Expert panel report suddenly turns a holy book!

Till the other day, the opposition parties, particularly the Telugu Desam Party, and their supporting media, had been attacking the six-member expert panel headed by retired IAS officer G N Rao for giving a tailor-made report to the YSR Congress party government led by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy in tune with the latter’s interests on the state capitals issue.

Reason: the excerpts of the G N Rao committee report, released to the media, suggested three capitals for the state with executive capital at Visakhapatnam.

While the Jagan cabinet accepted the report in toto, the TDP leaders condemned the same and even burnt the committee reports in bonfire during Sankranti festival.

Now, the same report has all of a sudden become a Bible for the pro-TDP media.

On Wednesday, both Eenadu and Andhra Jyothy unearthed the actual findings of the GN Rao committee report and published big stories on the same.

Apparently, the experts committee recommended against making Visakhapatnam an administrative capital because the city has huge limitations like Coastal Regulatory Zone rules, cyclone-prone areas, salination of ground water, security reasons and heavy industrial pollution.

It also reportedly pointed out that the availability of government lands is minimal in Visakhpatnam and already many companies are waiting for land allocations by the government.

Even with regard to Gangavaram port and Bhogapuram international airport, the committee suggested that the government should reconsider its idea of going in for new constructions.

While Eenadu carried it as an anchor story with detailed report in the second page, for Andhra Jyothy, it is a banner story.

One does not know whether somebody in the government has leaked the G N Rao committee report to only these two newspapers; it does not find a place in Sakshi and other papers.

Naturally for the two anti-establishment papers, such reports will come in handy to sustain their campaign against the Jagan government and in favour of Amaravati for some more time.

It remains to be seen how the government and the ruling YSRC will come out with their responses.

The petition filed by the daughter of former MP and YSR Congress party leader Y S Vivekananda Reddy seeking a CBI inquiry into the murder of her father has also become a big news for anti-government media.

The way she raised an accusing finger at her own close relatives, including Kadapa MP Y S Avinash Reddy, has provided the much-needed masala for the media.

Besides these negative stories, all the three dailies carried a positive report for the Jagan government on the front page: distribution of pensions to the beneficiaries at their doorstep with effect from February 1.

The other decisions taken at the “Spandana” programme of Jagan were also promptly highlighted by the media.

The other important decisions taken by the Jagan government like medical tests for one crore people and commencement of YSR Kapu Nestham figured prominently in Sakshi but ignored in the anti-establishment dailies which focussed on the Telugu Desam Party’s decision to raise the capitals issue in Parliament.


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