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Monday, October 1, 2007

Political Buzz: YSR prefers Indira to Nehru!!

Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy seems to be going rather too much in naming the government schemes only after Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, so much so that the people are at their wit's end as to what the scheme is all about!

It is understood that YSR is going all out to please his boss Madam Sonia Gandhi by naming all schemes after Indira and Rajiv, but it is creating a sort of abhorrence among the people. On Sunday, he inaugurated two parks and one flyover in the city, all named after Rajiv Gandhi. Sometimes, when officials suggested to him to name a particular scheme or project after Jawaharlal Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi, too, YSR is outrightly rejecting the same to display his more loyal than king attitude towards Sonia.

For instance, in Kadapa district, the irrigation officials suggested a canal to be named after Nehru, but the Chief Minister stoutly ordered them to rename it after Indira Gandhi. The officials grumbled and reluctantly accepted the orders. If this goes on, it will definitely be an irritant for the people in the long run!!

Behind The Scene: Yet another poll sop from YSR

Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has come out with yet another poll promise to bear the main Opposition Telugu Desam. This time he wants to distribute two lakh acres of land among the landless poor. Pattas will also be issued immediately unlike in the past. Though the Congress government describes it as the fourth phase of land distribution among the landless poor, sources point out that the Chief Minister has rushed through the decision to pre-empt any moves by the Telugu Desam or any other political party.

The government will distribute the land on the State Formation Day on November 1.

Till now the State government has identified as much as 1.35 lakh acres of vacant government land, besides 4,000 acres of assigned lands. The government is now busy in identifying the remaining land for distribution.

The Chief Minister wanted more Govt. lands to be get readied for distribution among the landless poor but with clear titles. Necessary Government Orders in this regard will be issued soon.

In another decision, the Chief Minister once again reiterated that not an inch of govt. or private or endowment or other lands will be allowed to be occupied or illegally encroached upon. Referring to the CPM's 'Bhu poratam' agitation, the Chief Minister once again made it clear that on November 1, the government will distribute about two lakh acres to the landless poor, but will not allow anarchy to prevail in the State. Thus the illegal land occupation by the CPM as part of their agitation should be dealt upon seriously and under any circumstances all the remaining illegal occupations should be evicted within a week.

He was told by the District Collectors of Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad that there is no illegal occupation as on date and all those illegally occupied government and other lands were evicted. There are a few acres of land still remain illegally occupied in few districts like Nellore, Guntur and Srikakulam.

Fact Sheet: Babu's knowledge forum goes sleep

Telugu Desam supremo and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is known for his innovative and often fanciful ideas. Just before his visit to the USA to collect funds from Telugu NRIs for the NTR Foundation, Chandrababu Naidu launched a website called www.nritdp.org. He also set up a knowledge forum where he invites suggestions on a variety of topics from Telugu-speaking NRIs spread across the globe. The knowledge forum worked well for three months. Later it went dead. There have been no postings on the NRI Knowledge Forum since July 30 when the last posting was made. Two months have passed and it seems tha TD leadership has no new idea to put before the forum for discussion.

Earlier, the TD leadership set up a grievances cell at NTR Bhavan. It worked well for a couple of months. Now there's no news about it. Chandrababu Naidu has not bothered to revive it. Similarly, there was an "anti-corruption" cell in the TD office. It is also as good as dead with the party not able to take up the complaints and suggestions from the common man.

Madhu Yashki's Curry Favor For Sonia

Till two weeks ago he was on tenterhooks. The lobby led by chief minister was targeting him and hatching plans to deprive him of a winnable Lok Sabha seat, but by the grace of Rahul Gandhi, Nizamabad Member of Parliament Madhu Yaksi Goud has risen again. Goud who was hibernating in New York when the Congress headquarters appointed him secretary of the national party came running back to Hyderabad to accept the accolades. But he has gone back again because Madam Sonia is about to visit New York and Madhu wants to be there to receive her. Before his resurrection, the plan being discussed by the state Congress bosses was to push him out to Nalgonda and allot the Nizamabad seat to minister in the state D Srinivas. But this plan will now been put in cold storage.

Cong MP wants two kg rice for Rs 3!!

Election atmosphere is prevailing in the State at present, with all the political parties – the Congress, the Telugu Desam, the TRS and even newly formed Lok Satta – are going all out to woo the electorate with all sorts of populist schemes.

Political observers say it might not be impossible for Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu to implement the free power supply scheme if the TD comes to power, as Naidu could not just afford to say he would drop the scheme. However, it would be next to impossible for Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy to implement Rs 2 a kg rice scheme, as this money has absolutely no value in the present circumstances since the production cost of rice has gone up steeply. That is why, YSR's proposals has been taken with a pinch of salt by the Congress leaders themselves.

A Congress MP, Survey Satyanarayana of Siddipet, has remarked, rather sarcastically that, it would have been better for YSR to announce two kgs of rice for Rs 3, rather than copying the Rs 2 a kg rice scheme of NTR announced way back in 1982. "If YSR thinks Rs 2 a kg rice scheme is possible, he can as well give it at Rs 1.50 a kg. We have huge buffer stocks of rice in the State and hence, YSR can always afford to distribute it at heavily subsidized price," he suggested.

What these leaders fail to understand is that the voters are no more fools. They are intelligent enough to see through these announcements and come to their own judgement.

How weighty are Cong, TD pre-poll sops?

Yes. They make up around 20 per cent of the State's total annual budget. If the Congress or the TD, whoever comes to power, has to spend on fulfilling the sops announced by them, they need at least Rs 10,000 crore every year. If the benefits are extended to more sections, the budgetary allocation will simply jump to Rs 20,000 crore. So the State's budget will go up by Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore.

Without thinking of how they will raise so much money to fulfill the promises, both the Congress and the Telugu Desam are vying with each other in announcing newer and newer promises. They are more interested in winning elections rather than thinking of the State's economy.

If the new government implements the schemes -- all the shemes promises -- it will have to impose new taxes on people to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore. This means everyone in the State will have to pay new and additional taxes. The tax structure will go up at least by two times. The common man has to cough up from his nose to fulfill the power needs of these politicians. What's a logic?

Fact Sheet: Clashes for tickets begin in Cong

Even before there is any concrete talk about mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha, leave alone to the State Assembly, the Congress leaders in the State are already clashing with one another to please the bosses and get the tickets.

Gandhi Bhavan is buzzing with activity with ticket aspirants thronging the place almost on a regular basis. The leaders are preparing their dossiers and submitting the same to the office, so that they would be in the forefront while seeking the tickets. In other places, there are already clashes between two groups of ticket aspirants.

At the inauguration of Malakpet flyover on Sunday, the supports of two ticket aspirants – sitting MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad Urban Development Authority Chairman D Sudheer Reddy – virtually entered into a brawl to attract the attention of the Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. There were heated arguments between the two groups and they even clashed with the police to be in the front seats, as a result of which the police had to resort to minor lathicharge. More such clashes are in store in the coming days, Gandhi Bhavan sources say.

Who is playing political gimmick?

Naidu, YSR All Set To Enrich Election Manifestoes By Listing Out More Sops For Voters

Hyderabad: Chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and his bete noire N Chandrababu Naidu seem to be vying with each other in making tall promises every day.

The chief minister on Sunday announced that he would convert Ranga Reddy into the most prosperous district and would extend the Chevella irrigation project up to Tandur. In a bid to outshine him, the TDP president said that his party was working out modalities to provide free education up to the high school level, 20 percent free seats in engineering and other professional colleges for the meritorious poor students and a special package for farm labourers.

Interestingly, both the leaders claim that these are not poll gimmicks but “their genuine concern for the welfare of the poor.” According to Naidu, the party has invited a team of experts from New Delhi to interact with the committee headed by T Devender Goud on October 6 and 7 and work out the economics and modalities of the announcements made by him in the last two days.

Meanwhile, the officials and some senior Congress leaders feel that the chief minister has fallen into the trap laid by TDP and made a hasty announcement of a Rs 2-kg rice scheme. While the opposition party can make any announcement, the ruling party has to do a lot of homework before committing itself to any populist scheme as it will have to bear the consequences of implementing it if it is returned to power.

If the government goes on announcing populist schemes, it would push the state economy into doldrums and the prestigious housing and irrigation projects would have to take a back seat, officials feel. The finance department has made it clear that it would not be possible to implement the rice scheme this year and the chief minister is understood to have taken a step backward saying that it can be announced in the next budget.

But Reddy feels that his announcement is not an election gimmick. “It is Chandrababu Naidu who is indulging in gimmicks, not me,” he said on Sunday. Justifying his decision, Reddy said that what is important is not how long one is in power but how much one has done for the welfare of the poor. He said he had proved TDP wrong by not only supplying free power but also putting the state’s economy back on rails.

Rs 2-a-kg rice for BPL families
Deepam scheme to involve SHGs in LPG cylinder distribution to rural poor
80 lakh new power connections for Indiramma houses
Extension of Chevella irrigation project up to Tandur
Unemployment dole for youth
100 per cent rural electrification
More funds for SHGs

Free power for nine hours
MSP for paddy on a par with wheat
Upgradation of government schools on a par with corporate schools
Free education up to high school and 20 per cent free seats in professional colleges
Poor to be permitted to sell assigned land
Unemployment dole Cheaper power tariff for poor 3 cents of plot for landless
MIG houses for middle income group

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