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Be transparent

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Highlights

T Rajaiah’s exit from the KCR Cabinet was imminent as media had been speculating on it for quite some time. But, the unfolding of events on Sunday was certainly dramatic and sensational. The sacking of a Deputy Chief Minister is certainly politically significant. However, the episode is not going to have any impact on the government and the party due to comfortable majority. Of course, some opposition parties and groups have reacted predictably.

If reports of removal of Rajaiah on grounds of corruption are true, then the KCR government needs to be more transparent and keep all the details in public domain

T Rajaiah’s exit from the KCR Cabinet was imminent as media had been speculating on it for quite some time. But, the unfolding of events on Sunday was certainly dramatic and sensational. The sacking of a Deputy Chief Minister is certainly politically significant. However, the episode is not going to have any impact on the government and the party due to comfortable majority. Of course, some opposition parties and groups have reacted predictably.

But, KCR showed his political acumen and disarmed the critics. Two things have helped here. First, the action is reportedly due to allegations of corruption in the purchase of 285 ambulances and appointment of doctors and para-medical staff on outsourcing basis. The other allegation is Rajaiah‘s inaction when the state is facing a serious challenge of swine Flu. If these allegations are true, it is difficult even for the opposition to find fault. The induction of Kadiam Srihari balances the social factor, while adding experience to the Cabinet.

There is yet another twist to the minor reshuffle. It did not get that much attention due to the overwhelming nature of Rajaiah’s episode. G Jagdish Reddy was shifted from his education portfolio. This minor change also has its share of political message. Chief Minister was reportedly unhappy over the earlier education minister’s attitude of confrontation with opposition members in the legislature. It will certainly be a pointer to other ministers who still fail to realise that they have moved from movement mode to governance mode.

The critics argue that Rajaiah should have been given an honorable exit. But, TRS sources explain that despite indications, the minister in question failed to act, compelling the Chief Minister to take the strong action of recommending his ouster. But, the party sources say that this is not a revolt by Rajaiah. He was hoping for a pardon.

Myriad explanations are given. The political grapevine is that KCR is unhappy with Rajaiah for a host of reasons. The allegation of corruption was only the clinching point. The rumors doing the rounds in political circles are that Rajaiah is close to Harish Rao much to the disliking of the leadership. There are also allegations on his behavior. But, Rajaiah calls all this an attempt of character assassination.

However, the TRS leaders commented on the Television channels that KCR‘s action sends a strong message to corrupt and inefficient people whether they are ministers or officials. But, if one has to believe all this, the government has to do some more home work. The removal of a Deputy Chief Minister is not a party affair.

Though selection of ministers is a prerogative of Chief Minister, it cannot be free from public scrutiny in a democratic polity. The government needs to be more transparent. Keep all the details of corruption in public domain. The loss to the exchequer should be recovered. All those involved should be punished. These actions are in the interests of party, government and people.

Editor: Prof K Nageshwar

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