The Congress has announced six guarantees if it comes to power in Telangana in what now is becoming an increasingly familiar strategy. Buoyed by its massive victory in next-door Karnataka earlier this year, the Congress has announced provisions for all — women, farmers, youth, statehood activists the elderly population and the homeless.
“I, along with my colleagues, had the opportunity to be part of the birth of this great state. Now it is our duty to take it to a new height,” said former party chief Sonia Gandhi while making the announcement.
“It has been my dream to see the Congress government in Telangana that will work for all sections of society. Are you all going to give us your support?” she asked the people.
Telangana was formed in 2014 when the UPA was still in power after Mrs Gandhi gave the assurance for the formation of a new state. The decades-long agitation was spearheaded by K Chandrasekhar Rao, who helmed the state since its creation and is hoping for a third straight term in power.
The biggest announcement is for the women in the southern state — the Mahalakshmi scheme — not only involves Rs 500 subsidised gas and free travel in state transport buses, it also includes a financial Rs 2,500 per month.
The scheme for farmers include the a Rs 15,000 annual grant, Rs 500 bonus for paddy crops and Rs 12,000 for agricultural laborers.
Under the Gruha Jyothi Guarantee, all households will receive 200 units of free electricity and under Indiramma Indlu Guarantee, those without their own homes will be provided house sites and Rs 5 lakh.
Those who held agitation for the Telangana movement will receive 250 sq yard plots.
The schemes for students and young people will include Vidya Bharosa Cards worth Rs 5 lakh and an International School in every district.
The elderly will get a monthly pension of Rs 4,000 and Rs 10 lakh coverage under the Rajiv Arogyasri insurance.
Most of the schemes top the state government schemes many of which are the best in the country.
Mr Rao’s government, for example, already pays Rs 2016 as pension, which is among the highest in the country. But they have said they may match the amount the Congress is offering.
The state’s farmer investment support scheme Rythu Bandhu gives Rs 4,000 per acre to each farmer in the growing season, but it is only for landed farmers and not the tenants or landless labourers.
The Arogyasree health insurance is already one of the best in country and better than the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat. But Rs 10 lakh cover is the higher limit.
The state also offers a fee reimbursement scheme for higher education for almost every category of students.
The KCR government also has a 2BHK housing scheme.