Nara Chandra Babu Naidu
Nara Chandrababu Naidu (born April 20, 1950) was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh during 1995-2004. He holds the record of being the longest served chief minister of A. P.
He is currently the leader of the opposition in the Andhra Pradesh state assembly and chief of Telugu Desam Party, the second largest legislative party in Andhra Pradesh.
Chandrababu Naidu was born in the Naravaripally village of Chittoor district on 20th April, 1950. He earned a Masters in Economics from the Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He was working towards his Ph. D. at the same university, when he took to politics.
Mr Naidu was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1978 from the Chandragiri constituency in Chittoor district on Indian National Congress ticket. He became minister in the cabinet of Tanguturi Anjaiah and held the portfolios of Archives, Cinematography, Technical Education, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Public Libraries and Minor Irrigation between 1980 and 1983. He also served as the Chairman of the State Karshak Parishad, constituted for the first time to look after the welfare of the farming community.
He was again elected to the State Legislature from Kuppam constituency of Chittoor district in 1989 after he lost election in 1984 from Chandragiri. He served as Coordinator of the Telugu Desam Party, in which capacity he effectively handled the party's role of being the primary opposition party in the State Assembly. This won him wide appreciation from both his party and the public. His role during this phase both inside the Legislative Assembly and outside was a critical factor for the subsequent success of the party at the hustings.
In 1994, he was re-elected to the Assembly from Kuppam constituency with a large majority of 57,000 votes and held the important portfolios of Revenue and Finance. During this tenure Mr Naidu systematically introduced transparency in Government, thus breaking the tradition of inordinate secrecy in the Finance department.
Sensing that Mrs Lakhmi Parvathi, second wife of N T Rama Rao, was trying to succeed NTR as Chief Minister, Chandra Babu Naidu attempted and succedded in coup which also gathered support from the family members of NTR. Naidu was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 1 September 1995. NTR died several months later.
Following the elections to the State Assembly in which the Naidu-led TDP emerged as a winner, he was sworn in on 11 October 1999 as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the second term.
Naidu as the CM
Mr Chandrababu Naidu was instrumental in making Hyderabad one of the IT hubs in the country. A key development for this was when Microsoft chose to set up its first Research Lab outside US in Hyderabad.
He modernised administration by computerizing a number of Government Operations and took initiatives for the convenience of public. e.g. all the utility bills and taxes could be paid at a single counter; the written test for a drivers license was computerized.
On the rural front he launched schemes like 'Janamabhoomi',a rural infrastructure and employment generation program.
Legacy of Naidu
Dr Y .S. Rajasekhara Reddy has however, not dismantled many of Mr Naidu's initiatives like e-seva centres and is continuing on adding to infrastrcuture in Hyderabad. Several institutions established during Mr Naidu's tenure like International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, Indian School of Business and Hi Tec City (which houses several IT companies) along with a modern administration can be construed to be Mr Naidu's Legacy and his contribution to Andhra Pradesh, particularly, Hyderabad.
Naidu's Vision for Andhra Pradesh's Future
Chandrababu's vision for the future includes making Andhra Pradesh another Japan. He launched initiatives which aim at achieving excellence in all walks of life and focus on community building through teamwork.
Naidu has initiated an exercise to define "Vision 2020" for the state of Andhra Pradesh. According to Naidu, "Our vision of Andhra Pradesh is a State where poverty is totally eradicated; where every man, woman and child has access to not just the basic minimum needs, but to all opportunities for leading a happy and fulfilling life; a knowledge and learning society built on the values of hard work, honesty, discipline and a collective sense of purpose." This vision reflects Naidu's forward looking perspective on the state's development and the details of the vision are proposed to be fine-tuned in consultation with the people on a continuing basis.
Naidu expedited decision making within the government by making effective use of communication. For example, a videoconferencing unit enabled Naidu to simultaneously address all District Collectors on a regular basis, or consult the Cabinet ministers on various issues like the electric power situation in various districts, the Clean and Green program, rythu (farmer) bazaars, monitoring of commodity prices, implementation of road works, public health & sanitation and law and order. His approach was extremely effective in overcoming the routine bureaucratic delays in the course of responding to issues of immediate public concern.
The Chief Minster laid a lot of emphasis on water conservation and water harvesting. He has taken up a campaign for sensitising the people of the State and the administration for better management of water to prevent drought. Launching of an innovative programme called 'Neeru Meeru, formation of Watershed Committees, promotion of Water Shed development have all been taken up in the State for better management of water on the insistence of Naidu. Water Conservation Mission was formed as a step in this direction. Inspired by his efforts there has been a voluntary participatory movement amongst the citizens of the state towards water conservation. A number of households have built rain water-harvesting structures towards this cause.
Mr Chandrababu Naidu has drawn attention and has concentrated on evolving a new way looking at Centre-State finance relations. He has spearheaded the campaign for fiscal federalism in the wake of the recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission. He has emphasised on equity and efficiency in the devolution of Central revenues and sharing of resources between the Centre and the States.
Naidu has won numerous awards including 'IT Indian of the Millenium' (India Today) Business Person of the Year ( Economic Times ) member of the World Economic Forum's Dream Cabinet and South Asian of the Year ( Time Asia ).
The politician turned author, wrote a book on governance. Naidu penned down his ideas on the challenge of governance in the new millennium. Titled 'Plain Speaking', co-authored by Ninan Sevanti, focuses on changing strategies of governance, hurdles in pursuing reforms and the need to break free from the politics of populism.
Assassination attempt on N.Chandra Babu Naidu
On October 1 2003, N.Chandrababu Naidu escaped a landmine blast which was part of an assassination attempt planned by Peoples War Group, now known as CPI Maoist. He had a narrow escape, with a fractured collared bone and serious injuries to his left leg. The incident occurred around 16:00 local time when Mr Naidu was travelling in a large convoy heading to the Lord Venkateshwara temple in the Tirumala hills.
It was found that the explosive material used in the assassination attempt was Gel 90 and was sourced from Wardha. The State Information Technology Minister at the time, B Gopalakrishna Reddy and TDP legislators R Rajasekhar Reddy and Ch Krishnamurthy along with their driver, Srinivasa Raju, were injured. AP Police, after its SIT enquiry released the list of PWG cadres and its leaders responsible for the attack.
The attack was condemned by all leaders from different political parties and various international diplomats. Indian Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee condemned the assassination attempt on Mr Naidu and hoped the culprits would be apprehended soon. He is currently provided security by the elite NSG Security Cover.