BRS plenary to focus on wooing new voters

Hyderabad: As the BRS gets ready for its plenary on April 27 at the Telangana Bhavan to discuss the party's manifesto, the leadership is seriously considering the possibility of announcing new schemes, such as offering LPG domestic cylinders at lower prices, in order to entice voters who were not covered during the 2014 and 2018 Assembly elections.

During the plenary, which will be held with the main theme of securing 100 Assembly seats and achieving the party "hat-trick" victory, the BRS will discuss schemes to attract new voters, such as financial assistance for tenant farmers and agricultural workers, apart from offering domestic LPG cylinders at lower prices.

The party believes that lowering the domestic LPG price would help it gain the support of women voters, as the cylinder cost has surpassed ₹ 1,100, imposing a financial burden on the middle and poorer sections.

Currently, Rythu Bandhu benefit is only extended to farmers who own agricultural land. Tenant farmers and agriculture labourers, who number about 15 lakh, are angry about this. The party leadership believes that extending financial assistance to tenant farmers and farm workers help the party secure their support.

Additionally, the party leadership is getting survey reports on MLAs performance ahead of the plenary, and non-performing legislators will be given a "last chance" to change their ways. Party insiders said the BRS leadership will send a clear message to non-performing MLAs that if their performance does not improve by October, when the party plans to declare candidates for the Assembly elections scheduled for December this year, the party will be forced to look for alternate candidates.

The party's manifesto for the 2014 and 2018 elections was nearly the same. The 2018 manifesto vowed to keep the promises that were made in 2014, but with additional benefits for beneficiaries. Aasara pensions were doubled from ₹ 1,016 to ₹ 2,016 in the 2018 manifesto, while Rythu Bandhu was enhanced from ₹ 8,000 to ₹ 10,000 per acre each year. The Aasara pension age limit was reduced from 65 to 57 years.

Since all these schemes were already imposing a huge burden on the state exchequer, the party leadership was not keen to enhance the amount. It wants to implement these schemes as it is but wants to focus on other sections of voters who were not covered earlier. The party has been holding Atmeeya Sammelanams in all the Assembly constituencies with the party leaders and workers covering all villages and mandals since March third week and will continue till May-end. Feedback is being obtained from local and workers in these sammelanams on what people are expecting from the BRS in upcoming Assembly polls. The party will take these feedback reports into account while drafting the manifesto for Assembly polls.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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