Chandrababu Naidu promises free bicycles to students

August 15th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 15 (IANS) Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu Friday promised to distribute free bicycles to all students in the state if his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) comes to power in next year’s elections. “We will distribute a bicycle to every girl and boy student,” he told a huge public meeting at Anantapur Friday evening. The meeting marked the culmination of his 116-day-long state-wide yatra (trip).

“A bicycle is more useful compared to a motorbike. It keeps one healthy and does not add to the pollution. With the rising price of fuel, a bicycle will prove more helpful,” he said.

Incidentally, the bicycle is the election symbol of the TDP.

Naidu covered a distance of over 10,000 km during the yatra aimed at galvanising support for the party in the run-up to the elections, scheduled to be held in March next year.

Exuding confidence that the TDP would come to power, Naidu made several promises to woo various sections of people.

He promised free electricity supply to farmers for 13 hours every day and alleged that the Congress had failed to fulfil its promise of daily seven hours of free power supply.

Naidu, while in power from 1995 to 2004, had opposed free electricity to farmers and had ridiculed the Congress for making the promise in the 1999 and 2004 election campaigns.

Going a step ahead, the TDP chief promised free cooking gas supply to every poor woman, closure of all small liquor shops, free education to students belonging to poor families and backward classes and Rs.1,000 as unemployment allowance to every educated person who was jobless.

Naidu announced that his party would field backward class candidates in 100 out of 294 assembly constituencies. He also promised Scheduled Caste status to Dalits converting to Christianity.

Coming down heavily on the Congress, Naidu said it had failed on all fronts and was neck-deep in corruption. Bitterly criticising Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Naidu said he had become a “slave” to Congress leaders in Delhi.

“He makes several trips to Delhi but this is not for people’s good but to carry suitcases,” he said.

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