Special Correspondent

Rajagopal hits out at the Telugu Desam Party

VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam Party leader N. Chandrababu Naidu is trying to play a joke on the poor people with the cash transfer scheme, but the people are going to make a “joker” out of him, Congress party candidate in Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency Lagadapati Rajagopal has said.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the last day of campaign for Thursday’s election, Mr. Rajagopal said the draft application form says that the money is being extended as a “personal loan”. The applicants had to state the reason for which the personal loan was being taken, he said, flashing a copy of the application form printed in a vernacular daily.

Mr. Rajagopal said the Telugu Desam was famous for denying the poor benefits on such technicalities. The cash transfer scheme would be the worst fraud perpetuated on people on such a largescale and the Congress would fight it with its entire arsenal.

He said Telangana was not an election issue in 2004 and even in the present elections. But the people were going to reject leaders like K. Chandrasekhara Rao of the TRS who “thrived on hatred”. He said the size of the State mattered in a democracy like India. Uttar Pradesh had 80 representatives in Lok Sabha, and what voice would a State with just 20 representatives have in Parliament, he questioned.

Mr. Rajagopal said that the people would defeat the Left and TDP for forming an alliance with the TRS, the leaders of which have insulted “Telugu Thalli” in several ways. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was the sole champion of “Telugu Thalli”, he said.