‘Congress to consider giving 50 per cent seats to women to give them larger share of political power’

Enthused by the impressive crowds which braved the continuous downpour and swollen rivulets all along the route of the Indiramma Baata programme in Kurnool district, a cheerful Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, announced sops for core social groups such as minorities, women, farmers and self-help groups.

After an interaction with farmers at Deebaguntla and Panyam, women and minorities at Nandyal on Tuesday, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy enhanced the incentive for newly-wed minority couples to Rs 25,000 from Rs 15,000.

He said women would be given all-round support for their political, economic and social advancement. ASimilarly, farmers were given an assistance of Rs 42,000 crore through crop loans and all borrowers up to Rs 1 lakh were offered zero interest loans. Farm mechanization and drip irrigation were given priority by offering a subsidy ranging from 50 per cent to 90 per cent.

Mr. Reddy described the Srisailam reservoir as the lifeline of the State which provided water and power. The delayed inflows into the reservoir this year caused chaotic conditions, which were, however, settling now. Srisailam alone contributed 1,670 MW power and supported irrigation canals in all the three regions.

Polls to local bodies

The Chief Minister who avoided comments on his adversaries said the process of holding elections to the local bodies would be completed in three months. Also, the Congress would consider giving 50 per cent seats to women to give a larger share of political power.

Mr Reddy said a ‘mini-Jalayagnam’ would be initiated with an investment of Rs 16,000 crore to create an irrigation potential of 50 lakh acres in three years. He said Hundri-Neeva canal would pump water in a month to provide water to 15,000 acres this season.

Distributes assets

The Chief Minister, who reached Deebaguntla after a four-hour gruelling road journey due to vigorous monsoon, interacted with farmers at Deebaguntla and Panyam and with women’s groups at Nandyal. He spent nearly an hour with the women’s groups at the market yard in the town and distributed assets.