The Chandrababu Naidu government on Wednesday suspended seven officials of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism department who were allegedly hand in glove with the private boat operators responsible for the November 12 boat tragedy at Vijayawada.
It also sacked some outsourced employees for their negligence, besides arresting the boat managers responsible for the tragedy and cancelling all the licences given to the private operators.
So far so good. But why has Naidu spared his own cabinet colleagues?
While tourism minister Bhuma Akhila Priya is directly responsible for remaining silent on the irregularities in her department all these days, there are allegations against another senior minister Prathipati Pulla Rao, who is said to have benami investments in these boat operations. Needless to say, Naidu looked for scapegoats and spared the big fish.
Several questions were raised by the media and the opposition parties as to how the department had allowed the private boats into the Krishna river without any licences.
Records show the private boating company is not authorised to operate, yet it was operating boats. This is definitely not possible without the connivance of someone influential in the government.
The arrested boat manager Kondal Rao indirectly admitted that there were big people involved in private boat operating mafia.
Unfortunately, Naidu sought to blame it on the human greed of the unauthorized private boat owner.
He is not willing to accept the failure of the administration and also the involvement of big people within his cabinet, who intervened to facilitate the private boat operator to operate without any permits despite official objection.
Nothing will come out of the IAS inquiry and after a few days, everybody will forget the tragedy!