P. Sainath has been a vocal critic of Chandrababu Naidu administration over the last few years. This, even while the Indian and the world press had been singing hosannas to Naidu.
The above opinion piece has been severe on Naidu and hold him responsible for all the ills Andhra Pradesh has faced. I can't somehow accept this. Perhaps I have been just as seduced by the newspapers and Naidu that I can't see the truth in this.
Economists C. Mahendra Dev and C. Ravi show that "in the 1980s, A.P. was one of the top performing states in terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth. Only three states, Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra, showed higher growth than A.P. in the 1980s." However, this rank sank from number four to eight in the next decade. "Seven states showed higher growth than A.P. in the 1990s." The State was overtaken by Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.I am still puzzled by how Tamil Nadu ruled by Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha, prone to nepotism, corrupt to the core and whimsical (certainly the latter) could push the state ahead of another state ruled by a man who seemed intelligent, honest, focused, charming and powerful (as he controlled the Government at the centre).
As to whether Naidu is corrupt or not, Sainath's final paragraph is quite revealing.
The media bios of Naidu called him the son of a "poor agriculturist." Or of a "small farmer." Or of a "modest farmer." How the modest farmer and his spouse came to be worth Rs. 21 crores after nine years in power is a mystery no one wants to solve. That's the figure you'll find in his poll-time declaration of assets. But no questions. The king could do no wrong.