Indian Catholic News

Corruption pledge delights Indian state's church leaders

New Christian chief minister of Andhra Pradesh promises to clean up administration within a year.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy chairs a review meeting with the water resources department in state capital Amaravati on June 3. (IANS photo)

Church leaders have applauded a newly appointed Christian chief minister of an Indian state for his promise to fight corruption and provide a clean administration.

“We are well pleased with your promise that your government will be revolutionary and stand as an example and model to the country within a year,” church leaders said in a congratulatory letter sent to Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy, who was sworn in as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh on May 30.

His regional Yuvajana Sramika Raithu Congress Party won 151 of the 175 seats in the legislative assembly elections held on April 11 in the southeastern coastal state. The result was declared on May 23. The party also won 22 of the 25 federal seats from the state.

Reddy, 46, a member of the Church of South India, promises to usher in a corruption-free administration and people-friendly policies for the development of the state. Church leaders say his pledges struck a chord with the electorate and led to his landslide victory.

“The administration will be cleansed from top to bottom. As chief minister, I give you one assurance — I am here to listen to you and realize your dreams,” Reddy said.

The chief minister also took blessings from Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious leaders after assuming office.

“We are happy that the new chief minister has promised to wipe out corruption from the administration. We wish him good luck and pray for his success,” said Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu of Visakhapatnam.

He said Reddy faces a huge challenge to implement his promise of a corruption-free administration as corruption is everywhere.

The Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches congratulated Reddy on his landslide victory. The Christian federation lauded Reddy for his assurance that he would not allow corruption anywhere and that he would clean up the system, bring about transparency and pave the way for politics of credibility and accountability.

“May God grant you wisdom and discernment, courage and fortitude, generosity and magnanimity, and dedicated service and just rule to realize these promises,” the federation’s May 31 letter said.

The church body pointed out that the decisive mandate Reddy received at the election shows the level of people’s confidence and trust in him and his party.

“Indeed, it is a deserving reward for your credibility and perseverance,” the federation noted, adding that the new chief minister has “a huge responsibility to fulfill the hopes, aspirations and expectations of the people, especially of the poor and marginalized, without any fright, hatred, discrimination, favoritism and partiality.”

Bishop Moses Doraboina Prakasam of Nellore said it is a positive sign that Reddy is highly determined to streamline the administration in a way that it will become the voice of the people.

“We definitely appreciate his commitment to the welfare of people irrespective of their caste, creed or religious leanings,” the prelate told “Corruption is everywhere and it is an added burden on the state and its development.”

Father Muvvala Prasad, vicar general of Vijayawada Diocese, said that “unless corruption is nipped from the bottom, the poor and the downtrodden will not get the benefit of government welfare schemes.”

The new chief minister had started with a very positive note by promising to end corruption, he said.

“The people were fed up of corruption and the poor were its worst victims,” Father Prasad said. “Unless it is contained, the state cannot make progress.”

Reddy’s father, Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, was a two-time chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. He died in a helicopter crash in September 2009.

Source: UCAN

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