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Monday, November 12, 2012

interesting things on Nara Chandrababu Naidu - Ex CM of Andhra Pradesh


At a time when he was the Head, Press wrote reams in praise of his style of functioning and speed of disposal.  He claimed that an egalitarian society was his goal.  There would be endless debates on whether his module was a ‘success or failure’ – but none can deny the fact that he changed the way of governance and did work hard.  He broke the clich├ęd style of administration of working within the four walls and took the government to the people. Introduced Janmabhoomi and even spurred the NRIs to contribute to their home state. Revitalised and infused life into every sphere of governance and developed IT creating employment opportunities to lakhs of people.  During his time, there was a great deal of modernization, computerizing a number of Government Operations  and  initiatives for the convenience of public.  He was hailed as a politician adept in Computer technology…….

Criticism would ever remain over the way, he engineered an internal party coup in 1995.  He would claim that it was to overthrow the then CM’s second wife from usurping powers; he took over the post of Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 1 September 1995.  That is Nara Chandrababu Naidu for you; the  President of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from 1996. He served as the Chief Minister of the State for a 8 years 8 months 13 days (1995–2004). He has been the Leader of opposition in the AP State Assembly since then.

To his credit, it must be recalled that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both visited him in Hyderabad, the state capital. The governor of Illinois created a Naidu Day in his honour. He also won numerous awards including 'IT Indian of the Millenium' by India Today, Business Person of the Year by Economic Times, member of the World Economic Forum's Dream Cabinet and South Asian of the Year by Time Asia.  He also held post of chairperson of the "National IT Panel" under NDA government and he was described as one of the Hidden Seven working wonders around the world, by Profit, a monthly magazine published by Oracle Corporation, US.

A devout Naidu survived a landmine blast on 1 October 2003; he could escape  with a fractured left collar bone and a hairline fracture to two of his right ribs. The incident occurred around 16:00 (IST) when Naidu was travelling in a convoy, heading to the Lord Venkateshwara temple in the Tirumala hills for the annual Brahmotsavam festival.  After the incident, security at Tirumala was improved – and now the very spot of that accident is no longer a hill – if you frequent Tirumala, you sure would have stopped your vehicle for security check-up just as you start ascending the holy hills.  It is to the right of that spot, where the blast occurred.

In 2004, his decline started – his party was voted out of power and Congress has been at the helm since.  TDP could secure only 47/294 constituencies in the state assembly and 5/42 in the Lok Sabha segment. While many of his ministers lost, Naidu himself won by a huge margin in Kuppam. Severe drought conditions in the State were attributed to be one of reasons for the debacle.  It was also stated that Naidu was a city man and failed to reach out to the rural areas.  During the severe drought, many farmers were driven to commit suicide.  Some  critics were to state that Naidu's loss was in effect Mr.Tony Blair's loss, since it was Mr.Blair's policies that Naidu was seeking to implement. He claimed that the loss may have successfully destroyed the world's most dangerous economic experiment the McKinsey formula or Vision 2020.

Elections are to be held in Himachal Pradesh, a State not as big as UP, MP or AP and has 146 candidates crorepatis contesting.  The study conducted by Himachal Pradesh Election Watch, an NGO generating awareness among voters, also found that assets of 54 MLAs, re-contesting polls this year, grew on an average by 172 per cent since the 2007 elections. Leading the table is Brij Behari Lal Butail of Congress from Palampur constituency with assets worth Rs 169 crore, followed by Balbir Singh Verma (independent candidate from Chopal) with Rs 41 crore and Congress candidate Ram Kumar (Doon constituency) with Rs 36 crore. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, an electoral and political reforms NGO, the CPM’s candidate from Theog, Rakesh Singh, having total assets worth Rs 17.28 crore, leads the list of candidates having high assets but those who have never filed IT returns. Singh is followed by Vijay Jayoti an independent from Kasumpti with assets of Rs 7.23 crore and CPM’s candidate from Shimla Tikender Panwar who has assets of Rs 3.05 crore. The top 10 candidates in the list have assets ranging from almost Rs 99 lakh to Rs 17.28 crore – but have never filed income tax returns. Of the total of 459 candidates contesting the Assembly elections,  163 candidates had never filed their income taxes.

In stark contrast, TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu’s asset value has gone down by about Rs.7.91 lakh. The value of his assets at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal was just Rs.31.97 lakh, down from Rs.39.88 lakh, Mr. Naidu announced at a press conference with the rider he was declaring only the acquisition value of his assets as “the market values differ from time to time”. His residence in Road No.65 in Jubilee Hills, constructed on a 1,125 square feet-plot purchased in 1985 and completed in 1992, is valued at Rs.23.2 lakh.

Other assets.  Mr. Naidu’s other assets include an Ambassador car, NSC certificates and balance in savings bank accounts – all put together at Rs.8.77 lakh. The decrease in his assets’ value has been attributed only to his reduced savings bank balance. The net assets of his wife, Bhuvaneswari, he said, amounted to Rs.24.53 crore, that of his son N. Lokesh Rs.6.62 crore and daughter-in-law Brahmani Rs.2.1 crore. In effect, the net assets of Mr. Naidu’s family add up to Rs.35.59 crore, including investment of Rs.2 crore in an unlisted company, Nirvana Holdings.

The former Chief Minister explained that he was making public his assets for the second year in a row in his endeavour to be transparent in public life. He recalled that an Ethics Committee of the Assembly was set up in 1999 when it was resolved that all MLAs should declare their assets. He had been submitting the figures to the Speaker every year since then. Mr. Naidu said that in the wake of the increasing corruption and irregularities in the Central and State governments, the Congress leaders were trying to convert their ill-gotten money into white by making investments in various companies. He said the anti-corruption movements taken up by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev had dissipated due to their political overtures and allegiance.

I am not sure, whether I am entirely correct in supporting him so, but I only wish that conceptually I am correct………   On a different note, a Court in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district recently acquitted two of the four accused in the failed assassination attempt on former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.  The fourth district court struck down the lower court's order sentencing Maoist leader Panduranga Reddy alias Sagar and gelatin stick trader Gangi Reddy. The court dismissed the case against them due to lack of evidence.  The court, however, upheld the seven-year sentence awarded to two other accused Ramaswamy Reddy and Nagarjuna, both gelatin stick traders.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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