HYDERABAD: It’s file clearance time at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) these days. Kiran Kumar Reddy is burning the midnight oil to quietly clear hundreds of pending files at a time when Parliament is being rocked by protests over the creation of Telangana.
The chief minister put his stamp of approval on multiple projects in the Seemandhra region and also appointed three of his loyalists in ministerial posts, which traditionally needs permission from the party’s high command. He appointed MLCs M Ranga Reddy and R Reddeppa Reddy as government whips in the legislative council and elevated Rudraraju Padmaraju as chief whip of the council.
Political rivals of the chief minister said they are not amused and have sought a probe into the actions of the chief minister in the last three months.
“Several decisions taken by Kiran Kumar Reddy are actually aimed at benefiting some private parties. We demand a probe into Kiran’s orders,” said T Harish Rao, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) deputy floor leader in the Assembly.
Kiran, in the last few days, has given away more than 400 acres of land to a private resort developer, despite opposition from the Nellore district collector. Several files related to surplus land and Jagir land in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts have been cleared by the chief minister.
A government order to release Rs 200 crore for his pet programme, the Chittoor Drinking Water Scheme, and the price escalation of some irrigation projects was also given the nod without any questioning, sources said.
“Some of the decisions taken by the government recently are set to burden the exchequer heavily. After the bifurcation, these decisions would surely spell trouble for both states,” said a senior bureaucrat on condition of anonymity.
Kiran Kumar, criticized by his own party members for his reluctance to clear files during his early days as chief minister, has changed tack dramatically.
While officials are calling this a ‘file clearance week’, many MLAs and MLCs, fearing that Kiran Kumar might put in his papers any day, are rushing to his office with loads of files in tow. Bundles of files are being moved to the CM’s camp office also to help Kiran clear them even at night.
On Friday, MLAs from all political parties were seen queuing up near his chambers in the Assembly, secretariat and camp office to get his signature on their files.
“There has been a virtual rush near the CM’s chambers to get his darshan even for one minute,” said an office employee.
Reinstatement of suspended officials, dropping of corruption charges and transfers to key posts are other hot requests that are pouring in for Kiran Kumar’s nod.
Some MLAs believe that by obliging the favour-seekers, the chief minister is trying to improve his political future.
“The long-pending requests have been cleared by the chief minister as the elections are nearing. This is normal in any election year,” said a CMO official, when asked about the sudden surge of file clearance by the chief minister’s office.