Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is appearing close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi these days. This closeness is seen as a sign of some good things to happen to the State of Andhra Pradesh. But, the question is that like Jaganmohan Reddy, his predecessor, Chandrababu Naidu was also close to the Prime Minister. What makes the difference today is that Jaganmohan Reddy appears loyal, which was not seen in the case of Chandrababu Naidu.
Narendra Modi can lay his hand over the shoulders of Jaganmohan Reddy, who is almost 20 years younger to him and a new face in politics. Jaganmohan Reddy too can bend before Narendra Modi whenever they meet, like in Tirupathi the other day. This loyalty works some times in getting into the good books of the Prime Minister and that would help in getting some good projects to the State.
The State has no own resources. All that the state has now is a burden of the debt. The State has to live on the external borrowings on a weekly basis. Jaganmohan Reddy is not ready to go for external borrowings. In fact, he has to wait till August, the beginning of the second quarter, to go for borrowing as the first quarters’ borrowing eligibility of Rs 8,000 crore was emptied by Chandrababu Naidu government in April itself.
All that Jaganmohan Reddy could depend is on the flow of funds from the Central government under various schemes. Here too, Jaganmohan Reddy has no money to match the Central funds as the State is required to pay 40 per cent of the funds as its share to match the Central funds. It is here, the loyalty is expected to work. The Prime Minister may ask his government to release Central share of funds to Andhra Pradesh, without insisting on the State putting its share in the bank. This would give some breather to Jaganmohan Reddy. One more help that the Prime Minister can do to the State is to increase Central share from the present 60 per cent to 90 per cent for all the Centrally-sponsored schemes, that would be enough for Jaganmohan Reddy to meet his demands.
In addition to this, there is a big flow of funds in the MNREGS programme, which is implemented in the State.
However, this positive sign of relationship was not there between Narendra Modi and Chandrababu Naidu, because Modi never trusted Naidu, who is also an equal player in the national politics. Above this was Naidu’s hard hitting criticism of Modi when the latter was the chief minister of Gujarath. All these did not work in favour of Andhra Pradesh in the last five years. It is to be seen if the loyalty helps Jagan this time to get more funds from the Centre.