Andhra chief minister’s outreach to cover state

August 26th, 2012 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Polavaram (Andhra Pradesh) Aug 26 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has launched a mass outreach programme to ensure that the benefits of government schemes reach the people.

The real aim seems to be to counter the rise of the YSR Congress of Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, whose revolt has almost crippled the ruling Congress.

Chief Minister Reddy insists it is only development that he has on his mind.

“We are doing lot of welfare and development works in the state. Through Indiramma Bata our main focus is to see whether these schemes are reaching the people. It is kind of scrutinizing these programmes,” Reddy told IANS.

The chief minister was visiting West Godavari district, some 350 km from Hyderabad.

Reddy and his ministers travel to rural areas and interact with people. The team camps in the districts for three days and provides solutions to issues raised by the villagers.

Launched in mid-July, Reddy has covered four of the state’s 23 districts and plans to tour the whole state by the year-end.

According to Reddy, his team lists out an agenda based on issues specific to a particular district and he tries to sort these out during the visit.

“There are about 8.15 crore welfare programmes running in the state while there are 2.7 crore households. It means each household is benefiting from 4-5 schemes. This costs the government Rs.26,000 crore. We are analysing the schemes and wherever finetuning and change are required, we are trying to do that,” he added.

According to Congress workers, Indiramma Bata is an effort to reach out to people in the run up to the 2014 assembly election to be held along with the general elections.

But there is more to the outreach.

Reddy has taken a leaf out of the late Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy’s book. YSR, as he was known, undertook similar ventures during 2004-09.

The aim is two-fold: to create a public image for himself as he is seen as a leader without a mass base. More importantly, the chief minister needs to counter the challenge posed by YSR’s son, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

Recent by-elections which the Congress lost stunned the ruling party. The Congress government has been battling issues of corruption and the demand for a separate Telangana state.

No doubt, there are those who are happy with Kiran Reddy.

“It is good the chief minister is visiting villages and listening to our problems,” said Akula Dharma Rao, a beneficiary of a government scheme for farmers, in Polavaram district.

(Richa Sharma can be contacted at richa.s@ians.in).

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