the CM probably forgot to share the information. I will ask him about this when we meet next,” he said.


Transport Minister Botsa Satyanarayana was equally perturbed when ministers started calling him up to ask what was happening. “Frankly speaking,I was also not aware of these new welfare schemes being launched. I will find out what happened and why the CM is being criticised,” he said.

In his complaint to the APCC chief,Ravindra Reddy opened some old wounds. “He criticised the CM for launching new schemes when the old ones launched during the YSR regime were not even being implemented properly. He said the CM was recasting old schemes with a few changes without considering whether they could be implemented or not,” an official said.

Panchayati Raj Minister K Jana Reddy claimed he was stumped by the two new schemes announced this week — Amma Hastham and Bangaru Talli. “At the next Cabinet meeting we would like to know from the CM why we were kept in the dark. Even the APCC president who is also a minister was unaware that two schemes were going to be announced. What is going on? If the ministers do not know the guidelines of the scheme how will they ensure they are implemented in their constituencies?” Jana Reddy said.

Senior Congress leaders dismissed the ministers’ objections as pressure tactics to make the Chief Minister more agreeable to their other demands. “After the CBI accused Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy in a chargesheet in the Jaganmohan illegal assets case,she is likely to resign and the post is up for grabs. Many ministers are putting pressure on the CM to get the Home portfolio,” one leader said.