Former Member of Parliament from Rajahmundry Undavalli Arun Kumar, once a close aide of late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, has made critical comments against the State budget and the government. The veteran’s comments gained attention for his timing coinciding with the completion of one year by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
The congress old-timer is known for his sharp criticism and wit on issues concerning the Telugu States. Undavalli took a deep dig at issues ranging from Sand crisis in the State, the prohibition of alcohol, Housing for the poor, and also comments by YSRCP leaders on the judiciary.
Prohibition of Alcohol in the State
Prohibition of Alcohol is one among the 09 promises which Jagan Mohan Reddy has made during his election campaign. Undavalli called Jagan’s approach to the ban on alcohol rid with many illusions. He said it was immature on the part of Jagan Mohan Reddy to hike alcohol rates anticipating that people would stop drinking, which has not happened. The prices have seen a spike of over 100% in the last year. The Ex-MP noted the government’s move has resulted in increased consumption of cheap liquor in the State have picked up tremendously benefitting only the black marketeers. Arun Kumar held the government’s failed policy responsible for the increase in illegal liquor entering the State from neighbouring States.
Artificial Sand Crisis
The YSRCP government scrapped the free sand policy of the previous government. After much delay, a new sand policy brought in place. The YSRCP Government had failed to systematize the availability of Sand in the State. Despite the much-celebrated online process which Govt introduced, the State continues to suffer from the shortage of Sand. As much it is embroiled in corruption, Undavalli opined that the Sand crisis has resulted in the much bigger problem of livelihood loss in construction and allied sectors. After a year and several revisions in the policy, the government still struggles to streamline the process.
Housing for the Poor
The YSRCP government has promised to provide over 25L houses to the poor in the State. Undavalli Arun Kumar lashed at Jagan Mohan Reddy for his government’s failed processes in acquiring the lands for Housing for the poor. In May 2020, Undavalli has written a letter to the CM requesting an inquiry into the wetlands under inundation threat being acquired for State Housing project near Rajanagaram constituency. The revenue department has purchased wetlands Burugupudi and Kolamuru villages at an exorbitant price of 43Lakh/acre. Construction of houses in these lands under inundation threat is not feasible.
On many occasions, the congress old-timer openly expressed his admiration for YS Rajesekhar Reddy. In the past, the Congress leader was criticized for his soft commentary for Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The YSR’s admirer was quite critical of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s politics and said Jagan fails to follow what he preaches. He reminded the audience of instances where Jagan Mohan Reddy claimed to draw inspiration from Nelson Mandela. Undavalli had pointed out Jagan’s politics focused on undoing his opponents than helping the majority who voted for him.
The Rajahmundry based leader also found fault with the Jagan administration’s consistent failure to comply with Judicial norms. He called it to be shameful for the party and its leaders to comment and create offensive posts against the honourable court and its Judges.
Taking a dig at the CM Undavalli asked what message is the CM trying to give by not wearing during this pandemic, insisted why the government’s guidelines to levy fines of people who do not wear mask applicable for Jagan Mohan Reddy were?