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TDP neglected rural economy: YSR

Staff Reporter

`No interest was shown in taking up pending irrigation projects'

WATCHING WITH INTEREST: The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, going round a mango exhibition stall at Puthalapattu in Chittoor district on Wednesday. The Chandragiri MLA, Galla Arunakumari, is also seen.

NELLORE: The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, has charged the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government with having completely neglected rural economy and ignoring the farming sector.

Addressing a public meeting at Polireddipalle village of Marripadu mandal of the Udayagiri Assembly constituency, 80 km from here on Wednesday, the Chief Minister lashed out at the TDP "for not taking care of people" even though the State had suffered the worst drought conditions for eight years. Also the earlier regime had not evinced interest in taking up pending irrigation projects. On welfare of women, the Chief Minister alleged that they were `just used as tools of election'.

`Misuse of food scheme'

Dr. Reddy reiterated his charge that the TDP government had misused the Food-for Work (FFW) programme and described how the scheme intended to provide succor to poor sections of society `was looted by yellow shirts and contractors'. He said the food security scheme launched by the present Government would never allow any shortcomings and warned that usage of machinery in the works would attract severe punishment. He urged people to bring any such instances to the notice of the Government.

On his free power policy, the Chief Minister said TDP functionaries had ridiculed and commented that only empty power lines would remain there for drying clothes. Dr. Reddy told the TDP cadre that he had successfully implemented the power scheme for the last one year.

Regarding exemption of a few classes from the scheme and the exception taken by the TDP and BJP, he asked people present at the meeting to voice their objection, if any, to the proposal and they fully supported Dr. Reddy. The Government had asked the farmers to fix capacitors to save electricity which would ensure free power to more farmers, he said.

In his 30-minute speech, the Chief Minister asserted more than once his commitment to stay behind the weaker sections and to usher in `Indiramma Rajyam'.

He said a number of election promises made by the Congress were kept. Last year Rs. 1,200 crores had been allotted to DWCRA groups at 25 paise interest. For land development, Rs. 500 crores has been allotted.

On housing, the Chief Minister said his Government's intention was to build 40 lakh houses in five years, out of which 6.50 lakh houses were built during the last one year. For `Rajiv Yuvashakti' scheme to provide employment for youth, the allotments were hiked from Rs. 300 crores to Rs. 600 crores this year, he added.

Free farm connections

Tirupati Special Correspondent writes: In a significant statement, Dr Rajasekhara Reddy announced that his Government would provide 50,000 more free farm connections each year in the State. This is in addition to the 1 lakh connections to be provided each year under the Tatkal scheme, he said participating in the Grama Sabha and Prajapatham in Kotakadapalle village in Peddamandyam mandal, 165 km from here, on the Chittoor-Anantapur border on Wednesday.

Reiterating his Government's commitment to complete all irrigation projects as scheduled unmindful of the hurdles being sought to be created by the Opposition, Dr Reddy declared that work on the the Handri-Neeva project would be commenced at any rate within months.

Seeks feedback

In a bid to get feedback from the public on whether or not the farmers were getting seven hours power supply, Dr Reddy interacted with a few villagers and their response was at least not negative. He also told the district officials that complaints on water supply must be attended within 24 hours. Noting that as many as 306 water-starved villages in the district were being covered through water tankers, Dr Reddy said that if need be more villages would be covered.

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