Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had decided to increase the pension. In fact, the increase was 100 per cent this time. He had announced the increase of pension from the present Rs 1000 a person per month to Rs 2000. This increased pension would be paid to the beneficiaries from January itself and the doll will roll out from Pongal.
Increase of pension to Rs 2000 per month was the promise made by YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy and it was a major promise of Jaganmohan Reddy’s 2019 election manifesto. The YSR Congress chief had popularised his pension scheme among others in his Nava Rathnalu, during his historic 341-day long padayatra in the 13 districts. Even at the concluding meeting of the padayatra at Ichapuram, Jaganmohan Reddy reiterated the promise to hike the pension from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000, besides other issues.
The success of the padayatra and the repeated promise of Jaganmohan Reddy on pension seems to have influenced Chandrababu Naidu. This is the only reason for the chief minister to increase the pension three months before the next election. In fact, it was Chandrababu Naidu who had increased the pension from just Rs 200 per month. He had increased it by 5 times when he came to power in 2014. The pension hike was part of his Telugu Desam Party’s election manifesto last time. Taking the Rs 200 pension to Rs 1000 at a stroke was a big leap in the welfare sector and now this had gone to Rs 2000.
Chandrababu Naidu is leaving nothing to reach out to the people on the welfare front. This is perhaps for the first time that he is focusing more on welfare programmes than the development initiatives. He is connected to the IT and development issues more than anything and his focus had always been on the developmental issues. This time too, he is set to go for the next round of polls on Amaravati, Polavaram, airports, steel plant, IT promotion and new industries that have come to the State in the last four years. His team is working on preparing his election campaign with photos and videos of these works.
But, surprisingly, Chandrababu Naidu took a big leap from the developmental issues to the welfare issues. The pension hike now is a big change and it is to be seen if it works for him as it was borrowed from the opposition YSR Congress.