‘It is realistic and the promises can be implemented with ease’

Seeking to woo voters with what is called a ‘responsive and responsible’ manifesto, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee sought to take on board all sections of society, particularly the families of martyrs, employees and the weaker sections.

The 45-page manifesto released by Union Minister Jairam Ramesh in the presence of TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, working president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, manifesto committee chairman D. Sridhar Babu and co-chairman Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, besides vice-chairman of campaign committee Md. Ali Shabbir, the Congress leadership termed it an agenda for good governance and vision for Telangana. It claimed the manifesto was realistic and the promises could be implemented with ease compared to the false ones made by the opposition parties.

The manifesto took sufficient care of the families of martyrs, announced bonanza for the government employees, sops to the students and youth and invited investments with special incentives to new entrepreneurs besides a spate of promises to the farm sector and the weaker sections.

Memorial trust

With an aim to pay back to the families of martyrs, the manifesto has promised a memorial park spread across five acres, a house, employment to a family member and ex-gratia too. A memorial trust in the name of Prof. K. Jayashankar would be set up with a corpus of Rs. 100 crore.

In a determined bid to woo the employees, the Congress leadership increased the retirement age to 60 years, treating the agitation period as on duty and announcing a special Telangana increment on the day the new State comes into existence. The same sops would be applicable to the RTC employees also. On the education front, the manifesto promises English medium in all government schools from LKG, provision for a glass of milk and egg daily and a pair of shoes for the student every year. Navodaya-like residential schools would be set up in each Assembly constituency. Paramedical polytechnics would be established in each revenue division. It also gave some concession to private educational societies with provision for establishment of a single institution and not a chain of schools. Private school staff would be provided residential accommodation at affordable rates.

For graduates, a one-time grant of Rs. 10,000 in the form of a voucher to cover skill development training would be given. The manifesto talks of assistance to one lakh unemployed youth in each district to either equip them to get employment in private and public sector or to be self-employed. Age relaxation for government jobs has been increased to 40 years.

Four industrial growth corridors would be established in the new State. All the growth corridors and district headquarters would be connected to Hyderabad with six-lane all-weather roads. The ‘Brand Hyderabad’ image would be safeguarded and protected, the manifesto says inviting new industrial entrepreneurs to invest with special tax holiday and other concessions for at least 10 years. The manifesto says centres for excellence would be established for SCs/STs/BCs and minorities at Hyderabad.

Mr. Jairam Ramesh said a State Advisory Council on the lines of National Advisory Council would be established to review the manifesto promised by the Congress party.