As state elections in Andhra Pradesh draw closer, the YSRCP is on a promise-making spree. The party's chief Jagan Mohan Reddy soon after announcing that he would hike pensions to Rs 3000 made a promise to bring in legislation that would give 75% reservation to locals in jobs at existing and future industries in the state. Political analysts viewing the promises from YSRCP and even TDP wonder if political parties are even considering other development models than ones based on welfare.
On Thursday, Jagan at a party event in Kadapa announced that if voted to power in the upcoming state assembly elections, his party would bring in legislation that would provide 75% reservation in jobs to locals in existing industries and those that will be set up. He also promised to fill the 2.4 lakh vacant posts in the state This is the YSRCPs answer to the 5.2% unemployment rate in the state.
âThe government did not care to fill the 2.4 lakh government posts lying vacant. Based on an in-depth study, we will provide 10 jobs to local villagers in the village secretariats and one for every 50 families through the village volunteers. All government schemes, including those promised under âNavaratnaluâ, will be delivered at your doorsteps,â said Jagan.
Jagan also claimed that the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Kadapa steel plant was an eyewash by the TDP government. He said, if voted to power his government would complete the project within 3 years, âWe will start the work within 3-6 months of coming to power and complete it in three years.â said Jagan.
In 2018, the YSRCP came out with a governance model comprising of nine welfare schemes, calling the initiative 'Navaratnalu'. The proposed schemes range from financial assistance, reimbursement for student education, alcohol ban, a financial incentive to mothers to send their children to school among others.
TNM spoke to two political analysts who have been keenly observing YSRCP in the run to elections in Andhra Pradesh. Both the analysts pointed out that the party has centred its developmental agenda for the state focused on welfare and are competing with the TDP in terms of who doles out more attractive welfare schemes.
âThey have the Naidu model of development and the YSR model of development, but both models are the same that are centred on welfare,â observed Telakapalli Ravi a political analyst and writer. âWhen the pension was hiked to Rs 2000 by the TDP government Jagan claimed that Naidu has stolen the idea of a pension hike from his Navaratnalu. In response, Jagan has hiked his pension promise to Rs 3000. Nowadays its all competition, both YSRCP and TDP have no other developmental model, it's just competing as to who is first," he added.
The YSRCP leader has made it clear that his party would contest the polls alone in the 2019 state elections. The party would take on TDP that has severed its alliance with the BJP and Jana Sena. The Indian National Congress (INC) is also in the election fray.
âJagan appears to be very confident that he would come to power, but the actual basis of this confidence is not known,â quips Ravi who is of the view that Jagan's padayatra has helped him gain support among his core voter base, âIt is however unclear if the padayatra has helped him eat into the TDP base,â he added.
K Purushotham Reddy, a political analyst who was the former head of the Department of Political Science at Osmania University is of the view that there needs to be a shift in the way politicians think about development and job creation. "The present model of development is not going to create more jobs. When Jagan is talking about reservation in the local industry he is referring to the small scale industrialization of Chittoor, Anantapur, Nellore areas which are close to Chennai and Bengaluru. So there is a demand for jobs in that area for which the locals want preference and that is a legitimate demand. But the question is if these policies will create more jobs that are sustainable,â
Reddy pointed out that neither TDP nor YSRCP is adopting Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) as a developmental model. SDG is a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, that focuses on areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities "If political parties adopt globally approved SDGs as a developmental model then we can create many jobs, in the renewable energy sector, organic farming and rainwater harvesting among others. We need to come out of this incremental policies and address the real issues," he added.&