Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu has ‘scored’ a half century in making promises during his four months of padayatra with his latest assurance to the people of Vijayawada and Guntur that he will make them twin cities like Hyderabad – Secunderabad when the TDP returns to power.

Mr. Naidu has also promised that he will establish an information technology hub between Vijayawada and Guntur as they have immense potential in the sector due to the presence of a large number of software engineers.

The freewheeling assurances by Mr. Naidu have attracted sharp criticism from the Congress, particularly Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, that they are not implementable, but senior TDP leaders Y. Ramakrishnudu and T. Devender Goud told The Hindu that every promise made by their leader had been calculated in financial terms.

‘Feasible’

They said each one of them was feasible, but Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy felt over Rs. 3 lakh crore, nearly three times the size of the State budget, would be required to put them into practice. Mr. Goud also said a five-year term of the government was sufficient for their implementation in the present economic conditions marked by 18 to 20 per cent growth in revenues.

Mr. Naidu completed 134 days of padayatra on Monday, covering 2,005 km in 13 districts. He suspended the yatra for eight days in three spells due to sickness, death of K. Yerran Naidu and cyclone.

Promises made

The promises by the TDP president ranged from loan waiver for farmers, which was stoutly rejected by the Chief Minister, to honorarium for temple priests.

His assurance on allocation of TDP ticket to backward classes in 100 Assembly constituencies was widely acclaimed by Backward Classes organisations.

To various sections

In all, he made 10 promises to BCs, six to SCs, five each to STs and minorities, two to forward classes, two to youth and students, four to women, two to youth, five to employees and workers and six to welfare sector.

Free education

Strangely, the repeated promise of Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao to enforce free education in separate Telangana from KG to PG was also dished out by Mr. Naidu.