Praja Rajyam, TDP manifestos full of freebies
In a sign of times when no election manifesto appears complete without promise of freebies, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has promised a free colour TV, besides cash transfer to the poor while Praja Rajyam, free school education for all.
In offering colour TV to all the poor families not having one, the TDP has taken a leaf out of DMK in Tamil Nadu. Under the Cash Transfer Scheme (CTS), the party, if it comes to power, plans to transfer Rs. 2,000 every month each to the poorest of poor families, Rs. 1,500 to the poor and Rs. 1,000 to the middle classes.
It would also come up with a comprehensive healthcare scheme for the poor.
PR to focus on graft, free land and education
Distant dreams: PR leaders P. Shivshankar (left) and P. Upendra at the release of the party’s election manifesto in Hyderabad on Thursday.
An inquiry by a sitting judge into political corruption during the Congress and Telugu Desam regimes in the past 15 years and a more specific probe into alleged irregularities in the ‘Jalayagnam’ programme are among the Praja Rajyam’s promises if elected to power.
Releasing the party’s draft manifesto for the 2009 elections, convenors P. Shivshankar and P. Upendra said the final document would be released by March 31 after circulating the draft among sections of people, including the intelligentsia.
The 50-page draft explains why the Praja Rajyam had come into existence. It states that people of the State wanted a change because there was a lack of political will, bureaucratic apathy, unbridled corruption and failure of enforcement agencies, all of which made prosperity a distant dream. Both the Congress and the TDP had, in 52 years delivered virtually nothing.
The Praja Rajyam recognised the naxalite movement as one that emanated from socio-economic problems. It would be the PR’s endeavour to bring underground Maoists into mainstream of society.
The party said that there would be no fake encounters and that a lenient view would be taken on naxal-related criminal cases.
An important aspect of the manifesto is the promise of two-and-a-half acres of wet land or five acres of land to all eligible, landless poor families. The land would also be integrated into development schemes.
“We will take over endowment lands, wastelands and surplus lands,” Katti Padma Rao, a committee member, said. The Praja Rajyam promised a ‘weaver security fund’ to help the handloom industry. Also, a Rs. 500-crore ‘price fluctuation control fund’ and market intervention schemes to control markets and prices of essential commodities is promised. The pension of Rs. 200 a month for senior citizens would be increased to Rs. 500. On the education front, the PR promises free education to girls from ‘KG to PG’, as also to those from the SCs and STs, BCs and economically backward classes (EBC), compulsory, free education for all up to Class 10 and waiver of fee for all common entrance tests. The manifesto also referred to EBCs’ development.
PR’s plea: file counter affidavit, EC told
PR seeks direction for keeping aside rail engine symbol for its candidates
Andhra Pradesh High Court adjourns common symbol case to March 16
A Division Bench of the A. P. High Court comprising Justice B. Prakash Rao and Justice Bhavani Prasad on Thursday directed the Election Commission to file counter affidavit to the contentions raised by the Praja Rajyam in a writ petition seeking allotment of a common symbol to it in the ensuing general elections.
The Bench was dealing with the writ petition filed by Allu Aravind, general secretary, on behalf of Praja Rajyam. Assailing the orders of the Election Commission rejecting its request for a common symbol, he specifically challenged the Constitutional validity of the symbols order which provides for allotment of a symbol to a registered party only after it contests one general election and gets minimum prescribed percentage of votes.
The petitioner found fault with the attitude of Election Commission saying that it was trying to restrict the entry of new political parties.
Counsel for the petitioner V. Venkata Ramana said that after contesting one election, to wait for a symbol for next general elections, will be a Herculean task in these days of fluid political situation. He said that though the TRS did not contest the general elections, it was granted a common symbol.
The Praja Rajyam sought a direction for keeping aside the symbol of rail engine for exclusive use of the candidates to be put up by their party. The Bench wanted the EC to respond to the Constitutional validity of the issue. The case has been adjourned to March 16.
PRP demands white paper on projects
Prior to seeking mandate for another term, the Congress should release a white paper on the claim of all-round development, particularly irrigation projects, in the last five years, Praja Rajyam Party district convener Merupula Venkataramana has said.
While the TDP had completed only Andra project during its 17-year-rule and laid foundations for many more projects in the district, the Congress claimed completion of Peddagedda and Jhanjhavathi, he said at a press conference on Thursday.
The work on Thotapalli was being done in patches, as though to benefit the executing agencies, he said, and added that not even 25,000 acres in the district were given water through the projects.
Moreover, the laying of the foundation stone for Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi by Chief Minister in Visakhapatnam recently was a poll gimmick.
He said it was unfortunate that the Chief Minister chose to draw water from Polavaram to Kadapa, 500 km away from the project site in Phase-I, neglecting the three North Andhra districts that were just 150 km away from the project.
M. Geetha, Mahila Rajyam convener, said that the party would be organising Samajika Nyaya Sabha at Rajahmundry on March 10.
Former TD Minister joins Praja Rajyam
Former Minister in the TDP government, Metla Satyanarayana (East Godavari district) and former Medak TDP district president, Batthi Jagapathi, on Thursday joined the Praja Rajyam alongwith their followers, in the presence of party president Chiranjeevi.
While Mr. Satyanarayana met Mr. Chiranjeevi at the party office in Jubilee Hills, Mr. Jagapathi and hordes of his followers chose to make their entry into the party at a meeting held in Raavi Narayana Reddy auditorium in Banjara Hills.
Mr. Chiranjeevi apart, PR general secretary Allu Aravind and Yuva Rajyam president Pawan Kalyan also attended the meeting. Mr. Aravind released a poster on social justice pertaining to ‘Samajika Nyaya Sankharavam’, a meeting of those from the BCs to be held in Rajahmundry on March 10.
“PR to go ahead with people’s wish”
The Praja Rajyam party will go ahead with its slogan of ‘Samajika Telangana’ (social Telangana) and in tune with its oft-repeated line that it would go with the people’s wish only, said it would moot proposals and hasten legislative processes for a separate state.
At the release of the PR’s draft manifesto, senior leader and former Union Minister P. Shivshankar said from day one, party president Chiranjeevi was only saying that he would go by the people’s wish on the issue of a separate Telangana. “Whatever is voiced by the people is what we promise to do,” he repeated. However, in response to a question from a pressperson, the seasoned leader said that with the popularity of the TRS ‘anyway on the wane’, people were not expecting the ‘grand alliance’ to offer anything on that count. This led to questions from several reporters about how the PR leader could think that only the TRS could offer a separate Telangana. Finding that the questions were making the PR leaders uncomfortable, former Union Minister P. Upendra hastened to intervene and signalled the end of the press conference.
Praja Rajyam cadre seeks God’s help
Seeking the blessings of the Almighty for getting a common electoral symbol for the Praja Rajyam Party , its activists on Thursday offered special prayers at Hajrat Galeeb Shaheed Darga at Bhavanipuram. The prayers were held under the aegis of Sheik Baji, urban joint secretary of the PRP. Party urban convener Boppana Bhava Kumar and other leaders were present.
Praja Rajyam leaders’ gesture
Praja Rajyam leader Avanthi Srinivas (left) handing over a cheque in the presence of party president Chiranjeevi to Genji Leela in Hyderabad.
Led by Avanthi Group Institutes’ chairman and Praja Rajyam party leader M. Srinivasa Rao, a number of party leaders from Anakapalle have come to the aid of a patient requiring liver transplant. The aid is for the son of Genji Leela of Anakapalle.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao donated Rs.3 lakhs for the transplant. Nimmadala Sanyasi Naidu and Oil Tanker Owners’ Union President Tammina Naidu contributed Rs.50,000 each and Panchakarla Rameshbabu Rs.20,000. Praja Rajyam Party leader K. Nagababu spoke to the Kamineni Hospital authorities and got the fee for the transplant reduced from Rs.27 lakhs (quoted by another hospital) to Rs.17 lakhs.
As his contribution Mr. Nagababu added Rs.10,000 to the Rs.15,000 he had received towards a Nandi award.
Besides, his friends Jagadam Sudhakar and Sagar Ram contributed Rs.15,000 and Rs.25,000 respectively.
Advocate Katyayani, after a meeting with the Praja Rajyam leaders of Anakapalle, took the issue to the notice of Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi. The cheques were given away by Mr. Chiranjeevi at Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Donors who intend to help the patient may contact here on 9247816263.
TDP/PR manifestos full of freebies
TDP offers free colour TV, Praja Rajyam free school education for all
TV FOR ALL: TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu releasing the party manifesto in Hyderabad on Thursday.
In a sign of times when no election manifesto appears complete without promise of freebies, Telugu Desam Party has promised a free colour TV, besides cash transfer to the poor while Praja Rajyam, free school education for all.
In offering colour TV to all the poor families not having one, the TDP has taken a leaf out of DMK in Tamil Nadu. Under the Cash Transfer Scheme (CTS), the party, if it comes to power, plans to transfer Rs. 2,000 every month each to the poorest of poor families, Rs. 1,500 to the poor and Rs. 1,000 to the middle classes. It would also come up with a comprehensive healthcare scheme for the poor.
Releasing the draft manifesto at a press conference, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu rejected the argument that both schemes were “populist” saying, colour TV has now become a necessity providing ‘infotainment’ while the CTS is a social security and economic empowerment measure.
The CTS would boost school enrolment, reduce child mortality and child labour, improve health of mother and child and benefit aged and physically-challenged persons, he said. It would address socio-economic inequalities triggered by globalisation process and improper implementation of economic reforms.
Besides free and compulsory education up to Class 10 for all, Praja Rajyam has promised 10-hour uninterrupted free power supply to farm sector, free education from ‘KG to PG’ to girls and all those belonging to the SCs, STs, BCs and economically-backward classes (EBC) and waiver of fees for common entrance tests.
The draft manifesto released by PR senior leaders, P. Upendra and P. Shivshankar, talks of 50 per cent concession on power consumption by rural consumers and extension of free power to cottage industries. Another proposal is to shift from the present five-tier system of Panchayat Raj to a three-tier system revolving around the sarpanch, mandal president and Zilla Parishad chairman.
The PR promises to pay attention to economically backward classes in the form of an exclusive finance corporation, to include sections like Brahmins and Vysyas. Other proposals were all fair price shops to be run by women members of self-help groups and free insurance for health and life for all SHG members.