AP CM compares his regime to golden age of Chandragupta

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Hyderabad, Feb 19 (UNI) Likening his rule to the ''golden age'' of Chandragupta Maurya, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today claimed that the state economy grew by 9.32 per cent in the last three years as against the national average of nine per cent.

Unlike the previous Telugu Desam Party(TDP) regime, the Congress government was ushering in all-round development, based on the concept of saturating the needs of all sections of people, irrespective of party affiliations and will retain power in the next and subsequent elections to the state Assembly, he said, while winding up his reply to the motion of thanks for the Governor's address.

The state stood first in the implementation of the 20-point programme to uplift the weaker sections of people, as against 13th position during the TDP rule, he added.

The state grew only by 5.85 per cent when the TDP was in power from 1994-95 to 2003-04 as against the national average of 6.13 per cent, the Chief Minister said while giving clarifications to the Opposition members' queries.

Apportioning the blame on the TDP for a lesser economic growth of 6.96 per cent in the first year of the Congress rule, Dr Reddy said, ''even if this is included in our account, the average economic growth is 8.73 per cent, which is only slightly less than the national average growth of 8.80 per cent.'' UNI SM VA SP AS1745

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