‘Party victory in Himachal Pradesh and increase in votes in Gujarat in the recent polls proved it’

The victory of the Congress in Himachal Pradesh and increase in vote share in Gujarat was an indication of approval of the public to the policies of the Congress party, particularly nod for FDI in the retail sector, said Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana.

Mr. Satyanarayana, who came to Vijayawada on Thursday to call on Rajya Sabha member K.V.P. Ramchandra Rao who lost his mother at Ampapuram village near here recently, addressed a press conference at Andhra Ratna Bhavan, the Congress party office. The PCC president said that allowing FDI in the retail sector was opposed by several allies of the Congress party itself, but the outcome of the polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh clearly showed that it had the approval of the people.

He said the primary objective of the Cash Transfer Scheme was to ensure that the entire benefit of the Central welfare schemes went to the beneficiaries. Mr. Satyanarayana recalled the remarks of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who said that only 15 per cent of the funds earmarked for welfare were reaching the beneficiaries at the grassroots level. More recently, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi also said that a lot of the funds allocated by the Central government for welfare schemes were not reaching the beneficiaries. These factors made the UPA government to introduce the cash transfer scheme, he said.

Asked about the power surcharge that had become a burden on the common man, the PCC president said that a brainstorming session was going on in the party on the subject and a decision would be taken on it soon.

Asked if the all-party meeting on Telangana in Delhi would put an end to the separate statehood issue, Mr. Satyanarayana said that he hoped it would be the last meeting because the burning issue was affecting the economy and development of the State.

Dig at Naidu

Calling former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu a ‘Pagativeshagadu’ (streetplay artiste), he alleged that the TDP leader neglected the common man and the poor in his nine-year rule helping only the rich and the influential. There was no meaning in undertaking ‘padayatras’ now, he said.

About YSR Congress leaders, Mr. Satyanarayana said that they had no knowledge about the schemes being implemented in the State. “They are promising to the people the schemes that are already being implemented,” he said.

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