While on one hand, the huge success of the two-day YSRCP national plenary injected renewed vigour into the Andhra Pradesh main Opposition party’s leadership, on the other hand, it certainly sent chills down the spine of the leadership of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
The fiery tirade launched by the YSRCP during the two days of deliberations has put the ruling Telugu Desam party on the backfoot. “The people of the State will vent their ire and nobody can stop the brewing storm. YSR Congress is the future of Andhra Pradesh and the TDP will be blown away,” said YSRCP president Jaganmohan Reddy drawing a huge standing ovation.
Catching the ruling TDP off guard, Reddy announced a slew of pre-poll welfare schemes, which received thunderous applause from the largely attended party workers drawn from all the thirteen districts of the state. The meet resembled more like an election rally or a victory meet than a political party plenary.
Jaganmohan Reddy will lead YSRCP in the 2019 elections, but before that, emulating his father and leader of the masses Dr YS Rajashekara Reddy, Jagan, beginning October 27, would undertake a 3000- km-long padayatra “Anna Vastunadu” (Your Brother Is Coming) from Idupulapaya in YSR District to Ichchapuram in Srikakulam District. This decision literally put the state in a poll mood, clearly 18 months ahead of the 2019 Assembly and Parliament elections.
With a similar “padayatra” in 2004, the late YSR was instrumental in bringing Congress back to power in the state. It remains to be seen how this “mantra” will work for Jaganmohan Reddy. “This will take him closer to the people who are fed up with the TDP misrule. This will give him hands on ‘first-hand’ experience of the sufferings of the farmers”, said Purshottam Reddy, who came to attend the plenary from Nellore district.
An elated Jaganmohan Reddy, taking time off, introduced poll strategist Prashant Kishore to the plenary and did not have qualms about making his political intentions clear of ruling the state. “Yes, I have a desire to become the Chief Minister. I will remain in power for 30 years,” Jagan said amidst loud cheers. This is the first time Prashant Kishore popularly known as PK, is working for a political party in the South.
Reddy announced several schemes that primarily benefit farmers and are aimed at preventing farmer-suicides, monetary benefits to farmers, women and youth, if the YSRCP was voted to power in 2019. Another promise that got overwhelming response from the women party workers was introduction of total prohibition, in three phases.
The YSRCP chief announced Rs 50,000 to small and marginal farmers who own five acres or less of farm land. Notably, this amount will be given directly to the farmers and will not be deposited into the farmers’ bank accounts. This will be the highlight of the ‘YSR Ryuthu Barosa’ (Farmer’s Assurance Scheme) that will be implemented immediately after the YSRCP comes to power, Jagan said.
“Every eligible farmer will get these benefits irrespective of their caste, place, religion or political affiliation. They will also have the freedom to spend the money on any type of crop of their choice,” he said. A total of Rs 33,000 crore will be set aside for the implementation of this scheme which is three times more than Rs 11,000 crore being spent by Mr Chandrababu Naidu in the three years of his tenure, Jagan said to the waving party workers.
He also announced a Calamity Relief Fund with a corpus fund of Rs 2,000 crore and a Price Stabilization Fund with an amount of Rs 3,000 crore. The Calamity Relief Fund will help the farmers tide over unforeseen calamities such as drought or floods. Measures will be taken to help the farmers reduce the input cost and also provide them with minimum support price for their produce, he said.
Senior leaders of the party termed the welfare schemes “navaratnas” as they touched the farmers, DWACRA women, students, senior citizens, pensioners, “jala yagnam”, rural artisans, fee reimbursement, prohibition and health. This meet coincided with the 68th birth anniversary celebrations of former Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh, YS Rajasekhar Reddy.
Senior party leaders opined that YSR is the only Chief Minister who remained in the hearts of people even after 8 years of his death and YS Jagan is keen to bring back the Golden Era “Rajanna Rajyam” (YSR Rule) and added that people of Andhra Pradesh are looking forward to dump the TDP government.
Earlier, Jaganmohan Reddy was unanimously elected national president of the YSR Congress Party. His mother and honorary president of YSRCP Mrs Vijayalakshmi and sister Sharmila participated in the plenary.
By Samuel Tatikonda from Amaravathi