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Telangana polls: Scooters for girls, aid for SC/ST families on new list of Congress promises
These promises are in addition to the six guarantees unveiled by the party in the poll-bound state last month
The Congress party has promised that if voted to power in Telangana, girl students above the age of 18 will be given electric scooters while Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) families will be provided financial assistance of Rs 12 lakh each.
Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi made the announcements at a public meeting in Mulugu on Wednesday while launching the party’s campaign for next month’s assembly elections. These promises are in addition to the six guarantees unveiled by the party last month.
Priyanka and her brother, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, were both present at Mulugu where they addressed a campaign rally and led the 'Vijaya Bheri Yatra' from Ramappa Temple to Ramanujapuram village.
Under the Ambedkar Abhaya Hastham scheme, an assistance of Rs 12 lakh each will be provided to SC ST families. This appears to be on the lines of the Dalit Bandhu scheme of the BRS government, under which it claims to be providing a grant of Rs 10 lakh to every Dalit family.
Priyanka Gandhi also announced that reservation for SCs will be increased to 18 per cent and for STs to 12 per cent. Under the Indiramma Pucca House scheme, landless SC and ST families will get land and Rs 6 lakh to build houses. Every Adivasi gram panchayat will be provided with assistance worth Rs 25 lakh.
She reiterated that 2 lakh job vacancies will be filled within a year, while the unemployed will be paid Rs 4,000 as monthly allowance. A government job will be provided to families of Telangana martyrs.
The Congress leader said a special Gulf Cell will be created to help youth secure employment opportunities in Gulf countries. She appealed to people to cast their votes wisely for a good future for their children, and to realise the dreams for which the state of Telangana was formed.
Recalling BRS party’s promise of Bangaru Telangana, she said the party had failed to fulfill the people’s aspirations. “Where is social justice? Three out of 18 ministers are from the chief minister’s family and they hold 13 ministries,” she said.
The Congress leader said while backward classes form more than 50 per cent of the population, there are only three ministers from BCs. Referring to the issue of a caste survey, she pointed out that the recent survey done in Bihar revealed that OBCs, Adviasis and SCs form 84 per cent of the state’s population, but they don’t have equal representation.
“This is true of the entire country. We want a survey but they are silent. They don’t even want to count the numbers. They are afraid of counting, not to talk about giving rights,” she said, in a reference to the BJP-led central government.
Stating that the Congress has prepared a roadmap and vision for Telangana, she referred to the guarantees already announced by the party. She claimed that the dream of Telangana was a dream of development, jobs and social justice. “You trusted BRS in the previous elections and hoped that you will get jobs within your own state, have a secured future and there will be inclusive development,” she said.
Priyanka Gandhi said her mother Sonia Gandhi, who was the president of Congress party at the time, took a decision to create Telangana state despite knowing well that the party may suffer politically.
Stating that there are 40 lakh jobless youths in Telangana, she said BRS failed to fulfill its promise of providing a job for every family. “Today there are lakhs of vacancies but no jobs. There is corruption in recruitment,” she said.
The Congress leader also referred to the recent incident of suicide by a student in Hyderabad, and said it was unfortunate that instead of understanding youth’s pain, doubts were being raised about the cause of the suicide.
She slammed the BRS government for being hand in glove with the BJP and remarked that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was running the government by remote control.
Alleging that there are land, sand, mine and wine mafias in the state looting the people, she said the government was trying to protect these mafias.
Telangana goes to polls on 30 November, with votes to be counted on 3 December.