The joke in North Andhra is the deputy chief minister Pushpa Srivani’s efficacy. Though termed a deputy chief minister, she wields no real power. She really carries no weight among the heavyweights of North Andhra like Botsa and Avanthi Srinivas. The situation is such that even the tribals are mocking her post and power.
Pushpa Srivani had won in 2014 and again in 2019 from tribal-dominated Kurupam and has always been loyal to YS Jagan. Even when other tribal MLAs like Kidari Sarveswara Rao and Giddi Eswari shifted their allegiance from YSRCP to the TDP, Pushpa Srivani did not swerve and remained loyal to the party. Realising this, Jagan not only rewarded her with the tribal welfare ministry but also gave her deputy chief minister’s post.
But two years down the line, the deputy Chief Minister’s post is only ornamental and she does not wield even the authority that the Deputy CM from the minority quota wields. Even as the tribal welfare minister, she has pretty much nothing to boast of. The elephant menace, which has been dogging the constituency for the last two years, has not come under control. A herd of six elephants is destroying the forests and the farm lands in Kurupam and nothing much was done to control them.
The much-touted Purnapadu and Labesu bridge remains incomplete, due to which people of over 25 villages are forced to travel an extra 60 km via Parvathipuram. Several checkdams,small and medium irrigation project are also incomplete. All these are making the tribals comment that the deputy CM post is only of an ornamental value and a mere tokenism that has no real power.