Sunday, Aug 22, 2004
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By Our Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD, AUG. 21. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Saturday said that the 100-day rule of the Congress had been "lacklustre" and marked by "nepotism, vindictive approach, chaotic administration, deteriorating law and order and encouragement to corruption."
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, the TDP president, N. Chandrababu Babu Naidu, said the Congress leaders made a lot of "impractical promises" before elections and after coming to power. But the 100-day rule has been "anti-poor" with "total neglect" of the welfare of weaker sections. On the agricultural front too, the Government washed its hands off other programmes except giving free power. The suicide by farmers held a mirror to the ill-considered decisions taken by it.
He said development had been derailed and prices of essential commodities had skyrocketed.
Charging the Congress with unleashing "political vendetta" in order to "destabilise and liquidate" the opposition TDP, he said so far 24 party functionaries were killed and attacks on TDP cadres took place in 119 villages. He asserted that TDP would "fight it out" and not be cowed down by such attacks. He said the political attacks took place with the "connivance" of police and urged them to act "fairly and conscientiously."
"We are in a democracy and not in a dictatorship," he remarked.
`Helpline a farce'
Mr. Naidu alleged that 1,074 farmers had committed suicide and 60 weavers died of starvation since the Congress came to power though the Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, had stated that no farmer would be allowed to end his life. He said the helpline started by the Government was a "farce" and the moratorium on repayment of loans availed from private moneylenders had demolished the credit structure in rural areas. Farmers were also not getting loan from banks.
In spite of good rain, the Government had failed to provide adequate power and subsidy on seed. After promising 90 per cent for drip and sprinkler irrigation projects, the Government changed it to 50 per cent and was now talking of restricting it to only drought-hit mandals.
`Neglect of poor'
After raising the hopes of the poor in a big way during elections, the Congress neglected them and drastically reduced the budgetary allocations for SCs, STs and BCs, Mr. Naidu charged.
He said BC students were forced to take to streets after scholarship amounts were not released for them. The decision of the previous TD Government to waive power dues for SCs and STs was revoked and the surcharge also was being collected, he said.
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