Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
The Congress-led people's front in Telangana is trying its best to win public confidence by announcing various schemes. Naturally, there arises a question as to how many of their promises would possibly be implemented. The Congress party, which has been criticizing the TRS for making tall promises in its manifesto, appears to have followed suit. There was criticism that the TRS copied its manifesto from that of the Congress. For example, the Congress objected to the TRS's announcement of Rs 3,016 unemployment allowance and Rs 2016 pensions after it had announced Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 for the same.
On the other hand, the Mahakutami or grand alliance, seems to have drawn a parallel to the TRS's copying exercise with the inclusion of the Rs 10,000 financial assistance to the farmers. However, the parties did not clarify on the total expense and the time duration for implementation of these schemes. The Elections Commission, which claims to be verifying the political claims made during elections, appears to be turning a blind eye to the manifestos, much to the voters' suffering.
The Congress party, which announced farm loan waiver of Rs 2 lakh at a stretch, has in the past criticized the TRS for delaying the Rs 1 lakh waiver for four installments. Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his public meetings across various poll-bound States is making promises of loan waivers within 10 days from coming to power. One wouldn't understand if he is making the claims with a hidden agenda or out of innocence.
Taking into account the past experiences in various States, it is clear that the parties, be it TRS, BJP or Congress, are making the promises only in political interest but not in public interest. One issue that has not been addressed by the people's front is the issue of Mallanna Sagar land pooling and the Kaleshwaram project. Will they continue the construction of the project? Or would they go for the redesign of Pranahitha-Chevella project?
Although the TDP is now a friendly party to the Congress, Chandrababu Naidu in his capacity as the AP CM wrote letters to the Centre opposing Telangana's irrigation projects. The Congress, TJS and the CPI are yet to give their opinion on the issue.
It appears that the alliance partners agreed on appointing Prof Kodandaram as the Chairman of a statutory body for implementation of the Common Minimum Program (CMP), but they failed to respond to the comments being made by KCR.
The public perception that the Congress-TDP alliance is an opportunistic development by both the parties is undoubtedly unavoidable. Whether the Congress's manifesto serves as a fitting reply to KCR's comments is doubtful.