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Battle rules hit new low

Battle rules hit new low
Highlights

The political scenario in Andhra Pradesh is getting murkier. The race for power seems to be taking the battle rules to a new low where what matters is winning the elections by hook or crook. The being adopted by the political parties is totally disgusting. In the race for one-upmanship even the constitutional institutions like legislatures and Raj Bhavan are not being spared. What I am saying is a

The political scenario in Andhra Pradesh is getting murkier. The race for power seems to be taking the battle rules to a new low where what matters is winning the elections by hook or crook. The being adopted by the political parties is totally disgusting. In the race for one-upmanship even the constitutional institutions like legislatures and Raj Bhavan are not being spared. What I am saying is applicable to leaders of all political parties irrespective of the colour of the shirt they wear.

When the Congress party suffered a sort of irrecoverable blow in 2014 elections and BJP came to power with Narendrabhai Modi as its mascot, the aspirations among people were very high. People expected that things would change a lot. ‘Achhe din’ would be ushered in more in the political arena and that value-based politics would stage a comeback.

The cool attitude of Narendrabhai was seen as his special quality and he was considered to be a man of deeds and few words and was even compared to the former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao. But four years down the lane, the jodi of Narendrabhai and Amitbhai Shah has earned a different image.

The BJP is now being seen as a party that is trying to arm twist the state governments if they fail to fall in line. The way things are unfolding, particularly in Andhra Pradesh gives rise to suspicion that ever since TDP walked out of the NDA, the political scene is getting murkier not by the day but by the hour.

From what I have observed and from the impression I gathered from the interaction I had with leaders of various parties, it is clear that a situation is fast emerging where the battle for CMs gaddi is going to be all versus the TDP. I am not commenting on who is responsible for this because all are equally responsible for the existing political chaos in the state.

I am only trying to express my concern as to how democratic institutions like the Assembly are taking the blow by the acts of honourable members. While this is one side of the coin, the other side is that leaders of all political parties are indulging in tongue lashing and using phrases and words which puts even people who fight on streets to shame.

It appears that it may be easy to tackle other kinds of pollutions including the menace of plastic, but it is nearly impossible to tame the leaders and tell them that they need to hold their tongue and use decent language. Similarly, certain incidents which could never be imagined are taking place. For example, in Delhi a Chief Minister sits on dharna in the lounge of Raj Bhavan and the Lt Governor does not give audience to him and finally the Centre proposes to intervene.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Chairman of Public Accounts Committee Bugganna Rajendranath gets entangled in a new controversy. The TDP alleges that he along with BJP MLA Akula Satyanaryana met BJP leader Ram Madhav and passed on some official information to which he was privy in his capacity as Chairman of PAC.

This may be as true as the YSRCP leader Vijaysai Reddy alleging that Naidu had hidden the diamond that is reportedly missing from Tirumala in his official residence at Velagapudi but then wittingly or unwittingly, the name of Assembly is being dragged into power politics.

In this case, the confusion got confounded as the BJP MLA first denied that he had met Bugganna and a day later when CCTV footage went viral admitted that they met and went for lunch to Shangrila hotel. The YSRCP leader was also first silent and later stated that he had gone for lunch with the BJP MLA on Wednesday.

The TDP went a step ahead and claimed that the log book in Andhra Pradesh Bhavan has noting that Bugganna along with BJP MLA met Ram Madhav. Denying this Bugganna said a TDP MLA Kuna Ravi Kumar had hugged him. This he said was not because of any political reason. “Kuna is my classmate”, Buganna said.

The delayed reaction of these leaders raised doubts among the people and gave scope for TDP to claim that the Centre was hatching a conspiracy against the state government and that the YSRCP was hand in glove with the BJP. Though meeting of leaders from different parties at AP Bhavan and exchanging pleasantries is common, people who occupy certain important positions should be more careful particularly when the relationship between the Centre and state are ruffled.

The TDP wants people to read between the lines. It says all state BJP leaders including the state president Kanna Lakshminarayana are in Delhi and even the Governor ESL Narasimhan is there. Kanna had already met Amit Shah and the Prime Minister. On Friday the Governor also met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister. At such a time cozying up of BJP and YSRCP leaders has given rise to smoke.

It is normal practice that the Chairman of PAC is nominated from the opposition. But there have never been incidents where the PAC chairman had leaked any information to anyone nor was there any such allegation.

In the undivided Andhra Pradesh, when Nagam Janardhan Reddy who was considered to be a flamboyant leader was the PAC chairman and was known for grilling the officials on various issues. But he too never got into this kind of controversy. There were any number of incidents where he used to have friendly interaction with the members of the then ruling Congress, but never gave a chance for any allegations against him even by his arch rivals like D K Aruna. The PAC is supposed to be a very important committee.

It deals with specific items of business requiring expert or detailed consideration. In fact, the legislature committees do a lot of scrutiny on behalf of the legislative bodies and are often termed as mini legislatures.

The main function of the PAC is to examine accounts showing the appropriation of sums granted by the Legislature for expenditure of the state government. It also examines the annual financial accounts and appropriation accounts of the state, reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (Civil and revenue receipts), and other such reports of accounts laid before the House, as the committee may think fit.

In scrutinising the Appropriation Accounts of the state and the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, it shall be the duty of the committee to satisfy itself that the money shown in the accounts as having been disbursed were legally available for, and applicable to, the service or purpose for which they have been applied or charged and that the expenditure confirms to the authority which governs it, and that every re-appropriation has been made in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf under rules framed by competent authority.

It is unfortunate that such an important committee is now being dragged into controversy and all political parties should take the blame for this.

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