Why Andhra is epicentre of the biggest scam

R. Jagannathan in DNA (Daily News & Analysis):

“For the last five years, India’s central government has been run by the states. More or less. We have a central government only in name; it is neither central to us nor does it govern. It is run by a cabal of state-level strongmen for defending their narrow political bases, not for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

“Many key economic ministries are run by people with state-level interests in mind. Thus, we have a Lalu Prasad running the railways to impress voters in Bihar; we have a telecom ministry that is run from Chennai. This is not only because there are regional parties running central ministries.

“Even the core constituent of the UPA, the Congress, nominally a national party, has been reduced to a regional power, thanks to the weight of MPs from one single state — Andhra Pradesh. Till recently, Andhra was the only big state the Congress ran on its own – without a coalition partner. If the Congress had not been dynastic, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy might well have been PM of a patchwork coalition.

“If you don’t think so, ask yourself: why has the biggest corporate scandal of the UPA government surfaced in Andhra Pradesh (Satyam) and not somewhere else? Why have some of the biggest contracts of the central government gone to Andhra companies? Examples: the Mumbai and Delhi airports (despite the power of the Ambanis), the Bangalore metro, the countrywide shower of projects on Maytas, the Satyam promoters’ real estate and infrastructure fief.

“Scandals always erupt close to the centre of power, and in the Congress the effective state power is the Andhra CM.”

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