The controversy over selection of Nandi award winners for the last three years has damaged the reputation of Andhra Pradesh government very much, so much so that chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, for the first time, had to face the criticism of favouring film personalities from his own community for the awards.
At a strategy committee meeting of the Telugu Desam Party held at Amaravati on Monday, Naidu reportedly expressed regrets over the controversy.
“It is unfortunate that the selection of winners is being seen in a caste angle. I had never interfered in the selection process for Nandi awards in the past, nor had I done now. I simply approved the list finalised by the jury members,” he explained to the party leaders.
The chief minister went a step ahead and proposed that the selection of Nandi awardees could be through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) method and leave it to the people to judge the winners.
“Had I known that there would be so much criticism in Nandi awards selection, we would have gone in for IVRS this year,” he said.
However, Naidu’s son and IT minister Nara Lokesh made a strong attack on the critics of Nandi awards.
“Only a handful of people have made baseless allegations in the selection of winners. Those people do not have any address or Aadhar or Voter ID cards in Andhra Pradesh. They are sitting in Hyderabad and throwing mud on the government.
In what way the government is concerned with the awards? It is the jury which decides and we have to respect their judgement,” Lokesh said.