With unrest growing among people over a host of problems, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh has decided to do some "damage control" by placing the "facts" before them.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will embark on a new programme 'Indira Baata' (Indira's path) from East Godavari district on July 12 not just to trumpet the various "welfare" schemes being implemented by his government, but also "put things in perspective".
Sources in the Chief Minister's Office said Mr Reddy would randomly select a district and take up the 'Baata' every week.
As a precursor to his latest mass contact mission, the Chief Minister held a high-level meeting with his Cabinet colleagues and top bureaucrats here today to discuss the issues that he would have to confront during the programme.
Under the programme, the Chief Minister will spend two to three days in each district and tour various Assembly constituencies to get a first-hand feel of the people's pulse. He is likely to tour at least 100 Assembly segments in the next couple of months.
The main objective of the programme is to win over the people who are left disillusioned because of the government's failure in addressing their concerns.
"Ranging from rise in prices of essential commodities, power tariff hike, growing hours of power cut to scarcity of fertiliser and seeds affecting agricultural operations, non-disbursal of crop loans to targeted farmers...everything has contributed to the people's anger over the government. It had clearly reflected in the bypolls last month. Besides, there is a mispropaganda that the government has watered down the welfare schemes," a senior minister noted after the meeting with Mr Reddy on Tuesday.
With water levels in all major reservoirs touching rock bottom and a possible drought for a second successive year staring at its face, a hapless government is unable to wriggle out of the crisis.
Hundreds of villages across the state are reeling under a severe drinking water crisis and if the drought-like conditions persist, the scenario may turn worse.
"The signs do look ominous for us (Congress) but we need to explain the facts to people and dispel the wrong notions. The Chief Minister's new programme aims to do that," the minister pointed out.
"Certain things like rains are not in our control but we are coming up with alternatives to meet the contingencies," he added.
As a part of the programme, the Chief Minister will also spend time with Congress rank and file in the constituencies to lift their morale that took a severe beating after the by-elections in which the YSR Congress made a near clean sweep.
He is also likely to spend a night in a village to inspect the development schemes and conditions in student hostels, sources in the CMO said.