There was no facade, absolutely none. The much acclaimed forum saw him walk through the podium with the same calm, unfailing balance. Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the digital Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh spoke like a true leader at the recently held Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. He spoke about the common man first. He then spoke about the internet of things impacting the former.
The interaction brought out the real side of Babu, who is usually very hard to get a read at. The occasional funny counters at Bobby Ghosh, the strong affirmations and the declaration of steady plans – CM spoke like a real time administrator, the man who is constantly walking and talking about the job at hand.
There were those uncomfortable questions too, where the editor in chief leaped at the opportunity and the audience watched in anticipation. Be it the camaraderie with the CM of Telangana or plans to build Amaravati, Chandrababu Naidu kept it real. No beating around the bush. He spoke with an air of nonchalance, but solid content.
He took the stand in the matters of demonetization and addressed the need for people to wake up and get digital. Naidu gave examples of how internet of things (IoT) can largely benefit everyday lives and how the state government is working along with the farming community to make their lives easy.
The audience felt instant connect when CBN invited folks from Delhi to come and live in Amaravati, do half their business in the people’s capital and return home ‘healthier’. When asked about how he can spend the same money used in building capital towards welfare schemes, the CM asked a meaningful question back to Ghosh ‘ “You need money today? tomorrow? If you spend everything today, what will you do tomorrow?”. The audience clapped as he explained about the importance to balance present with the future. Hence, Amaravati.
CM accepted the roadblocks ahead, what with his tenure ending in 2019 and the plans with Amaravati. He stood firm with his belief in progress. He spoke about best practices being picked up from other states in India and doing the same in a better way. The politico inside him stayed in the required zone, but the leader inside him spoke up like never before.
The charismatic Naidu proved to the world one more time his single minded determination with blinkers attached. There was a logical answer to every question asked, there was clarity in every move. Way to go, Sir.
From the CM’s Notes..
Excerpts from my talk at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit
We need to think of ways to reduce the suffering caused by demonetisation. We need to think forward. One of the ways is the use of digital currency.
For standby, there should be some physical currency too. You need currency if you visit small shops. This decision will help improve transparency and reduce corruption and black money.
On AP’s progress:
I don’t think of other states as competitors but prefer to adopt their best practices to improve my state because we are starting from scratch.
Amaravati will be a ‘blue and green’ city. It will be among the top 10 cities in the world. Linking of rivers has happened for the first time in Andhra Pradesh.
On agriculture and farm income:
I am focusing on agriculture and irrigation.We have taken the lead in linking rivers which will help solve water woes in the state. I want to make AP one of the best agriculture clusters in the world.
In a few years, Andhra Pradesh will be the best in primary and higher education in the country.
On how to ensure continuity in governance:
Keep working for the people and do the right developments, considering all sections of the society. That’s how people will trust you and give you their mandate.