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Articles

Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.

Articles

Are Chief Ministers Monarchs?

 Dt:  19/8/21

 

Are Chief Ministers Monarchs?

Dr T H Chowdary*

 

A bye-election is imminent in a constituency  for the State Legislature.  The Chief Minister announces a  Dalit Bandhu programme, goes to a village in the constituency and effects direct bank transfer (DBT)  of Rs. 10 lakhs  to the accounts  of all the seventy one  Dalit families in the village  and says the scheme will be  implemented in all villages in the State !   This is touted as a welfare measure for the  Dalits  - not in the party manifesto, not a cabinet  decision, no provision in the budget  passed by the Legislature !  A few days later, the Sonia Congress leader holds a demonstration demanding  Muslim Bandhu scheme.

 

2. In another state, the Chief Minister has in a period of 27 months  effected DBT of about Rs.45,000cr  on a number of “welfare”  schemes,  every one of them named after  himself or his late father who was Chief Minister of the state for about six years.  Almost all this  money was  from borrowings ; swelling the  state’s debt.    The amount every “poor” family gets  is sufficient  to feed and clothe and enjoy without doing  any paid work.    The welfare PDS rations and  pensions are delivered at the homes of the beneficiaries  through an army of a  few lakh Gram Sevaks , each paid Rs. 8000 p.m.  For carrying the rations, delivery vans were  purchased  for the purpose.

 

3. A person from the state wins a bronze medal in Olympics, the CM announced a Rs.35 lakhs  reward; another  wins a Silver medal; the CM of the person’s state announces Rs. 1 crore as reward.  Some people  died when  a tractor overloaded with  scores of  persons were transported. The families of the  dead persons are  given Rs. 10 lakhs each.  

 

4. In one state farmers, are given free electricity; so are  poor; rajaks ( washermen)  and kshuraks (barbers) and weavers etc. The Discoms ( electricity distribution companies, state-owned)  are in debt of lakhs of crores of rupees. “Poor” brides are given Rs. 1/- lakh as Shaadi Mubarak / Kalyanamastu. Lakhs of women in self-help groups ( SHGs) are given Rs. 10,000 each ( over 80 lakhs  of them in AP).  The gift  is named after the Chief Minister’s persons few months before elections…  Lakhs of sheep and milch buffaloes are  distributed at about 10 to 20% of the price  they are purchased by the state.

 

5. In one state while the outgoing Chief Minister launched three caste-designated state- owned Welfare Corporations, the successor C.M of the victorious party launched more than forty caste-designated, state-owned Welfare Corporations and nominated 173 persons as Chairmen and Directors. 

 

6. A pay revision committee of the government  recommends  7.5% increase but the  Chief Minister decides to increase  it by 30%  !  Is this not  joint loot of public money?   Government is already  over-staffed  (except among teachers)  but the Chief Minister wants to recruit another  50-60,000  persons as government servants, governments don’t create  wealth;  they should be for facilitation and regulation.

 

7. Numerous are such charities distributed by the will of  the Chief Ministers, all from borrowed funds, sinking the state in ever deeper  well of debt .

 

8. What do the Chief Ministers of charity say? “The central government is not giving  money” as though theirs is the right to spend and the Center’s duty is to fund !  The populist charity is the special characteristic of all regional parties    in their  hunt for votes. The wealth declared by most  MLA’s and MPs who win successive  elections as declared by themselves to the electoral officers by affidavit,  is two to five times the  previous.

 

 9. The voting multitudes are kept in painless poverty through increasing charity from the State’s borrowed money. Their numbers  increase; the numbers of the  well-to-do ( the so called forward castes) decrease while their  wealth increases, due to good education, businesses  and well -paying professions .  The poor’s misery is mitigated by state-bestowed charity which extends to provision of house, rations, education of a sort (fee reimbursement )and some free health care ( Arogya Sri; Ayushman etc., schemes)  .

 

10. The emerging outcomes are: GDP and per capita income increase;  but the rich characterized with one or two only children become richer and the poor become less poor; the inequality increases; as the population of the non-rich increases and lack of  quality education among them detracts from  employability, the unemployed will swell and clamour for dole; they will be obliged  to some extent by vote-mongering and power-seeking ( to become wealthy) politicians. The unemployment becomes so vulgar as for instance 100 engineering graduates ( among 5000 applicants) for 8 posts of  morgue assistants, minimum  qualification of 8th standard  in 2021 in Calcutta  and more than 5,00,000 persons  among whom were tens of thousands of graduates, engineers, Ph.Ds applied  for 100 posts of peons in Lucknow Secretariat in 2015.

 

11. Unless the population growth is arrested down and political parties are regulated  (like telecoms, electricity, insurance, companies etc.) demagogues will bring democracy into disrepute Chief Ministers will become proprietors of parties, monarchs of states and dynastic rulers and India becoming a great power and nation will remain a tantalizing  slogan.  (845 words)

 

END