TS Assembly polls: Congress promises Sub-Plan for Minorities, funds for Gulf Migrants

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday unveiled a plethora of promises for various sections of the society.

The TPCC chief had a long meeting with senior leaders including Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Deputy CLP leader T. Jeevan Reddy and others at Gandhi Bhavan. Addressing a press conference later, Uttam Kumar Reddy made several promises which would be implemented if Congress is voted to power in next elections. The promises pertained to weaker section housing, Sub-Plan for BCs and Minorities, supply of fine rice through PDS, free ration and power for SCs and STs, six domestic gas cylinders for BPL families, cycles to girl students and funds for Gulf migrant workers among others.

Housing: Uttam Kumar Reddy announced that the Congress party would clear all pending bills of Indiramma Housing Scheme once it comes to power. Further, he said all semi-finished houses would be completed. All previous beneficiaries of Indiramma Housing Scheme would be given Rs. 2 lakh each for construction of another room on their own. The Congress Government will also give Rs. 5 lakh each to eligible persons if they wish to construct their own house. He promised that the next Congress Government would construct 2 lakh houses every year for the weaker sections.

He slammed the TRS Government for its failure to provide double bedroom houses for weaker sections. He said the Indiramma Housing Scheme, which provided shelter to lakhs of poor people in the past, was deliberately defamed and pending bills were not cleared. He said despite announcing CID inquiry, the TRS Government could not point out a single flaw anywhere. Calling it a heinous approach, he said stopping Indiramma Housing scheme was a “bad and disgusting” political decision of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao which consequently hurt the homeless persons belonging to poor Dalits, Girijans, Muslims and other weaker sections. He said nearly four lakh units were stopped only for political motives.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the double bedroom housing scheme of TRS Government was a total failure. He said some units were completed at a few places and their pictures were used for false propaganda.

Sub-Plan for BCs, Minorities :The TPCC Chief said that the next Congress Government would implement a Sub-Plan for Backward Classes and Minorities to ensure that funds are spent in proportionate to their population in the State. Accusing the TRS Government of neglecting BCs and Minorities, he said not even 50% of the allocated amounts were spent on the welfare of these communities. He pointed out that of overall budget spending of nearly Rs. 6.5 lakh crore in the last five budgets, the actual amount spent on the welfare of minorities was a little over Rs. 3,000 crore which is not even 0.4% of the total spending by the State. He reminded that the TRS Government had promised to spend Rs. 25,000 crore on BC welfare. But not even one-fourth of the amount has been spent. Similarly, Muslims have been cheated on the promise of 12% reservation in jobs and education.

He also announced that besides giving BCs and Minorities their due share in jobs to be created by the government, self-employment measures like loan-cum-subsidy scheme would be given highest priority to help youth.

Public Distribution System (PDS): Speaking about Public Distribution System (PDS), Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress believes in a socialist secular republic and therefore, it would come up with a scheme which would ensure supply of essential commodities to poorest of poor easily. Stating that the previous Congress Government used to supply almost 9 commodities at ration shops at subsidised rates, he accused the TRS Government of completely ruining the PDS concept. He said that the old system would be revived once Congress comes to power. He said that the rice presently being supplied through PDS was of sub-standard quality and getting re-circulated. He announced that the next Congress Government would supply Fine Rice all cardholders. Further, he said poor Dalit and Girijan families would get total ration at free of cost.

Uttam Kumar Reddy accused the TRS Government targetted the ration dealers by creating various obstacles for them. He said the State Government even stopped the commission paid to them by the Central Government. He promised that the Congress Government would resolve all the problems being faced by ration-dealers. Besides clearing their arrears, they would be paid a commission of Rs. 100 per quintal.

Free power for Dalits, Girijans: The TPCC Chief also promised that free power, up to 200 units, would be supplied to all poor Dalits and Girijans. Further, the non-telescopic charges would be converted into telescopic which would reduce the billing amount for all domestic consumers. He said all religious places would be supplied power at free of cost. He said some rules and limitations would be prescribed soon.

Slamming the BJP Government at the Centre for increase in the prices of LPG, he said KCR Government never protested against the Centre for rise in LPG prices. He said previous Congress Governments used to intervene by extending subsidies to BPL families. However, KCR neither helped the BPL families nor fought against PM Modi for price hike. He promised that the next Congress Government would provide up to six cylinders every year at free of cost to all BPL families. All BPL families/white ration card holders would also get accidental insurance of Rs. 5 lakh. The treatment limit under Aarogyasri scheme, for all beneficiaries including government employees and journalists, will be increased from present Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh covering all diseases.

Bi-cycles for girl students: In order to encourage girls to pursue education, Uttam Kumar Reddy promised that all girl students, from 7th Class to Intermediate, would be given bicycles. This will make their transportation easier, he said.

Incentive for dairy farmers: Uttam Kumar Reddy said the despite making an announcement, KCR Government has failed to give Rs. 4 per litre incentive to dairy farmers. He said the next Congress Government would ensure all dairy farmers get this incentive.

The TPCC chief said that the tenant farmers remained neglected under TRS regime. However, he said the Congress Government would protect their interest and they too would be recognised as farmers with rights on all benefits and sops given by the government.

Funds for Gulf Migrant Workers: The TPCC Chief said that the TRS Government did nothing for the welfare of NRIs, especially migrant workers living in Gulf countries. “While Minister K. Tarakarama Rao conducted foreign tours and mingled only with people wearing suits and boots, he never looked into the problems being faced by Gulf migrant workers who were forced to live in inhuman conditions. More than four years have passed and the TRS Government is dissolving Assembly tomorrow. Throughout their regime, they did nothing for those poor migrant workers and their families,” he said while promising that the next Congress Government would set up a fund of Rs. 500 to help the migrant workers. Further, he said an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh would be paid to the families of those workers who die due to various diseases either in Gulf or after they return to their native place.

TRS under shock after Kongara Kalan meeting : Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the ruling TRS was under severe shock due to the failures of its public meeting at Kongara Kalan. “A few days ago they were talking about the participation of 25 lakh people in the meeting and now they limited themselves to just 65,000 people for the public meeting at Husnabad on September 7,” he said while adding that people were not willing to tolerate TRS Government anymore. He said the next elections will not about “Congress Vs TRS”. But they will be “KCR family Vs People of Telangana”.

He informed that a high-level committee headed by senior MLA T. Jeevan Reddy was constituted to study various issues, especially pensions. He said all the recommendations made by Jeevan Reddy Committee have been accepted. He said that the Congress party would come out with a detailed manifesto soon and the Manifesto Committee would be constituted after September 15. He said the promises like crop loan waiver up to Rs. 2 lakh, doubling of pension, unemployment allowance of Rs. 3,000 to 10 lakh jobless youth, etc., would be the flagship schemes of the next Congress Government. He said separate manifestoes would be prepared for all Assembly segments.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the present promises were totally practical and they would be implemented without any hassles. These promises are being made based on Telangana’s monthly revenue of Rs. 10,500 crore. “While our focus is people’s welfare, TRS worked only for contractors,” he said.