The two key contestants in this election, ruling Telugu Desam Party and the Opposition YSR Congress, have released their manifestos on Saturday, the New Year day of the Telugu-speaking people. The YSR Congress released its manifesto in the morning, while the TDP released its manifesto in the afternoon. The leaders of the two parties have released their manifestos after the ceremonial Ugadi celebrations.
The YSR Congress, as expected had come out with just 4 pages of its manifesto as it had been banking more on its nine promises (Navarathnas) that the party had been propagating for over one year. The new thing in the party’s manifesto was the universal health card aimed at providing free health care for the poor. Late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy became very popular among the masses because of this health scheme which had benefited thousands of people across the two Telugu States from 2004. Several people have survived from the major health issues only because of this scheme and he is remembered for this scheme, among others.
Jaganmohan Reddy is also banking on this scheme to give him power in the State. He had unsuccessfully fought the 2014 elections and this time, he is not prepared to lose it. Committed to power, Jaganmohan Reddy gave greater importance to the health care scheme in his manifesto. There are other welfare schemes listed in the manifesto and the amount required for them would cross the State’s annual budget.
The TDP too had promised many things and important promises include financial benefits to the farmers, women and youth. The free house for people below poverty line is the major issue for the TDP in this election, while the pensions, Annadata Sukheebhava and Pasupu Kumkuma continue to play important role in deciding on the elections.
Jaganmohan Reddy had blamed the TDP for making promises and not fulfilling them. He said that the TDP had made more than 600 promises in the 2014 elections and finally removed the manifesto from the party’s official portal as it could not fulfil them. He said he had made the promises which could be fulfilled unlike the TDP.
Chandrababu Naidu had accused the YSR Congress Party of not having any vision for the State. He said that the manifesto of the YSR Congress has nothing to claim for the State excepti making promises to the people. Now that the manifestos of the two key contestants is out, it is to be seen how the voters would take it in the April 11 polling.