AP CM rules out early polls to LS, Assembly

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Hyderabad, Jul 2: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ruled out early elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assembly.

''Elections will not come before March, either to Parliament or the state Assembly,'' Mr Reddy said while inaugurating a two-day conference of the district Collectors here.

Asking the Collectors not to be carried away by the media reports predicting early elections, he directed them to ensure distribution of benefits under various welfare schemes by October.

He maintaned that his government was not affected by the 'anti- incumbency' factor and this had been proved in the recent byelections.

As the government ''enjoys the goodwill of the people'', the ''fear-struck'' opposition parties were trying to somehow come together, he alleged.

Making it clear that his government would ''protect sincere officers'', he asked them to continue with vigour the good work done in the last four years.

He directed the Collectors to distribute at least house sites to the beneficiaries by September, if construction of houses could not be taken up under the INDIRAMMA programme.

The Congress had won in the recent byelections, even in certain constituencies where the party machinery was weak, due to the confidence reposed by the people on the Congress Government, Dr Reddy claimed. He attributed the crisis of price rise to the increase in the crude oil price to US Dollar 142 per barrel.

He said only to insulate the common man, the state government had decided to supply rice at Rs two-a-kg and increased the income eligibility limit to Rs 60,000 per annum in rural areas and Rs 75,000 in urban areas so that the benefits reached more people.

Redgram would be supplied at Rs 30 per kg and palmoil at Rs 40 from July, to the BPL families, he added.

He urged the Collectors to take stern action against hoarders to bring the price situation under control. They should not hesitate to invoke the provisions of the Preventive Detention Act against unscruplous traders.

The Horticulture Department had stepped into bridge the demand- supply gap for vegetables to avoid huge fluctuation in prices, he said.

Dr Reddy said the state had registered the digit annual economic growth rate of 10.37 per cent for the year 2007-08 as against the national growth rate of 8.73 per cent. The growth rate was highest in the country, he claimed.

The present Congress Government believed in transparency. ''We have no hesitation to put facts before the people and take corrective step wherever necessary,'' he added.


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