Announcing their party manifestos on the occasion of Ugadi, the Telugu new year, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and YSRCP president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy tried to outdo each other in announcing sops, four days before Assembly elections and the first phase of Lok Sabha polls are conducted simultaneously in the state.
Jagan announced several schemes without detailing plans for their implementation, while Naidu outlined steps to generate income, attract investment, fund sops, and implement the schemes.
The YSRCP manifesto promises many cash doles and benefits for marginalised sections, with a focus on women, farmers, daily wage workers, elderly, SCs, STs, BCs and minorities.
The TDP, which has named its manifesto ‘Mee Bhavishyattu Naa Badhyata’ (Your future is my responsibility), has also promised almost similar sops while also mentioning river-linking efforts, Polavaram projects, water supply to Rayalaseema, industrial investment, IT and infrastructure development.
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While the YSRCP has announced the amount beneficiaries will get every year, the TDP has outlined the yearly budget for each scheme.
The YSRCP has promised to give investment support of Rs 12,500 per annum to farmers, including tenants. The TDP, which is implementing a similar scheme at Rs 10,000 per annum, has promised to increase it to Rs 15,000 per annum.
The YSRCP has also promised free crop insurance, interest-free loans, setting up of godowns, cold storages and food processing plants — points also listed in the TDP manifesto. The TDP also announced establishment of industrial parks at every mandal and urban centre and 12-hour free power supply for farm sector. Naidu also announced a price stabilisation fund with Rs 5,000 crore to help farmers get fair prices for their produce.
“We have fulfilled more promises than said,” Naidu said while releasing the manifesto.
On women, the YSRCP has promised to pay Rs 15,000 per year to women sending their children to schools; Rs 50,000 per year for women under DWCRA as part of YSR Aasara and interest payment for self-help groups; Rs 75,000 per annum pension for BC, SC, ST, and minority women over the age of 45 years under YSR Cheyutha. Under the YSR housing scheme, all houses will be registered under the name of women. The manifesto also assures marriage support of up to Rs 1 lakh for SC, ST, BC, and minority women. Jagan also said that if his party comes to power, it will work to implement prohibition in the state.
The TDP also registers all the houses allotted under the NTR housing scheme in the name of women beneficiaries. The TDP has started giving smartphones and Rs 10,000 per annum to women under DWCRA.
On health, the YSRCP manifesto promises universal healthcare coverage for individuals with an annual income of upto Rs 5 lakh under the Arogyasri scheme. Universal health cards can be used for any medical expense over Rs 1,000, Jagan said.
The TDP on the other hand has increased life insurance cover for beneficiaries from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
For students from BPL families, the TDP has promised to provide complete fee reimbursement and an additional sum of Rs 20,000 per annum for food and accommodation expenses, besides laptops for intermediate students and a Rs 3,000 unemployment dole.
The TDP has promised to increase the pension to senior citizens from the current Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 3,000 per month, besides decreasing the eligibility age to 60 from 65 years. It has also promised to create a separate BC fund with a budget of Rs 75,000 crore over a period of five years, and a similar fund for Kapus.
Jagan has also announced monetary assistance of various amounts to barbers, tailors, washermen, weavers, hawkers, vendors, fishermen, and other caste-based professions. He also announced Rs 5,000 per month honorarium to pastors, Rs 15,000 per month to imams and muezzins, and Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 per month for maintenance of Hindu temples.
The TDP has also announced similar honorariums to pastors, imams and temple priests. Naidu also promised to fight unconditionally against criminalisation of instant talaq and for four percent quota for Muslims. The party also promised a special building for Christians in each district and land for graveyards; free housing facility for pastors and imams; core capital of Rs 50 crore for the self-employment of physically challenged, Rs 3,000 pension for persons with mental disabilities, MLC posts for Brahmin and Vaddera communities; and free health insurance for handloom workers.