Sunday, 17 May 2009

Election 2009: Andhra Pradesh voters reject Telugu Desam's cash transfer, colour TV schemes - say they want development

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: People in Andhra Pradesh believed that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, by reelecting the ruling Congress for its development and welfare works and rejecting the Telugu Desam-led Mahakutami, which promised cash transfer and colour TVs. They also rejected film star Chiranjeevi, who floated Praja Rajyam with the promise of LPG cylinder for Rs 100 and household groceries for Rs 100 a month.

Voters believed in reality -- the schemes of the Congress already in implementation -rather than in mere promises -- cash transfer, colour TVs, highly subsidised groceries and cooking gas.

The Mahakutami or grand political alliance forged by the Telugu Desam with the support of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Left rolled out promises worth more than Rs 70,000 crore to the voters. They heavily banked on their poll promises of supply of free colour TV sets to families below the poverty line and a monthly dole of Rs 2,500 to all poor families in the State. The Andhra voters also rejected PRP's poll promises as impracticable. Chiranjeevi lost in native Palacole Assembly

On the other hand the Congress promised that it would continue with its schemes of Rs 2 a kg rice, free health insurance and free education for BCs and minorities in all professional courses. People believed the Congress as they are real but rejected the electoral promises of the Mahakutami though they are attractive.

"People did not believe us. Also we did fail to convince people on the feasibility of the cash transfer scheme. There were also bickering within the grand alliance. Though the Telugu Desam worked for the TRS and the Left, they did not work for us," said Kambhampati Rammohan Rao, senior TD leader, who chalked out the party's poll strategy and schemes.

The usually media savvy Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu went into a virtual hiding after election trends pointed to Congress victory. He remained incommunicado with media persons and party workers. The TD failed to impress upon voters both in the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly elections.

Like the TD leadership, the Praja Rajyam also decided to keep mum till such time it
recovers from the electoral shock. No senior PRP leader is available to the media.

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