Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has become a ‘revenue-deficit state’ since bifurcation in 2014. It is a virtual struggle to pay salaries for the staff. AP’s debt burden currently stands at about Rs 2.50 lakh crore on which it pays an annual interest of approximately Rs 20,000 crore
Given the precarious financial situation, it is binding on a Chief Minister, including Andhra Pradesh, to abide by ‘austerity measures’ besides keeping a check on every rupee that is being splurged around with the most hit being the common man, who pays his taxes diligently.
Sadly, it appears like the two men who have been at the helm are oblivious of the financial crisis and the torture being borne by the people of the State. They are competing with each other in wasting public money for their personal benefits and to live a lavish life unmindful of the burden on the exchequer.
When TDP was in power between 2014 and 2019, Naidu spent crores of public money on his personal properties, camp offices, residences in Hyderabad and Amaravati.
YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the then Leader of the Opposition, used to raise a hue and cry about this issue.
Things have changed and power has changed hands. Jagan as the successor to Naidu is behaving similar to his predecessor when it comes to spending public money for personal use.
Jagan assumed office on May 30. But within this short span, he has spent a whopping Rs 17 crore (Rs 16.94 crore to be more precise) on his residential buildings in Amaravati and Hyderabad, which are converted as official residences-cum-camp offices. What is more shocking is that Rs 73 lakh was spent to fix windows for his house in Amaravati.
The AP government issued two GOs-The first was issued to sanction Rs 1.20 crore ‘annual maintenance’ on his residence at Tadepalli, while the second GO was issued for sanction of Rs 35.50 lakh for taking up electrical and electro mechanical works at his Hyderabad residence.
Naidu, who is now accusing Jagan of splurging public money, did nothing less when he was CM. He maintained three camp offices in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Vundavalli. As this was not enough, he maintained his personal house in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad with public funds every year, declaring it as CM’s camp office.
This despite the fact that Lake View Guest House was allotted as camp office for AP CM, being the common capital for 10 years. Neither Naidu nor Jagan have any use of the guest house. Naidu spent over Rs 90 crore on his three camp offices alone.
Besides, he spent another Rs 80 crore for renovation of his office in Secretariat, Hyderabad in 2014, from where he worked as CM for handful of days.
One thing is clear, whether it’s Naidu or Jagan, when it comes to wasting public money for their personal benefits, there is hardly any difference between the two.