Ahead of the local body elections, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu has released ‘Palle Pragati ki Pancha Sutralu’, a five-point agenda for development of villages.
Safe drinking water, security and assurance of peace, developing model villages, self-reliance and reducing the property tax and extending civic services in all villages are the five plans announced by the TDP chief.
In an apparent bid to counter the State government’s announcement of monetary incentives to the Gram Panchayats where elections are unanimous, the former Chief Minister listed out the funds that would be at the disposal of the local bodies directly. He also cautioned the people on possible ‘atrocities of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP)’ if the elections were unanimous.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Mr. Naidu said that the TDP’s five plans would focus on the development of villages. Each of the 15,000 panchayats would get ₹70-80 lakh under the NREGA scheme directly from the Centre. Also, the Finance Commission funds were being directly given to villages. If the villagers would elect efficient leaders, all these funds would be used in an effective manner for their overall development. The YSRCP had even ‘diverted NREGA funds and started harassing’ the sarpanches who carried out works, he said.
Stating that the ‘Pulivendula type one-sided polls’ would not be allowed in the rest of the State, Mr. Naidu alleged that the Ministers and YSRCP MLAs and leaders were resorting to ‘intimidation and physical attacks’ to force unanimous elections in the State.
The YSRCP leaders had a hidden agenda behind their so-called call for ‘unanimous elections’. The TDP, however, was leaving it to the wisdom of the voters to elect efficient leaders as panchayat sarpanches who would bring real development in their villages, Mr. Naidu said.