Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
It is heartening to know that both Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have understood the democratic values of governance. The Centre and states have to work in collaboration for the development of the nation. And this was clearly stated in the report submitted by Sarkaria Commission. But does collaboration and cooperative governance apply only to centre or does it also apply to the state governments?
Both the chief ministers – Chandrababu and KCR--have been highly critical of the central government and have strongly condemned the way the Centre has been functioning especially with respect to allocation of funds to the states. There is nothing wrong in asking for one’s right. At the same time both, the Centre and the state governments should have a set guideline to follow while allocating funds to different schemes and programmes.
Earlier, during the Bihar elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a Package to the state left everyone puzzled. “How much do you want? Rs 60,000 crores… Rs 70,000 crores?” Saying thus he raised the package to Rs 1,25,000 crores for Bihar. Despite all this the BJP didn’t win the elections in the state.
Can the central government give such packages to the state of their choice? The result of the package seems to be that later Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar shifted his stance and joined the NDA. How much of that announced package has reached Bihar, is a big question which only they can answer.
Modi did the same with Jammu and Kashmir. Does the central government have a mythical bowl or Akshaya Patra, a utensil of plenty, through which the Prime Minister can grant whatever he wishes to his favourite states. This doesn’t mean that the Centre has not given anything to anybody. The NDA government has granted Rs 20,000 crores package for Bundelkhand. Maybe they could give something like that for our Telugu states.
Telangana CM KCR has been asking the Centre for funds to complete his prestigious Mission Bhageeratha and Kaleshwaram projects. It is surprising that the CM is claiming that Telangana is a rich state, while he is asking for millions of crores from the central government.
Yet another contradicting fact is that KCR has put aside Rs 5,000 crores from the state government exchequer which he is likely to allocate to his favourite constituencies and MLAs. Does this also represent democratic governance?
In the case of Andhra Pradesh, the situation is much worse. KCR at least grants some funds for opposition constituencies, but the case is not the same with AP. Chandrababu is killing the democratic character of the state by allocating funds to the defeated TDP candidate in constituencies represented by YSRCP. This apart, it is alleged that the TDP government has formed Janmabhoomi committees to fleece the poor who support opposition parties.
Both the Telugu states’ CMs have killed the spirit of democracy by buying out the MLAs from opposition and also given them a berth in ministry. Both of them have undemocratic practices to showcase to the world. For them morals are only to preach and not for practice. If only they could practice what they preach, these both CMs would become statesmen for their respective regions.
It is important that before talking about democratic governance, Chandrababu and KCR should look into their own state of affairs and review it.