Chandrababu Naidu is a busy man. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister-designate and TDP president has set a brisk pace of work and set the agenda for several initiatives, leaving behind his Telangana counterpart KCR Rao.
In Seemandhra, he has put the fear of defections in the YSR Congress camp and in Telangana, Naidu beat Rao in reaching out to investors first. Naidu held a special session with Confederation of Indian Industry members in Hyderabad in an attempt to lure investors to Andhra Pradesh while at the same time he is working on a plan to get PM-designate Narendra Modi's assistance to deliver on his poll sop — loan waiver to farmers and self-help women's groups.
To deliver on the loan waiver promise, Andhra Pradesh will require Rs 82,000 crore. "Naidu is expected to get an assurance from Prime Minister Modi on support for the waiver scheme when both meet at Delhi in the next two days," a TDP spokesman said.
Naidu has also made it clear to officials that he is not keen on sharing the secretariat in Hyderabad with Rao. "I don't want to enter the Secretariat where Rao is around and instead want to speed up construction of a secretariat and a capital in the Vijayawada-Guntur region at the earliest," Naidu informed the industrialists, many of whom came forward to contribute for the new capital.
The TDP pooh-poohed the charges of YSR Congress that it is encouraging defections after an independent MLA from Pithapuram in East Godavari was admitted into TDP in Naidu's presence. "We have more than absolute majority. Jagan's party is crying hoarse as its own MLAs want to leave," said TDP spokesman Yanamala Ramakrishnudu.
But the one place where Naidu is dithering is on the date of his swearing-in. TDP sources say that his government will not be sworn in before June 8 for a lack of an auspicious time even though the new state of Telangana will be formed on June 2. Naidu's counterpart in Telangana, Rao, has fixed 12.55pm on June 2 to swear-in his 15-member cabinet and announce his package of sops, including waiver of farm loans upto Rs 1 lakh and free housing for the poor.
Both Naidu and Rao have formed teams of experts and former IAS officers to work out plans to bag funds from the Modi government in the full budget session being envisaged by June-end. While Andhra Pradesh lacks coal for its thermal plants, Telangana lacks funds to complete its irrigation works and power projects. Rao's immediate task is to procure additional power supply for its needs in Hyderabad and for the kharif agricultural operations in Telangana. Rao has sought services of power expert S Narasinga Rao from Coal India. SV Prasad, K Lakshminarayana and Randeep Sudan are on Naidu's team to lure investors from US, Europe and Asia to set up IT companies along the eastern coast.