Hyderabad: Some are contacting family members of YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to “put in a word” while others are digging out their old contacts in Kadapa and Anantapur with a request to “forget the past” and start afresh.
Even as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Mr Reddy are fighting it out on the streets, with just five days to go for the polling, quite a few bureaucrats, particularly IPS officers, have started cosying up to the Jagan camp, though the fight between the ruling TD and the YSR Congress will be a tough one.
Sources privy to the developments as they are unfolding told DC that over the last 72 hours, a “lot has changed” as far as the babudom in AP is concerned.
On Thursday, a police officer who had worked in the Rayalaseema region previously, particularly Kadapa and Anantapur districts in united AP, approached a member of Mr Reddy’s family. This family member then began making some enquiries about the officer concerned and in no time, quite a few people got to know what the matter was.
One official went a step further and is said to have contacted an elderly person related to Mr Reddy. “We were under pressure from the previous government. There was nothing personal in whatever action I had taken on YSRC members,” is what this particular official told the elderly person, requesting him to ensure that he is “safe” (gets a good posting) in case Mr Reddy comes to power.
The buzz in the corridors of power is that at least three IPS officers and two IAS officers, besides more than a dozen lower-rung police officials, are doing everything possible to get in the good books of Mr Reddy’s and are using all possible contacts from Kadapa and Anantapur. “It gets easier for officials who have worked in these regions for long, as they know each family (YS family) member well,” said one official, adding that some of them are even spreading stories of how close they were to former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy while he was in office.
“For many bureaucrats, it is common to switch sides once they know for sure that the government is going to change. But in this case, babus seem to be going to any extent to get into the good books of Mr Reddy and other senior leaders of the YSRC. Since most phones are being monitored, some babus have started meeting heavyweights in the YSRC at undisclosed locations,” a source said.
But there are strong reasons for it. The rivalry between Mr Naidu and Mr Reddy is well known and even the IAS and IPS officers are divided.
“If there is a change of guard, many fear that they will be targeted and harassed. No one wants to invite trouble,” the source said.