The Gulf Between Propaganda And Ground Reality Under Chandrababu   

AP Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy - Sakshi Post

Kovvada, East Godavari District: My Padayatra passed through Karukuduru, Achyutapuratrayam and Rameswaram, in Anaparthi constituency, before moving into Kovvada in Kakinada rural constituency, where thousands of supporters and well-wishers greeted me with a warm welcome.

Veera Veni of Tallarevu came to me holding her infant child.  She hails from an impoverished family of fishermen. At a time when survival itself was a challenge, her one-year-old daughter was diagnosed with blood cancer, turning her world upside down. The anguished parents ran around hospitals looking for treatment.

They took the child to see CMC in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, after realising that there was no treatment available here. They were shocked on being told that the treatment would cost Rs.14 lakhs. To make matters worse, they learnt that Arogyasri did not apply. They prayed and hoped that their child would recover.

When Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu visited Amalapuram, they managed to meet him. The chief minister approved Rs.10 lakhs for the treatment of the child and signed papers to this effect. Months have since passed, but the money is yet to be released to them. Meanwhile, the child’s condition is deteriorating with each passing day.  For them to apply to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, they do not have a ration card, they said. However much they tried to get a ration card issued in all these four years, their efforts proved to be fruitless.

On the one hand, Arogyasri did not apply to them and on the other, they did not get the money promised to them from the Chief Minister‘s Relief Fund. They don’t have a ration card to apply for help from the Prime Minister‘s Relief Fund and have been denied one for four years.

Crores of rupees are being spent from the state treasury on advertisements declaring a healthy and happy state, “Arogya Andhra Pradesh, Ananda Andhra Pradesh.” The deserving eligible whose money is being spent on this propaganda campaign, continue to languish in poverty and are denied what is due to them.

This morning, villagers from Koppavaram met me and said that as soon as the TDP government came to power, 75 villagers were denied their pensions. They went to court on the matter, but the government did not stop at that. It withdrew ration cards to 40 families out of pure vindictiveness. The villagers were furious with the Janmabhoomi committee members, who they said, were behind these diabolical acts. Their pleas to the district collector fell on deaf ears, they complained. They expressed their anguish saying that although the collector had promised a probe into the matter two years ago, nothing had happened in the matter.

Read: If You Have Fast-Tracked Progress, Why Is Your Manifesto Missing From TDP Website?

Chandrababu Naidu has been on a propaganda blitz after completing 1500 days in office. He has been saying that all ration cards had been issued and that pensions had been given to all eligible people. The reality on the ground is very different from his Goebbelsian claims. Existing ration cards are withdrawn and money from the Chief Minister‘s Relief Fund does not reach the most deserving of the weakest sections of society even after it is ‘sanctioned’. The shameful hollowness of his claims stands exposed in village after village.

Buli Mohan Reddy from Koppavaram complained that the TDP government was cheating farmers in the name of interest-free crop loans. Citing his own example, he said that he had borrowed Rs.30,000 from a bank as crop loan. Before a period of one year got over, he repaid the entire amount of Rs.30,000, he said. When he asked for the documents which he had pledged for his loan, he was asked to pay the interest amount first.  When he pointed out to them that this was meant to be an interest-free loan, the bank officials replied that the government had stopped paying the interest amount to the bank. “Anna, the government is making false claims on interest-free loans.“ saying so, he showed me receipts of the amounts which he had paid to the bank including the interest, along with the loan statement to prove how farmers are being cheated by Chandrababu Naidu in the name of interest-free loans.

I have a question for the chief minister—the poor and needy have been forced to go to court for ration cards and pensions. They have been running around government offices for years. Has this situation ever prevailed in the past? Is it not true that this is taking place only in your tenure? For how long will you continue to deceive the masses by issuing statements and advertisements that pensions and ration cards have been given to all the deserving people?

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