Over several years, the south Indian State of Andhra Pradesh has received a lot of attention, both nationally and internationally. This State was among the pioneers of economic reform programmes in the 1990s. A new type of dynamic leadership has come up, and in various policy areas, innovative legislation has been formulated and new policies have been developed and pursued with great zeal. However, the interpretations of what is going on vary considerably. The government itself claims that it is strongly performance-oriented, and that it aims to enhance professionalism in governance. The opponents of the regime claim that there are a lot of gimmicks and that not much is happening in actual practice. This paper tries to interpret the developments in Andhra Pradesh (AP).