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Business News/ Politics / News/  Jagan Reddy takes oath as AP CM, vows action against graft
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Jagan Reddy takes oath as AP CM, vows action against graft

KCR attends ceremony, sparking hopes of a thaw in vexed Andhra-Telangana ties
  • Reddy’s YSRCP won a staggering 151 out of the total 175 assembly seats in the 2019 assembly elections
  • A file photo of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who was sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister today. (PTI)Premium
    A file photo of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who was sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister today. (PTI)

    Eight years after he broke off from the Congress to launch the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took office as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

    In his maiden speech as chief minister after the oath-taking ceremony in Amaravati, Reddy attacked former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu over allegations of corruption under the previous government. Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) and Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M.K. Stalin attended the event.

    Reddy’s YSRCP won a staggering 151 out of the total 175 assembly seats in the 2019 assembly elections. The party also won 22 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

    “I saw a lot of hardship when I walked over 3,000km (during the padayatra across Andhra) and I have seen your hardships. After listening to you as chief minister, I am telling you one thing: I am here for you," Reddy told a rousing crowd after the ceremony. The YSRCP chief also vowed to bring errant contractors to task and end corruption, for which he said his government will set up a call centre directly connecting to his office.

    “We have only a two-page manifesto, as we did not bring out page after page or a huge book. After coming to power, people throw their manifestos away. A manifesto is something the public should know about and through which people know what I will do. Today, you need to pay bribes for anything, but that will stop. We will take up a reverse-tendering process, and all the tenders will be made public," Reddy announced.

    KCR, too, addressed the crowd, calling for cooperation between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, especially on river water sharing. “Jagan will be here for not one, but or two or three terms," he declared.

    The presence of KCR at the ceremony may indicate a change in the neighbouring states’ relationship, which was on the rocks owing to various issues—including, particularly, the rivalry between KCR and Naidu—that arose after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

    A Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader, who did not wish to be identified, said Reddy and KCR share a good rapport and are likely to work together to iron out the issues between both states.

    It remains to be seen if Reddy reverses key decisions taken during Naidu’s tenure and investigates alleged irregularities by the TDP government. The YSRCP chief himself is currently under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly owning assets disproportionate to his income.

    Reddy’s ascent to chief ministership comes almost 10 years after his father and former Congress chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) died in a helicopter crash.

    YSR, too, had defeated Naidu twice, in the 2004 and 2009 elections. After his death, his son took out a state-wide tour to meet people and, later, unhappy over not being made chief minister by the Congress high command, formed the YSRCP in 2011.

    He unsuccessfully fought the TDP-BJP, then in an alliance, during the 2014 assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The YSRCP vote share was then just 2% less than the TDP’s, but it won just 67 assembly seats, while the TDP and BJP jointly won 102 and four seats.

    A YSRCP functionary, who did not wish to be named, said that there is no clarity so far on when Reddy will name his ministers.

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    Published: 30 May 2019, 01:37 PM IST
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