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BRS, BJP Try To Corner Cong over 'Failed' Guarantees

BRS, BJP Try To Corner Cong over 'Failed' Guarantees

With a month to go for polling in Telangana for Lok Sabha elections, opposition BRS and BJP are trying to corner the Congress over its alleged failure to deliver on the six guarantees given in Assembly elections even as the ruling party claims to have implemented four guarantees and assuring voters of its commitment to fulfill the remaining promises.

Targeting the Congress government over not fulfilling the guarantees within 100 days as committed by it, leaders of both BRS and BJP say that the ruling party has no moral right to seek votes in the Lok Sabha polls.

The opposition parties claim that Congress has failed to fully implement even one guarantee.

The government, which completed four months in office on April 7, claims to have implemented six promises as part of these guarantees.

The Congress party made a total of 13 promises as part of six guarantees during the Assembly elections held in November, 2023.

On December 9, two days after assuming office, the Revanth Reddy-led government launched the Mahalakshmi scheme to provide free travel facilities for women in TSRTC buses and enhanced coverage under Rajiv Arogyasri (health insurance scheme for the poor) from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

The rollout of other guarantees was delayed as the government embarked on a massive exercise to receive applications from eligible beneficiaries.

Over 1.28 crore applications were received for the six guarantees during the 'Praja Palana' programme conducted across the state in December-January.

On February 27, Chief Minister Revanth Reddy launched the implementation of two more guarantees - 200 units of free electricity to each household and a cooking gas cylinder for Rs 500.

On March 11, Chief Minister Reddy launched Indiramma Indlu, a housing scheme for the poor.

Under the scheme, the government will distribute house sites in the name of women and extend financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the construction of houses. It has sanctioned 4.50 lakh Indiramma houses at the cost of Rs 22,500 crore.

Households consuming up to 200 units of electricity per month and having white ration cards (BPL families) started receiving 'zero bills' from March. Power distribution companies said over 10 lakh consumers were issued ‘zero bills’.

However, many applicants complained that despite being eligible they were denied the benefits under the scheme.

Adding to the confusion, some consumers who had received zero bills in March, were issued bills for two months in April. "When I enquired with the officials concerned, they said this was done keeping in view the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections," said Mohammed Ghouse, a private employee and resident of Rajendranagar in Rangareddy district.

Similarly, white ration card holders are getting cooking gas cylinders for Rs 500. The government said a total of 40 lakh families will be benefited from this scheme.

According to a Government Order, only those white ration card holders who have applied for the scheme during the Praja Palana programme will be eligible for subsidy. They should have an active domestic LPG connection in their name.

The LPG cylinders which can be availed by consumers will be limited to the average of their last three years of consumption of cylinders.

The state government will transfer the required amount, in advance, to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), every month. OMCs will transfer the subsidy amount by Direct Beneficiary Transfer (DBT) to the beneficiaries.

Many families, however, complained that they were left out despite being eligible for the gas subsidy scheme.

The leaders of the ruling party are citing the model code of conduct for the delay in fully implementing the schemes. They are assuring the people that all the eligible families will get the benefits.

They also maintain that despite the false propaganda by the opposition, the government remained committed to implementing the guarantees.

"There is no question of this government backtracking on any of the promises made by Sonia Gandhi ji," said Chief Minister Reddy at a public meeting recently.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi announced six guarantees on September 17, 2023, at a public meeting at Tukkuguda near Hyderabad during the Assembly elections.

At the same venue, the Congress released the Telugu version of its national guarantees for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections on April 6 in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.

Under six guarantees 'Mahalakshmi', 'Rythu Bharosa', 'Gruha Jyothi', 'Indiramma Indlu', 'Yuva Vikasam' and 'Cheyutha', different promises were made for women, farmers, youth, homeless and elderly.

The government is yet to implement promises like monthly financial assistance of Rs 2,500 for every woman, monthly pension of Rs 4,000 each for elderly, Rs.15,000 per acre annual investment support for farmers including tenant farmers, annual support of Rs 12,000 each for agriculture labourers, Rs 500 bonus per quintal for paddy crop above the Minimum Support Price (MSP), Vidya Bharosa Card worth Rs 5 lakh each for students and Telangana international schools in all mandals.

BRS leader and former minister T. Harish Rao alleged that Congress is once again trying to cheat people by promising new guarantees in Lok Sabha elections.

Harish Rao even called upon the people to chase away the Congress leaders, who were coming to villages to seek votes in Lok Sabha elections since they had failed to keep any poll promises they made during the assembly elections.

He asked what happened to the promises made to farmers. Under Rythu Bharosa, farmers were promised annual financial assistance of Rs 15,000 per acre against Rs10,000 under the Rythu Bandhu scheme of the previous government.

He recalled that Congress had also promised waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh and 24-hour power supply. He claimed that the power supply had come down to 14 hours.

The opposition also slammed Congress for making excuses by presenting a white paper on state finances.

BRS working president K. T. Rama Rao alleged that the Congress fooled people by making impractical promises.

"Do you calculate and then make promises or you make promises and then do the math," he asked the government on collecting data relating to finances to implement six guarantees.

Calling the white paper a "pack of lies", the BRS alleged that Congress is trying to escape from six guarantees.

In the vote-on-account Budget for 2024-25, the government allocated Rs.53,196 crore to implement guarantees.

"The six guarantees comprise 13 major promises, and to implement them, at least Rs 1.25 lakh crore is needed but the government allocated only Rs 53,000 crore, which shows the government is not sincere," said Rama Rao.

He mentioned that the scheme of giving Rs 2,500 per month to all women under the Mahalakshmi guarantee alone would require Rs 50,000 crore.

He asked what happened to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's promise to waive Rs 2 lakh loans within two days of coming to power.

He also asked what happened to the guarantee that in the first Cabinet meeting, the six guarantees will be given Constitutional validity.

Telangana BJP president and Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy said that the Congress has no ethical right to seek votes from people as it has failed to implement the promised guarantees to various sections of people during the Assembly elections.

He alleged that Chief Minister Revanth Reddy is coming out with new excuses to delay the implementation.

"Revanth Reddy is now talking about implementing the guarantees only if the party wins all 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state and Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister. He knows that this is not going to happen," the Telangana BJP president said.

There is a mixed opinion among people over the implementation of six guarantees. While some are hoping the government will keep its word, others believe it has failed to deliver.

Since the Congress government immediately launched the free bus travel scheme and despite the initial challenges, successfully implementing the same, this has to some extent helped create a positive environment for the party.

As the only condition for availing the scheme is that women should show their Aadhaar cards, families are happy over saving on travel expenses.

"We are not only availing free travel facility in TSRTC buses, our application for free electricity has also been accepted. We believe that there are genuine difficulties in issuing zero bills due to the model code of conduct and hope that the government will keep its word after the Lok Sabha polls," said P. Vasantha, an Anganwadi teacher.

"We are hopeful that the government will ensure implementation of other promises after the Parliament elections. Since this government has not even completed six months, let us give it some more time to keep its word," said T. Maniamma, a housewife in Chevella constituency.

Another woman Chandrakala, however, believes that the Congress government has failed to deliver on its promises. "The government should not further delay implementing the new schemes while ensuring continued implementation of existing schemes," she said.


Tags: BJP Telangana Congress BRS