Will these booth committees help TDP ?

The monthly stipend for the unemployed youth was one of the promises of the Telugu Desam Party in the 2014 elections. The youth were promised employment. A job for every family was the promise and “Job Kavalante Babu Ravali (If you want job, Babu should come back to power)” and “Babu Vastene Job Vastadi (Jobs will come only if Babu comes)” were the slogans.

Four years after the promise and a few months ahead of the next election, the TDP government had come out with the plan to provide stipend for the unemployed youth. The government proposed Rs 1000 per month. The youth would have to register their names online and the process is getting ready now. It might take a few months from now for the youth to receive their monthly stipend.

As the government is rolling out the doll, the Opposition is crying foul. Even the Left parties and their frontal youth wings have nailed the scheme. They allege that the TPD had come out with the plan only to help its activists in the election year. The AIYF of the CPI and DYFI of the CPM have alleged that the TDP wanted to fund its cadre for the election from the State exchequer.

Interestingly, Chandrababu Naidu had already started his election action. The members of the self-help groups in the State have been made agents of empowerment (Sadhikara Mitras), each one taking care of 35 families in their respective village or town. These women are almost made poll agents of the TDP as the Chief Minister is directly interacting with them once in a month.

Now, added to these women, the unemployment stipend is set to build the party poll agents from the youth starting from the election booth level. There are 44,000 polling booths in the State and the government wants to give this stipend at least for 12 lakh youth. This way, the TDP would be covering at least five from every booth, leaving the balance to the non-TDP youth.

Once implementation begins, the TDP would have a strong cadre base from the booth level on which Chandrababu Naidu wants to win the elections. Besides these two categories of people who are receiving the benefit from the government, the TDP also has a key set of people, who are acting as members of the Janma Bhoomi committees. It is these members who play key role in ensuring the government benefits, including pensions, to reach the people. The Janma Bhoomi committee members are for sure have been with the TDP for a long time and would play key role in getting votes for the party in the elections.

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