The contentious issue – inclusion of textiles in sensitive commodities list figured prominently in Telugu Desam Party President N. Chandrababu Naidu’s ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ padayatra here.

Addressing the gathering here on Monday, Mr. Naidu said it was unfortunate that the Government has brought the textiles under sensitive commodities. The Government should withdraw it immediately in the interests of traders. “If the Congress failed to heed the textile traders’ plea, the TDP will de-list the textiles from sensitive commodities list as soon it comes to power,” he said.

The Telugu Desam Party would also do away with the Value Added Tax (VAT) on textiles, he assured traders. The Congress government was looting the people on all fronts. The taxes were increased abnormally. Let it be the motor vehicle tax or property tax. The VAT was increased to 14.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent. The diesel prices were jacked up by 22.5 per cent and petrol by 33.3 per cent. The burden of escalation in diesel cost alone is Rs. 2,500 crore. Needless to say about the burden due to increase in power tariff and surcharges, he said.

The prices of all essential commodities skyrocketed with steep rise in diesel prices etc. The Congress government  has utterly failed to control the rising prices. “And for that matter the prices of liquor also increased phenomenally. It was mere Rs. 20 per quarter sometime ago, and now it touched Rs. 100 per quarter,” he said.

Former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy inflicted huge losses to the State exchequer by formalising  corrupt deals during his tenure. The YSR family plundered the State to the tune of Rs. 1 lakh crore. Our State would have marched ahead of many others in the country if that money was spent on creation of infrastructure and other developmental works, he said, adding, “Unless you join hands to fight corruption  our lives remain like this forever.”

The turn-out for his public meeting and walkathon is mediocre if the fact that TDP district president Thota Sita Mahalakshmi hails from the town.