YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy might have hit the headlines for wrong reasons in the last 100 days with his controversial decisions, but what the media has ignored the fact that he has actually started gaining control over the rural areas.
The two schemes – the appointment of Village Volunteers and establishment of Village Secretariats – are expected to be major milestones in his administration that might as well help him rule the state for many more terms on the lines of Naveen Patnaik in Odisha.
According to analysts, Jagan’s decision to appoint over 2.80 lakh village volunteers with a monthly remuneration of Rs 5,000 and 1.26 lakh village/ward secretaries in the proposed village/ward secretariats with an initial consolidated monthly payment of ₹15,000, will generate a lot goodwill for him in the rural areas.
These moves are expected to bring about a complete transformation in the political landscape in the rural areas, besides bringing closer to the administration.
Though Jagan said youth, irrespective of their political affinity, would be given these jobs, it is pretty evident that majority of them are grassroots level workers of YSR Congress.
“These workers will not only consolidate the party at the village level and ensure that there is no scope for the opposition parties to unpopularize the schemes, but also have the freedom of distributing government benefits to the people. Of course, there is going to be corruption to some extent in the long run, but as long as the people get benefits, they don’t make a big issue out of it,” an analyst said.
Once the YSRC consolidates its position in the villages, it can easily dismantle the TDP and also prevent the growth of the BJP.
“The village volunteers and secretaries will become an invincible army for the YSRC by next elections,” the analyst added.