Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Botcha Satyanarayana has said that the results of the first two phases of the gram panchayat polls indicate that the people of the rural areas endorse the policies of the YSR Congress Party government.
The results of the second phase elections show that the candidates, who were backed by YSRCP, have improved their tally compared to the first phase, he said. “The polls are a reflection of the people’s approval of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s functioning. It has increased our responsibility towards them,” Mr. Satyanarayana told a media conference here on Sunday.
“Contrary to the claims of the Telugu Desam Party, we (YSRCP government) wanted postponement of the local body polls in view of the COVID-19 threat,” he said.
The Minister alleged that the voters had defeated the TDP in the 2019 general elections as Mr. Chandrababu Naidu had failed on all fronts. They elected the YSRCP and they were happy that we have fulfilled most of the promises made before the elections, he said. Mr. Satyanarayana said that the YSRCP was confident of greater success in the third and fourth phases of the gram panchayat elections.
Mr. Satyanarayana said that of the 3,328 gram panchayats, which went to the polls in the second phase on Saturday, 538 were unanimous. Of the remaining 2,787, YSRCP-supported candidates won 2,639, TDP-supported candidates won 536, BJP-supported candidates won six, Jana Sena Party (JSP)-supported candidates won 36 and other secured 108 seats. Results of a few seats were yet to be declared, he said.
Replying to queries, the Minister said that Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) relates to the self-respect of the people of the State and not just Visakhapatnam. While there was no denying the fact that VSP has accumulated losses, they could be overcome, if the Centre amended its industrial policy. He said that privatisation of the VSP in the name of losses was wrong.
He recalled that the Chief Minister had already written a letter to the Prime Minister to sanction captive mines to the VSP and convert interest on loans, taken by the steel plant, into equity to put it back on the road to recovery and profits.
Mr. Satyanarayana said that a delegation of MPs, under the auspices of Visakhapatnam MP M.V.V. Satyanarayana, had met the Home Minister in Delhi and sought continuation of the VSP in the public sector.
Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy and YSRCP MLAs were participating and expressing solidarity with those opposing the privatisation of the VSP. A resolution would be passed, if necessary, in the Assembly against the proposed privatisation of VSP, the Minister said.
To a query on municipal elections, he said that the State government was ready to hold elections, whenever asked by the Election Commission, as per the directions of the Supreme Court.