Dangerous side of Naidu

Exit Chandrababu Naidu
By George Monbiot 19 May, 2004
The Guardian

Tony Blair has lost the election. It’s true he wasn’t standing, but we won’t split hairs. His policies have just been put to the test by an electorate blessed with a viable opposition, and crushed. In throwing him out of their lives, the voters of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh may have destroyed the world’s most dangerous economic experiment. Chandrababu Naidu, the state’s chief minister, was the west’s favourite Indian. Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both visited him in Hyderabad, the state capital. Time magazine named him south Asian of the year; the governor of Illinois created a Naidu day in his honour; and the British government and the World Bank flooded his state with money. They loved him because he did what he was told.Naidu realised that to sustain power he must surrender it. He knew that as long as he gave the global powers what they wanted, he would get the money and stature that count for so much in Indian politics. So instead of devising his own programme, he handed the job to the US consultancy McKinsey.McKinsey’s scheme, Vision 2020, is one of those documents whose summary says one thing and whose contents quite another. It begins, for example, by insisting that education and healthcare must be made available to everyone. Only later do you discover that the state’s hospitals and universities are to be privatised and funded by “user charges”. It extols small businesses but, way beyond the point at which most people stop reading, reveals that it intends to “eliminate” the laws that defend them, and replace small investors, who “lack motivation”, with “large corporations”. It claims it will “generate employment” in the countryside, and goes on to insist that more than 20 million people should be thrown off the land.Put all these – and the other proposals for privatisation, deregulation and the shrinking of the state – together, and you see that McKinsey has unwittingly developed a blueprint for mass starvation. You dispossess 20 million farmers just as the state is reducing the number of its employees and foreign corporations are “rationalising” the rest of the workforce, and you end up with millions without work or state support. “The state’s people,” McKinsey warns, “will need to be enlightened about the benefits of change.”McKinsey’s vision was not confined to Naidu’s government. Once he had implemented these policies, Andhra Pradesh “should seize opportunities to lead other states in such reform, becoming, in the process, the benchmark state”. Foreign donors would pay for the experiment, then seek to persuade other parts of the developing world to follow Naidu’s example.There is something familiar about all this, and McKinsey has been kind enough to jog our memories. Vision 2020 contains 11 glowing references to Chile’s experiment in the 1980s. General Pinochet handed the economic management of his country to a group of neoliberal economists known as the Chicago Boys. They privatised social provision, tore up laws protecting workers and the environment, and left the economy to multinational companies. The result was a bonanza for big business, and a staggering growth in debt, unemployment, homelessness and malnutrition. The plan was funded by the US in the hope that it could be rolled out around the world.Pinochet’s economic understudy was bankrolled by Britain. In July 2001 Clare Short, then secretary of state for international development, finally admitted to parliament that, despite numerous official denials, Britain was funding Vision 2020. Blair’s government has financed the state’s economic reform programme, its privatisation of the power sector and its “centre for good governance” (which means as little governance as possible). Our taxes also fund the “implementation secretariat” for its privatisation programme. The secretariat is run, at Britain’s insistence, by the Adam Smith Institute, a far-right business lobby group. The money for all this comes out of Britain’s foreign aid budget.It is not hard to see why Blair’s government is doing this. As Stephen Byers revealed when secretary of state for trade and industry, “the UK government has designated India as one of the UK’s 15 campaign markets”. The campaign is to expand opportunities for British capital. The people of Andhra Pradesh know what this means: they call it “the return of the East India Company”.This isn’t the only aspect of British history being repeated in Andhra Pradesh. There’s something uncanny about the way in which the scandals that surrounded Blair during his first term in office are recurring there. Bernie Ecclestone, the formula one boss who gave Labour £1m and whose sport later received an exemption from the ban on tobacco advertising, was negotiating with Naidu to bring his sport to Hyderabad. I have been shown the leaked minutes of a state cabinet meeting on January 10. McKinsey, they reveal, instructed the cabinet that Hyderabad should be a “world-class futuristic city with formula one as a core component”. To make it viable, however, there would be a “state support requirement of Rs400-600 crs” (4bn-6bn rupees). This means a state subsidy for formula one of £50m-£75m a year. It is worth noting that in Andhra Pradesh thousands now die of malnutrition-related diseases because Naidu had previously cut the food subsidy.Then the minutes become even more interesting. Ecclestone’s formula one, they noted, should be exempted from the Indian ban on tobacco advertising. Naidu had already “addressed the PM as well as the health minister in this regard”, and was hoping to enact “legislation creating an exemption to the act”.The Hinduja brothers, the businessmen facing criminal charges in India who were given British passports after Peter Mandelson intervened on their behalf, have also been sniffing round Vision 2020. Another set of leaked minutes shows that in 1999 their representatives held a secret meeting in London with the Indian attorney general and the British export credit guarantee department, to help them get the backing required to build a power station under Naidu’s privatisation programme. When the attorney general began lobbying the Indian government on their behalf, this caused another Hinduja scandal.The results of the programme we have been funding are plain to see. During the hungry season, hundreds of thousands of people in Andhra Pradesh are now kept alive on gruel supplied by charities. Last year, hundreds of chil dren died in an encephalitis outbreak because of the shortage of state-run hospitals. The state government’s own figures suggest that 77% of the population have fallen below the poverty line. The measurement criteria are not consistent, but this appears to be a massive rise. In 1993 there was one bus a week taking migrant workers from a depot in Andhra Pradesh to Mumbai. Today there are 34. The dispossessed must reduce themselves to the transplanted coolies of Blair’s new empire.Luckily, democracy still functions in India. In 1999, Naidu’s party won 29 seats, leaving Congress with five. Last week those results were precisely reversed. We can’t yet vote Blair out of office in Britain, but in Andhra Pradesh they have done the job on our behalf.


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42 responses to “Dangerous side of Naidu

  1. Vijay Nalabolu

    TDP seems to be gaining ground or atleast trying to get some attention in Telangana utilizing the polavaram tenders controversery.
    YSR congress can not keep silent even at this juncture. May be this is the right time to jump in make an entry in Telangana.
    Otherwise two eyes concept of Babu is going to workout well.

    • Ashir

      Even CBN knows that KCR has sold Namaste Telangana paper officially to C.L.Rajam who got Polavaram tenders. KCR was incurring 3-5 crore loss per month on ‘Namasthe Telangana’ , so not want to pump his money he sold it outright . The sale deed was signed on Vijayadashmi/ Dasara.

  2. NLR



  3. rohit

    Accused in Emaar scam wanted us to lie: Plot owners – timesofindia
    Hyderabad: Koneru Prasad, the key player in the Emaar scam that is being probed by the CBI, made last minute frantic cover-up efforts by asking the owners of such plots to lie to the investigating agency sleuths about the actual amounts paid by them. “Please tell the CBI that it is only a loan and not payment made to buy this plot. Or at least say that this was the money that was paid to buy shares in my son’s company. If you tell them that this is the money paid for the purpose of buying a plot in Emaar Hills Township, I will be in big trouble” is how Koneru Prasad of Dubai Emaar pleaded with the Emaar plot owners during the last few weeks.
    This was what P S Parthasarathi of Hyderabad, who bought a 1,100 square yard plot in Emaar Hills Township for Rs 5.75 crore, told a metropolitan magistrate in his witness statement recorded on Thursday. His was one of the two such statements recorded by magistrate Polysetti Koteswara Rao in which the deponents gave a picturesque recap of the failed cover-up exercise undertaken by Koneru Prasad. The second person whose statement was recorded as a witness was Y V Prasad, who bought 1,030 sq yd plot in Emaar township for a slightly lesser amount.
    T Ranga Rao of Stylish Homes and Koneru Prasad of Emaar Properties (Dubai) are the only persons who were named by the witnesses as the players behind the entire Emaar show. “After intitial discussions with Ranga Rao and as was directed by him, I paid the money at Rs 50,000 per sq yd. Of this, Rs 45,000 per sq yd was collected in cash and only Rs 5,000 per sq yd was collected in the form of cheque in favour of Emaar Township, the joint venture company of Emaar and APIIC. An additional 4% commission was taken on the sale price,” Parthasarathy said in his statement.
    “ I paid an amount of Rs 4.08 crore to T Ranga Rao and one K S Rao at the house of Koneru Prasad near Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills and I was asked to pay the remaining amount in US dollars via an NRI account. This account belongs to Dubai-based Koneru Madhu, son of Koneru Prasad. I paid $2,50,000 into the NRI account as suggested by Ranga Rao,” the witness said.
    However, after the scam surfaced and the CBI began probing it, Parthsarathy said in his statement that he was hounded by these persons from September onwards and pleaded to hide the facts from the CBI. “Ranga Rao called me when I was in the US and asked me to tell the CBI cops that I purchased the plot at a nominal rate of Rs 5,000 per sq yd as agains the Rs 50,000 per sq yd I actually paid them. Koneru called me from Dubai and asked me not to reveal the real price at which I bought the plot. He told me that he would be in trouble if I reveal the real price. When $2,50,000 were officially transferred to Koneru Madhu from my NRI account and when this proof is staring at us, how can I lie before the probe agency,” is the question Parthasarathy posed to Koneru in response to the plea made by him.
    According to the witness, Koneru then wanted him to weave a new story, by saying that the money he paid them was for purchasing shares in his son’s Dubai company. “When I rejected this, he wanted me to at least claim that he paid it as a loan to his son. To be passed off as a loan, I wanted my money to be returned to me via the same bank account. They returned me the money six days ago. But when the CBI questioned me, I told them the truth as I am stating before this court,” the witness said.
    Same is the story of Prasad, the buyer of the 1,030 sq yd plot. He said Rs 5,000 was paid to EHTPL in cheque form and the rest in cash to Ranga Rao.

  4. CVReddy

    Latest TAM Ratings

    Sakshi is almost fighting for second position.

  5. NLR

    Day 4…..OY…Guntur

    Touching every village….Conquering ever heart .


  6. YSR_MSR

    Is that true that Bajireddy Goverdhan supported TRS in Bansuwada Elections?

    • nenu KLCE lo Engineering chadivaanu…..

      JAGAN ivaala anthaa aaa villages lone thirigaadu…


      all these villages r around BAKIMHAM CANAL……

      akkada PASUPU ..KARRA PENDALAM…thotalu yekkuva gaa vuntaayi…..ivaaala JAGAN PASUPU THOTALLO ki velaladu…..

      literally JAGAN is covering every INCH of GUNTUR…….

      MANGALAGIRI lo inkaaa NUTHAKKI…VALABHAPURAM….RAMACHANDRA PALEM….VEERLA PALEM…..inkaa chaaalaa vooollu vunnaayi….

      eee 8 constituencies complete ayye sariki 40 days paduthundi…….

  7. CVReddy

    రామోజీ కరెంటు కక్కుర్తి

  8. YSR_MSR

    Looks to be KCR has some understanding with Congress. Sakala Janula Samme ended at the time Advani about to enter Telangana. Advani entered Telangana today. So KCR and Co doesn’t want BJP to grow in Telanagana as Advani’s Yatra may become success and BJP will emerge strong in Telanagana. So they called off the strike before Advani entered. So if looks to be planned move by KCR and Congress to call off the strike.

    • pareddy

      KCR is a big cheater of telangana, i dont know when people will understand. He brings telangana agitation soo peak and suddenly it will come down. He dont want telangana at all. just he wants his party should be powerful in telangana thats it.

      If YSR was alive , you cannot see the TRS any more…

  9. rohit

    Are the by-poll results an alarm bell for the Cong?

  10. Singapore Hotel : Clarke Quay

  11. CVReddy

    బాబు ఆస్తుల నిగ్గు తేల్చండి

  12. Gurava Reddy

    This is fascinating and yet so true. Please copy and paste as email to all our contacts and ask them to forward it others. Very very damaging for Chandra Babu and TDP. Let’s all get to work, boys and gals!

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