On November 20, the Election Commission of India published the dates for the forthcoming Telangana Assembly Elections. The southern state’s elections will take place on November 30. The voting will be held across 35,356 polling stations in the state, with 14,464 urban polling stations and 20,892 rural ones. Telangana has a total of 3,17,17,389 eligible voters in the state. According to the official release from the Chief Electoral Officer, the voter base comprises 1,58,71,493 men, 1,58,43,339 women, and 2,557 individuals identifying as transgender. The parties have released comprehensive election manifestos as part of their campaign strategies. Their manifestos have outlined several pledges and commitments, laying the groundwork for an intensely contested election.
As a contesting party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised to provide ₹2,500/- as input assistance to small and marginal farmers to enable them to procure seeds and fertilizers. The party proposed to provide Rs. 3,100 MSP on paddy to ensure that farmers get maximum benefits. “Traditional Seed Banks” will be established to preserve and distribute traditional paddy and millet grains to organic farmers at subsidized rates. A specific Telangana brand of organic shops and stores will be established to trade organic produce and ensure remunerative market prices are realized. The BJP vows to resolve the Podu land issue and allocate pattas to all Podu farmers.
Along similar lines, the Congress party has initiated awaiver of the crop loan up to Rs 2 lakh. They have emphasized that the interest burden on long-term loans availed by farmers in the cooperative sector is to be borne by the state government. A market intervention fund of Rs. 5,000 crore will be set up. The party has focused on crop support for farmers, which will be enhanced from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 per acre under ‘Rythulu, Kaulu Rythulu, and Rythu Coolie Pathakam’. Under the Rythu Bharosa scheme of Telangana, farmers and agricultural labourers will receive ₹15,000 and ₹12,000 in financial assistance each year. A bonus of ₹500 per quintal for paddy above the minimum support price will be given.
On the other hand, Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), the current ruling party,focused on the‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme, in which farmers get Rs 10,000 per annum per acre; now the payments will be enhanced gradually to Rs 16,000 per annum over the next five years. The party also promised the farmers to remove restrictions on the assigned lands.
The BJP, on assumption of office, willstrengthen medical infrastructure and ensure that each district will have the required multi-specialty hospital. The party highlights the need to collaborate with the central government to construct four new ESI hospitals to benefit the working class.
On the other hand, the Congress party has promised free treatment up to Rs 5 Lakh for all diseases under the Aarogyasri scheme. A 20–30-bed hospital will be constructed in each mandal. The party has guaranteed to establish NIMS-level specialty hospitals and medical colleges in each district. The Aarogyasri Scheme will be reviewed to make it more useful for the poor.
The BRS manifesto proposes that under theAarogyasri health scheme, the party has promised Rs 15 lakh health insurance cover to all eligible beneficiaries under the ‘Arogya Sri’ health scheme, increasing it from the present Rs 5 lakh.
The BJP, on assuming office, will construct houses for all the homeless, leveraging the funds allocated under the PM Awas Yojana programme. House site Pattas will be given to the eligible poor in rural areas.
The Congress party promised that under the Indiramma Indlu scheme, a piece of land and Rs. 5 lakhs for the construction would be provided to the homeless and poor. The families of martyrs of the Telangana movement will receive the 250-square-foot plot. Under theGruha Jyothi scheme, 200 units of electricity are provided to all households.
The BRS party proposes that house sites be provided to the poor who have no house in the state. The current housing policy will continue. 1 lakh 2 BHK houses in Hyderabad will be built under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme. After returning to power, BRS will provide gas cylinders at Rs 400 to each ‘eligible beneficiary, and the state government will bear the remaining cost.
The BJP vows to expand the presence of all-women police stations and strengthen laws to enhance the protection of women in the state. The Government will pay a premium for the newborn girl child so that they will receive Rs. 1 Lakh at the end of 18 years and an additional Rs. 1 Lakh at the end of 21 years. The government has promised to provide 4 free gas cylinders per year to every Ujjwala beneficiary.
On the other hand, the Congress has promised that under the Mahalakshmi scheme, women shall receive ₹2,500 every month in financial assistance, gas cylinders for ₹500, and free travel in RTC buses. Financial Assistance of Rs. 1,50,116 will be provided for the marriage of poor girls. A special fund of Rs. 500 crore will be set up to transform women into industrialists.
BRS will provide Rs. 3000 per month to all eligible poor women under the Soubhagyalakshmi scheme. Separate buildings for Mahila Swashakti Groups will be provided. Under Aada Bidda Bharosa scheme, a fixed deposit scheme for a girl child at her birth, under which Rs 2 lakh can be redeemed when she turns 21.
Education & Youth
The BJP has promised to provide free laptops for college girl students and 10 lakh jobs for women for those pursuing degrees or professional courses. Besides, this party will ensure that employment is provided to 2.5 youths in the next five years in the state. It will abolish unconstitutional, religion-based reservations.
The Congress party has promised a Vidya Bharosa Card worth ₹5 lakhs to students for pursuing higher education and establishment of Telangana International School in every mandal (block) under Yuva Vikasam scheme. The manifesto also promises enhanced allocation to the education sector with 15% of the State budget.
Bhartiya Rashtra Samithi has emphasized upon building 119 residential schools for economically backward students across the state. Also, Minority junior colleges will be converted to residential colleges.
Once the BJP forms government in Telangana, it will, within 6 months, bring the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the State. Ensure zero tolerance towards corruption and provide Good Governance with the Modi Mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas.’
The BRS Party promised that the Aasara Pensions would be increased to 5000 with yearly hikes of 500. Implementation of orphan policy of Telangana government, taking them as State children. KCR Bhima Prathi Intiki Dheema to provide a 5 lakh Insurance Scheme for all BPL card holders with the government paying 100% premium. Pensions currently stand at Rs 2,016, will be increased to Rs 3,016 in the first year after the BRS returns to power, and then be raised incrementally up to Rs 5,000 in the next four years. Pension for the disabled is to be increased to Rs 6,061 per month in a phased manner.
The manifestos of the state’s three major parties, the BJP, Congress, and BRS, are competitive and aim to reach out to as many segments of society as possible. All three parties are pledging welfare measures for Telangana residents, which has pushed voters to the forefront of the election campaign. Voters around the state have a wide range of proposals from all parties to evaluate and decide on.