The Congress has announced six guarantees if it comes to power in Telangana, which is now becoming an increasingly familiar strategy. Buoyed by its massive victory in neighboring Karnataka earlier this year, the Congress announced provisions for all: women, farmers, youth, activists in the state, the elderly population and the homeless.
“Along with my colleagues, I had the opportunity to participate in the birth of this great state. It is now our duty to take it to a new height,” said former party leader Sonia Gandhi during this announcement.
“It was my dream to see the Congress government in Telangana which would work for all sections of society. Will you all extend your support to us?” she asked people.
Telangana was created in 2014 when the UPA was still in power after Mrs Gandhi gave assurance of formation of a new state. The decades-long agitation has been led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has ruled the state since its inception and is hoping for a third consecutive term in power.
The biggest announcement is for women in the southern state – the Mahalakshmi scheme – which not only involves Rs 500 subsidized petrol and free travel in public transport buses, but also includes a financial amount of Rs 2 500 per month.
The scheme for farmers includes an annual subsidy of Rs 15,000, a bonus of Rs 500 for paddy crops and Rs 12,000 for farm workers.
Under the Gruha Jyothi guarantee, all households will be provided 200 units of free electricity and under the Indiramma Indlu guarantee, those who do not have their own accommodation will be provided house sites and Rs 5 lakh.
Those who campaigned for the Telangana movement will be given 250 square meter plots.
The programs for students and youth will include Vidya Bharosa cards worth Rs 5 lakh and an international school in each district.
Senior citizens will get a monthly pension of Rs 4,000 and a cover of Rs 10 lakh under the Rajiv Arogyasri insurance.
Most of these programs outperform those in state government, many of which are the best in the nation.
Mr. Rao’s government, for example, already pays Rs 2,016 as pension, which is among the highest in the country. But they said they could match the amount proposed by Congress.
The state’s farmers’ investment assistance scheme, Rythu Bandhu, provides Rs 4,000 per acre to every farmer during the growing season, but this is only for land-owning farmers and not for tenant farmers or landless workers.
Arogyasree’s health insurance is already one of the best in the country and better than the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat. But the cover of Rs 10 lakh is the highest limit.
The state also offers a system of reimbursement of higher education registration fees for almost all categories of students.
The KCR government also has a 2BHK housing scheme.