Hyderabad, Oct 29 (IANS) Telangana’s ruling party Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has not promised any new schemes for the backward classes in its election campaign but it has assured that the ongoing schemes for their welfare will continue if the party is voted to power for a third consecutive term.
The BRS announced its candidates in August, more than 45 days before the announcement of the poll schedule. The list of candidates announced for 115 out of 119 Assembly seats had 23 candidates from the backward classes.
The BRS has given a lion’s share to the Reddy community. Barring changes in 6-7 constituencies, KCR’s party has retained the sitting MLAs.
While focusing on the achievements of the last 9 years, the BRS is seeking votes with the promise to continue the existing schemes for various sections of the population.
The BRS in its manifesto made certain promises to match the freebies promised by the Congress party.
Financial assistance of Rs.3,000 to poor women, cooking gas cylinder for Rs.400, Rs.5 lakh insurance for every Below Poverty Line (BPL) family, increase in social security pensions and enhancement of investment support to farmers are among the major promises made by the BRS.
Social security pension for various categories of beneficiaries under Asara pension will be increased to Rs.5,000 in five years from the present Rs.2,016. After March, 2024, the pension amount will be increased to Rs.3,016 and it will be enhanced every year for taking it to Rs.5,000 in the fifth year.
KCR also announced an insurance scheme for all BPL families. The ‘KCR Bima’ scheme will cover 93 lakh BPL families. For every family, the government will pay a premium of Rs. 3,600 to Rs 4,000 to the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). Under the scheme Rs.5 lakh insurance will be paid to the beneficiary family in the event of the death of the head of the family.
He also announced that one residential school in every constituency will be established for the poor among the upper castes.
There were no specific promises for BCs, SCs, STs and minorities. The party merely said the existing schemes will continue.
Its leaders say that despite being in a majority, BCs were deprived of their rights in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. They claimed that after the formation of Telangana state, unexpected changes occurred in the lives of BCs.
“The schemes introduced by the Telangana government to provide direct benefits to every caste in the backward communities have contributed to a qualitative change in the BC castes. With the schemes brought by the state government under the leadership of KCR, BCs are achieving better results socially, economically and educationally. With the schemes brought by the government, the traditional occupations practiced by the BC communities are financially growing and every village is self-sufficient,” says the government note released recently on the occasion of Telangana decennial celebrations.
As part of the decennial celebrations, the BRS government launched the BC Bandhu scheme to extend Rs 1 lakh financial assistance to BCs dependent on caste-based professions.
However, the implementation of the scheme ran into problems. The opposition parties alleged that the scheme is benefiting only those close to the ruling party.
BRS leaders say the government is already implementing a slew of schemes for BCs. In addition to post-matric scholarships to BC students and pre-matric scholarships to day scholars, the government is also implementing the overseas Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Vidya Nidhi scheme under which a scholarship of Rs 20 lakh per student is being given to pursue higher education abroad. For this, the government has provided scholarships worth Rs 304.56 crore to 1987 students by May 2023.
The state government also launched schemes to help caste-based professions. It rolled out a programme to distribute sheep to the Yadavs with 75 per cent subsidy, aiming to strengthen their economic status and revive the rural profession.
The government introduced fish farming in ponds for the employment of Besta and Mudirajas.
It also decided to construct self-respect buildings for the people of Golla, Kuruma, Rajaka, Nayi Brahmin and Shalivahana communities which are considered as BC castes. These buildings are used to conduct state-wide conferences for the people of the respective BC communities, to conduct marriages for the poor families of those communities, and to celebrate the programs of the BCs.
Residential schools, life insurance for weavers, restoration of toddy shops, welfare of toddy workers, free electricity to saloons to support Nai Brahmins, construction of modern laundry machines and dhobi ghats for washermen are among the other schemes being implemented for BCs in the state.