TDP's BC Conference, a 'political drama': CLP

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Hyderabad, Jan 21 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Congress Legislature Party (CLP) today termed the Opposition Telugu Desam Party's (TDP) proposed 'Backward Class Garjana' (BC conference) to be held at Warangal on January 23 as a ''political drama'' to ''mislead'' the people.

Addressing a press conference here along with state Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and Backward Class Welfare Minister M Mukesh Goud, Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah alleged that the TDP, which was facing a ''political crisis,'' was planning to come out of it by organising the conference.

The TDP, which had not even thought about the welfare of the backward classes during its nine-year rule, was now shedding ''crocodile tears'' for them with a ''political motive''.

Stating that the Congress government had done a lot for the welfare of the BCs in the state, Mr Lakshmaiah said it had increased the budgetary allocations for them during the last four years and allocated Rs 3,096 crore during 2007-08.

He said Congress governments in the state had appointed four Commissions for their welfare and implemented the recommendations.

He said the government had taken special steps for the welfare of the weavers and provided a pension of Rs 200 per month to 4,000 poor weavers, besides distributing 25 kgs rice to them.

The government, which had increased the scholarship amount for students from backward class would increase the diet amount of the hostels for them from the present 30 per cent to 40 per cent during the next fiscal, while agreeing to reimburse the total tuition fees for these BC students.

Of the 2.82 lakh people working under Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Warangal district, 1.55 lakh belonged to the backward classes, he added.

He said the government had launched various welfare schemes for the toddy tappers, fishermen and other artisans in the state and asked whether the TDP leaders could say that the government had not implemented any welfare schemes for the backward classes during the last four years.

UNI BR VA KK HT1804

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