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Major political parties yet to launch manifesto for Telangana polls

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Hyderabad, Nov 26: With a little over two weeks left for the Telangana Assembly elections on December 7, the major contesting parties are yet to release their poll manifesto of issues on which they will seek voters mandate.

Though the leading parties parties of Telangana -Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have released a partial manifesto, its in verbal form and not a final draft.

K Chandrashekara Rao

Political parties are reportedly delaying their final manifestos, strategically in a bid to score over rival parties. Though there is no deadline for releasing manifestos, the parties have to submit a copy to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and seeks its approval.

The TRS promised a loan waiver of RS 1 lakh for farmers along with the increase in per acre amount to Rs 10,000 per acre from Rs 8,000 under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.

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Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Capt Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the TRS manifesto is a Xerox copy of the Congress party manifesto.

The TRS manifesto also vows to build two-bedroom houses worth Rs 2.60 lakh, for the poor in Telangana if elected to power in the December 2018 Assembly elections.

Other promises includepension of Rs 3016 per month to unemployed, Rs 3,016 for physically challenged and Rs 2,016 for those above the age of 57 under 'Asara' scheme.

Subsidy for women's groups, allocation of food processing units to women, help to poor from the Reddy and Vysya communities, and special schemes for the SC & ST will be introduced.

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In a repetition of the party's promises in nearby Karnataka in the recently-held Assembly elections, the Congress manifesto in Telangana offers farm loan waiver of Rs 2 lakh to all farmers. The manifesto, called the 'People's Manifesto', was formally released by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi during her campaign rally at Medchal, Telangana.

Apart from a farm loan waiver of Rs 2 lakh, the party promises a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore to address agrarian distress, as well as ensuring highest MSP for the 17 most common crops, and zero premium insurance to farmers.

The party also promised to create 1 lakh jobs and another 1 lakh beneficiaries through self-employment schemes, apart from unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 to 10 lakh beneficiaries.

Titled as 'People's Manifesto', the document contains promises that have already been popularised by its leaders. It includes filling up of one lakh government jobs in the first year, RS 5 lakh for construction of homes and farm loan waivers of up to Rs 2 lakh.

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The TDP manifesto apart from promising a slew of welfare programmes for the people of Telangana, also promises to turn Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao's palatial residence into a government hospital. The official residence of the Telangana CM was built at a cost of Rs 38 crore in 2016. The palatial complex boasts of features such as bulletproof bedrooms and bathrooms and also houses the Chief Minister's office in the same complex. The building was designed by award-winning architect Hafeez Contractor. The building design cues have been inspired by the Falaknuma Palace.

The BJP, which is trying to grab some assembly seats after its dismal performance in last elections, has also not released its manifesto. The BJP has proposed free distribution of one lakh cows every year.

The proposal is to distribute cows in villages, at the time of festivals and others, to people who seek them

The manifesto also promises cancellation of surcharge fares by state-run Road Transort Corporation (RTC) buses during festival seasons and free transportation to those taking up 'Deeksha' (religious code of behaviour) for visiting temples, including Sabarimala, according to him.

Total waiver of the tax on petrol and diesel, free online and offline coaching to youth appearing for competitive examinations and provision of safe drinking water for Rs six per month per household are the other proposals made by the manifesto committee.

The fresh proposals are an addition to the ideas mooted earlier, Prabhakar said on Saturday.

The BJP, which had five MLAs in the dissolved (119-member) assembly, hopes to substantially increase its strength in the coming polls.

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