Hyderabad: Konijeti Rosaiah had always
been comfortable playing second-fiddle in state politics over
the years but now finds himself ill at ease in the hot
seat of power as Chief Minister with problems staring at his
face--dissidence spearheaded by Jaganmohan Reddy and the
Telangana problem--to mention only a few.
As he himself noted a few days ago, it had indeed
been a ‘tight rope walk’ for Rosaiah pitch-forked into the
Chief Minister`s post a year ago when Y S Rajasekhara Reddy
died in a helicopter crash, given the pulls and pressures from
From a rather strong situation, the state has plunged
into a vulnerable position in just one year because of various
factors, beginning with the tragic death of a powerful Chief
The ruling Congress is in total mess; the strife over
the demand for bifurcation of the state has only gone into a
pause mode and threatens to snowball in the months to come;
the state is still facing the economic problems and governance
has become the biggest casualty.
77-year-old Rosaiah himself is plagued by health
problems, raising questions over his leadership of government.
Rosaiah ascended the Chief Minister’s throne on
September 3 last year following the death of Y S Rajasekhara
Reddy in a helicopter crash on September 2.
It took more than three months for him to actually
settle down in the new position and take control of the
situation as the state moved from one crisis to the other.
By the time he could gain a grip on the
administration, the Chief Minister was confronted with trouble
from within his party in the form of a virtual rebellion from
Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who set his eyes on the Chief
Though he left the Jagan issue to be handled by the
Congress high command, Rosaiah could not breathe easy as he
was not given the complete authority to rule, unlike his
Everyone initially acknowledged that Rosaiah, given
his vast political experience, was an ‘able administrator’ but
not a popular leader. But now, given the sorry state of
affairs, his credentials as an administrator too are at stake,
political observers say.
Bureaucrats say there has been a lack of
cohesiveness in the administration in the last one year.
“Administration had become CM-centric when both N
Chandrababu Naidu and Y S Rajasekhara Reddy were at the helm
of affairs. Being powerful leaders, their writ ran large and
the entire administration functioned according to their
"Bureaucrats used to look to the Chief Minister for
everything previously as all instructions came from him
directly. It’s not the case anymore,” a top-ranking IAS
officer noted, explaining the ‘slackness’ that is currently
apparent in the functioning of the government.
The Chief Minister’s attempts to tone up the
administration through a bureaucratic shake-up did not bear
fruit for one reason or the other.
“This has also left the bureaucracy in a state of
despondency, leaving a telling impact on the administration,”
the IAS officer pointed out.
Rosaiah is famous for managing the state’s finances
effectively given the fact that he presented not less than 16
Budgets over the years.
As Chief Minister, who continues to hold the Finance
portfolio, he is finding it an uphill task to continue the
development and welfare agenda left behind by
All the major development projects have virtually
come to a standstill as the government owes lot of money to
Uncertainty prevails even over the welfare programmes
as the subsidy bill has become too much to bear for the
Rosaiah, however, sought to ‘reassure’ everyone that
not a single programme initiated by Rajasekhara Reddy would be
abandoned. He is also unwilling to admit that governance has
been paralysed in the state.
“I am doing my best and touring the state. Even my
ministers are doing their job,” he pointed out.
However his detractors say the general perception
about his administration in the state is different from what
the Chief Minister feels.