Hyderabad: With just eight days left before the declaration of results of the Andhra Pradesh elections, and with bureaucracy in Andhra Pradesh on the edge about the impending outcome, old tales of bonhomie between certain top officials in the present N. Chandrababu Naidu regime and the babus considered close to Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy camp are spreading rapidly across the corridors of power, and this could come in the way of them occupying key positions if the YSRC comes into power.
Additionally, the YSRC leadership has already been briefed about those officers who were part of the coterie of certain top babus in the Naidu’s government which had often led to groupism in the Andhra Pradesh bureaucracy ever since Mr Naidu came to power in the truncated state.
Sources disclosed to Deccan Chronicle that there were quite a few officials, particularly in the IPS fraternity, who shared a rather close bond with each other despite being favoured by different political parties. “Some of them have previously (in united Andhra Pradesh) worked as SPs and DIGs and still share very close ties with each other. Then, there are also those who worked as Collectors and Joint Collectors. While all officers in service obviously know each other, there are a few whose friendships and close associations have always been the talk of the town. These are the officers who, despite being close to two bitter political opponents, have continued to maintain strong interpersonal relationships. Now that the stakes are high in Andhra Pradesh, these old tales of bonhomie are once again coming in the spotlight and could mar the chances of those aspiring for key positions if the YSRC was to come to power,” sources privy to the affairs claimed.
It is learnt that such officers, who fear that the ‘blast from the past’ could hamper their chances of occupying key posts, have been urging retired officers to put in a good word about their “professionalism and efficiency” to the YSRC leadership and to affirm on their behalf that irrespective of their associations with officials close to Mr Naidu, they could be trusted.
“Any party that might come to power would certainly want to appoint officers who they can be loyal to them. No political head wants matters pertaining to his governance to be leaked to his political opponents, the likelihood of which increases if an officer shares a strong rapport with another officer loyal to a rival,” one bureaucrat said.
However, the tug of war doesn’t end here. The YSRC leadership has already been alerted about the officers who remained neutral in Naidu’s regime and those who were part of the coterie of certain top babus holding key positions in the Naidu government.
“As part of the coterie, they enjoyed key posts in Andhra Pradesh but in the event of a change of guard in the state, these officers will be kept away from all posts considered important.”
It is for this precise reason that a large number of bureaucrats have been scouting for positions at the Centre in order to proceed on deputation.
“Perceptions cannot be changed, so there is no point in carrying on over here until targeted,” remarked one official.
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Labour minister Ch. Malla Reddy’s son-in-law Marri Rajasekhar Reddy, again a fresh face, lost to TPCC working president A Revanth Reddy.
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In Zaheerabad, the TRS’s B.B. Patil won by 6,229 votes or 0.60 per cent votes against the Congress’s E. Madan Mohan Rao.
In recent times, Mr Naidu has distanced himself from several political parties and bureaucrats.
Mr V. Vijaya Sai Reddy is considered as Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s man Friday.
This trend was more starkly visible in Odisha where the Biju Janata Dal retained power for an unprecedented fourth term.
The BJP had sought YSRC support in the event of falling short of majority to form government at the Centre.
2014, too, the state had only one woman MP: Ms Kavitha.