The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday announced a basic outline of its manifesto for the upcoming elections in the state, with caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao holding a three-hour long meeting with the party's Manifesto Committee at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, KCR said, "We discussed several issues pertaining to the people. We took into consideration what the people want and what their main demands were. Instead of looking for votes, we took a rational approach and saw what the need of the hour is. Whatever we promise, we will fulfill."
Highlighting the achievements of his government, he also lashed out at opposition parties, saying, "Whatever people say, we are the ones who fought for Telangana."
For farmers, KCR said that the TRS would waive off agricultural loans worth Rs 1 lakh while adding that it would increase the incentive under the 'Rythu Bandhu' scheme to Rs 10,000 per acre of land. A recently-launched flagship scheme of the government, Rythu Bandhu gives farmers an incentive of Rs 4,000 for each acre of land as investment for the crop.
The TRS also promised to promote food processing units with the help of subsidies, which it claimed will also indirectly help farmers. "To stop adulteration, we'll engage women in the food processing industry. Every constituency will have a food processing unit," KCR said.
Speaking about the Aasara Pension scheme, a welfare scheme which provides pension to certain sections of the society, KCR said that close to 40 lakh people were already benefiting under the programme. "We'll decrease the age limit to 57. This will result in 8 lakh more people getting added to the scheme. The cost will increase, but we will bear it. Pension amount will also increase from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,016. Meanwhile, for people with disabilities, the amount will be increased to Rs 3,016 from Rs 1,500," KCR said.
The caretaker CM also said that a 'growth engine' would be established for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people in the state and an amount of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore for the same. He also assured that a corporation would be set up for the Reddy and Vyshya community.
He also said that after further discussion, the TRS would come out with a more detailed manifesto.
The state Legislative Assembly was dissolved on September 6 after Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan accepted a recommendation by the state cabinet. Immediately after meeting the Governor, KCR met with reporters at Telangana Bhavan on the same day and released a list of 105 TRS candidates. What was especially seen as a political gamble, was the party chief's decision to renominate almost all sitting MLAs.
While the TRS won 63 seats out of the total 119 in the Legislative Assembly during the 2014 elections, it presently has close to 90 MLAs in its party after a series of defections. There has been some infighting within the party since the announcement of the candidates, and KCR's son and caretaker Minister KT Rama Rao has been put in charge internally to pacify all agitated leaders.
The elections for the 119-member Legislative Assembly is scheduled to be held on December 7 and the counting will take place on December 11.