Hyderabad: Welfare schemes are playing a key role in the elections. This was proved in the recent Delhi assembly elections and the Telangana assembly elections held in 2018.
In “vote bank politics” state governments, particularly the regional parties that are in power, are giving top priority to welfare schemes.
In Telangana, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has introduced several schemes in the last six years. AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is also implementing several welfare schemes since the last eight months.
These schemes however are eating into nearly half the annual budget. Late Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy, when he was Chief Minister of the united state of AP, launched several welfare schemes and became known as the “father” of welfare schemes. Arogyasri, free treatment to poor people in corporate hospitals, fee reimbursement, free power to the farm sector, and loan waiver for farmers are some of the important schemes introduced by YSR.
These schemes continue in both Telugu states. They helped Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy retain power in the 2009 assembly polls. During the YSR regime every family in the state benefited from government schemes.
The popularity of these schemes impelled state governments to announce welfare schemes even when the financial position of the state was poor.
In the 2018 Telangana assembly elections, pensions and the Rythu Bandhu scheme played an important role in the TRS retaining power.
In the name of Navaratnalu, AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is implementing several schemes.
Not all welfare schemes have an impact on people. For the schemes to have a lasting impact, they must be free of the usual corruption. For example, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal introduced some welfare schemes just five months before the elections and they helped him return to power this week as they were effective schemes from which people actually benefited.
Before the assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu introduced welfare schemes such as Pasupu-Kumkuma, and investment subsidy to farmers on the lines of Rythu Bandhu, but the people did not believe him and he was defeated in the election.
According to official records, in the last eight months, the Andhra Pradesh government has spent `14,795 crore on several welfare schemes benefiting approximately 1.5 crore people. Telangana State Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had introduced around 450 welfare schemes for various sections of society during his previous tenure between 2014 and 2018.
Among them there are some individual benefit schemes such as Rythu Bandhu, Aasara pensions, Kalyana Lakshmi, Shaadi Mubarak and KCR kits....