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Telangana Congress faces uphill task to implement six guarantees

With just three weeks to go for 100-day deadline for implementation of six guarantees, the Congress government in Telangana faces an uphill task in fulfilling the poll promises. In more than 70 days since coming to power, the party could implement only two promises, which were part of six guarantees.

With eyes on forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy has announced that two other promises will be implemented within a week. However, identification of beneficiaries from 1.29 crore applicants and rolling out other promises which are part of six guarantees pose a huge challenge for the government.

There are 13 key promises which form part of guarantees on which Congress contested the Assembly polls. Implementation of these promises require over Rs 1 lakh crore every year.

Also Read: Telangana Congress gets boost ahead of LS polls

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy on Wednesday announced that the promises for 200 units of free electricity to every household and cooking gas cylinder for Rs 500 will be implemented within a week.

The Congress plans to invite Priyanka Gandhi to launch the two schemes. The event is also likely to mark the launch of party’s campaign for Lok Sabha elections.

Revanth Reddy also announced that Rythu Bharosa will be implemented from March 15. Under this scheme, the Congress had promised annual investment support of Rs 15,000 per acre for farmers, up from Rs 10,000 they were receiving under Rythu Bandhu scheme of the previous government of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS)

The Chief Minister made the announcement while addressing a public meeting at Kosgi in Kodangal Assembly constituency. This was first visit to his constituency after assuming office in December last year.

The announcements for implementation of promises came as the opposition parties have stepped up the attack on the ruling party for the delay in implementing the six guarantees.

Both BRS and BJP are looking to make this a key issue in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Since the 100-day deadline set by Congress leaders is ending on March 17, the ruling party is likely to come under intense pressure.

Monthly financial assistance of Rs 2,500 each for women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, financial assistance of Rs 12,000 per year for agriculture labourers, Rs 500 bonus per quintal for paddy crop above the Minimum Support Price (MSP), house sites and Rs 5 lakh for construction of houses for BPL families, monthly pension of Rs 4,000 for senior citizens and Vidya Bharosa Card worth Rs 5 lakh each for students are the other major promises made under six guarantees.

Immediately after assuming the office, the Congress had implemented its promise of free travel for women in the buses of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). It also raised the coverage under Rajiv Arogyasri (health insurance for BPL families) from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Free bus ride for women has imposed a financial burden of Rs 300 crore every month on the government. Soon after coming to power, the Congress government had released white paper on state finances to highlight what it called financial indiscipline during 10-year rule of BRS which pushed the state to the brink of bankruptcy. The Congress government inherited a debt-ridden state with total debts of Rs 6.71 lakh crore.

The BRS had called the white paper a ‘pack of lies’ and alleged that Congress is trying to escape from six guarantees it had given during elections. The Congress party, however, reiterated its commitment to implement the guarantees in 100 days. In the vote-on-account Budget for 2024-25, it allocated Rs 53,196 crore to implement guarantees.

“The six guarantees comprise 13 major promises and to implement them at least Rs 1.25 lakh crore is needed but the government allocated only Rs 53,000 crore, which shows the government is not sincere,” said BRS working president K. T. Rama Rao.

He mentioned that the scheme of giving Rs 2,500 per month to all women under the Mahalakshmi guarantee alone would require Rs 50,000 crore. State BJP President and Union minister G. Kishan Reddy also trained the guns on the Congress saying it came to power by making impractical promises and has failed to implement even one guarantee.

The Congress leaders, however, dismissed the allegations by the opposition parties and claimed that it is working to implement the promises.

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