Negligence Of Chandrababu Govt. Squarely Responsible For Boat Tragedies  

15 Jul, 2018 08:12 IST|Sakshi
AP Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy  

Gollala Mamidada, East Godavari District: I began my Padayatra today from Ulapalli and passed through Bikkavolu, concluding it for the day in a public meeting at Gollala Mamidada in pouring rain. Ball Badminton players who met me today, expressed their disappointment at the lack of encouragement, in spite of having won trophies at the national level. They said that though they did not have access to any kind of facilities and no help was forthcoming from the state government, they still managed to get medals bringing laurels to the state. They could accomplish all this without basic facilities from the government, which did not even provide them with T-shirts or sports kits. Expressing their anguish, they showed me their medals, trophies and certificates.

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“ Sir, these four years have brought nothing but disappointment to sportsmen. Medical seats under sports quota are being sold and not given to sportspersons. Not a single sports person was given a job under sports quota in these four years,“ they said. Without any help or motivation, sports persons at the village level rose all the way up to the national level, demonstrating exceptional talent, they pointed out. Yet, they received no recognition or encouragement from the government, which did not miss out on any opportunity to utilise sportspersons for its own publicity.

Paramedics of Ayush said that they felt as if they landed from the frying pan into the fire. “Chandrababu Naidu had written a letter to the previous government to regularise our jobs. Under the same Chandrababu Government, we have not received salaries for 16 months, and worse, he has placed us on the chopping block.” They were fuming at the fact that they had been deceived by him after having been given assurances of regularisation.

This day marks the third anniversary of the Pushkarams tragedy in which 29 precious lives were lost, while 52 others were seriously injured in the stampede which took place. The tragedy symbolises the height of Chandrababu Naidu’s hunger for publicity. One recalls how the gates were closed in the early hours of the morning for Chandrababu Naidu causing people to congregate there in huge numbers. On top of it all, instead of going to the VIP ghat by the river, with an eye on publicity and propaganda, he opted for a dip in the regular pilgrim one. This is well-known. It is a fact that in his preliminary report, the district collector stated clearly that the sudden rush caused by the opening of the gates which had been closed, led to jostling, resulting in the ensuing tragedy.

It is equally well known that Chandrababu Naidu nominated an inquiry commission in name, and ensured that the government machinery did not extend its cooperation to it. It is widely known that the government later claimed that it did not have CCTV or drone camera footage, as is the fact that footage of the National Geographic channel on which the government had spent Rs. 40 lakhs, was never made public. One can gauge the hollowness of the investigation by the fact that the police have not filed a chargesheet after all these years. The intentions of Chandrababu Naidu government can be judged from the fact that the probe commission has not yet submitted its report. It has been three years. Any commission report which would exonerate Chandrababu Naidu would have zero credibility or authenticity.

I was shocked to learn of the boat tragedy in Godavari in which seven precious lives were lost. It is deeply disturbing to note that in the past eight months four such boat tragedies have taken place.

I have a question for the chief minister—is it not true that after the boat tragedy in Krishna last November, despite leaders of all political parties expressing their concern and calling for preventive measures to be put in place, nothing was done? Isn’t it a fact that such negligence alone is leading to more such tragic incidents? How many more such tragedies need to take place for you to wake up and act?

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