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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Power(ful)[point] Nara Chandra Babu Naidu becomes Chief Minister of Andhra

Ages ago, to a question on whether he believes in fate, Cho (Thuglak Editor) replied drawing elaborate reference to PV Narasimha Rao… Narasimha rao had been the CM and has been a Parliamentarian… in 1984 elections held after assassination of Indira Gandhi, Congress got 414 seats; 2nd was TDP; BJP got only 2 ……… one was from South India (yes) – Hanamkonda, where Chandupatla Janga Reddy defeated Rao by approx 55000 votes.   In 1991, he had almost retired when Rajiv was touted to return to power but lost life sadly in that blast at Sriperumpudur … Narasimha Rao was to become the Prime Minister becoming the first holder of this office from non-Hindi-speaking south India.

Microsoft PowerPoint is a slide show presentation program developed by Microsoft. It was officially launched on May 22, 1990, as a part of the Microsoft Office suite.  Originally designed for the Macintosh computer, the initial release was called "Presenter".   Lengthy slide presentations have been a substitute for meaningful communication before ubiquitous PowerPoint software was invented. Cannot imagine what would happen to Corporate World, if PPT & XL were not to exist !!!!.....

Today, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President Chandrababu Naidu was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of new Andhra Pradesh;  Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Naidu at a public function held at Nagarjuna Nagar between Vijayawada and Guntur at 7.27 pm. A host of dignitaries, including 15 Union ministers, veteran BJP leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and film stars including Rajinikanth and Pawan Kalyan, besides Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Punjab and Goa  are reportedly among the audience.   Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy did not attend the swearing-in though Naidu had extended personal invitations to them. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today extended her greetings to Naidu as well. Lakhs of people, thousands of vehicles, hundreds of security men, scores of industrialists, VIPs, bureaucrats, 27 aircraft, about 50 special trains, hundreds of buses, 18 Union ministers, eight chief ministers, movie stars and one Governor – Nara Chandrababu Naidu has spared no effort to make his swearing-in as the first chief minister of the brand new Andhra Pradesh a mega, memorable event.  ~ and that also should make one believe in fate………..

Among the three important files he was expected to sign was one pertaining to the staggering Rs 80,000-crore farm loan waiver. This victory is a culmination of a 10-year-long toil and an unrelenting fight. History will have it that the unquestioned supremo of the 32-year-old Telugu Desam Party, Naidu, was close to Telugu Desam patriarch NT Rama Rao, overswept him, was away from power for too long and now has returned to become the first CM of divided Andhra.  He personally called up his bête noire YS Jaganmohan Reddy who will be the first Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly of the newly carved state. That Jagan reacted like a typical Opposition leader and pooh-poohed the extravagance is a different story. The farm loan waiver was like a genie that granted electoral victory to  TDP and whether he would  be able to cap the genie or let it turn out into a monster becomes interesting to watch.  Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao promised waiver of farm loans up to a sum of Rs 1 lakh. But then, he has added an asterisk with fine print reading that farm loans taken only between June 2013 and June 2014 would be covered under waiver. The farm loans in Telangana amounted to Rs 40,994 crore, of which the loans that were up to Rs 1 lakh accounted for Rs 26,020 crore. Already, three farmers committed suicide and four of them died of heart attack on learning that they may not be covered under the farm loan waiver scheme in Telangana.

Naidu was voted out of power but yet to his credit, it must be recalled that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both visited him in Hyderabad. Governor of Illinois created a Naidu Day in his honour. He also won numerous awards  and 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. 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.  Here is something interesting read in Hindu of date.

Mr. Naidu was a man in a hurry; he was not just a Chief Minister but also a CEO who wanted to go beyond economic casuistry. Before Narendra Modi there was N. Chandrababu Naidu. And he was on the right side of history. There was never a reason for the United States to deny him a visa. So Mr. Naidu went, and when he returned, he brought along Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. He took help from McKinsey; he did not shy away from asking the World Bank what policies to implement and how to do it. They all approved. Mr. Naidu became the new PowerPoint showman. He knew what would impress the world. When Mr. Clinton left Hyderabad, he had a new driving licence in his pocket — a feat achieved in a flat 15 minutes. He was impressed. Everyone was. The CNN and the Time magazine sang praises about Mr. Naidu. In Illinois, U.S., they even proclaimed a Naidu Day in his honour. Hyderabad now had a Cyberabad that was becoming the Takshila of Information and Technology. The who’s who of the IT industry had set shop there — from IBM to Microsoft.

Mr. Naidu had made them say ‘Bye-bye’ to Bangalore and ‘Hello’ to Hyderabad. But beyond the feel-good Shangri-La that Mr. Naidu created in Hyderabad, there were concerns in the rest of Andhra Pradesh that he paid no heed to. It was as if he had come to believe he was only Hyderabad’s Chief Minister. The industry loved Mr. Naidu. They, in the words of the English political activist George Monbiot, loved him “because he did what he was told.” So, while Formula 1 would be given subsidy, subsidies on food were slashed. The farmers suffered. Reeling under debt, they took to consuming pesticide to end their suffering. In 2004, nine years after Mr. Naidu had become the Chief Minister, the people of Andhra Pradesh voted him out of power. They forced him to be the longest serving leader of the Opposition in the State.

Ten years later, history has given Mr. Naidu another chance- so the man who knows powerpoint well returns …………. About a fortnight back, there was this column that Prime minister-designate Narendra Modi has asked the Cabinet Secretary to get secretaries of all key economic ministries to give him details of what incorrect policy decisions have been taken in their domain over the past few years — this could be in the form of specific decisions or in terms of the major policy decisions that did not get taken for one reason or another. He has also asked bureaucrats to explain how, if they were given a free hand, they would fix this. The  ministries were asked to send a PowerPoint presentation to the Cabinet Secretary — 10-12 slides on the outside; a move  in keeping with Modi’s running of Gujarat where, once a year, each secretary is asked to make a presentation on the key achievements in the year as well as plans for the next one.

Suddenly the Nation has changed gears and we optimistically look forward to a Bright Growth and development for the Nation

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th June 2014. 

With inputs taken from Firstpost and The Hindu.

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