NTR PRANGANAM (GUNTUR): Telugu Desam Party sounded the election bugle through its mammoth ‘Yuva Garjana’ held here on Wednesday, which also signalled the formal entry of filmstar and N.T. Rama Rao’s son Nandamuri Balakrishna into politics here on Wednesday.
The meet which witnessed a near-stampede situation in the enclosures surrounding the dais was also used by the party to unveil its youth policy named ‘YES’ (Youth Empowerment Scheme).
Rs. 50,000 crore
The scheme envisages several measures to provide jobs for the youth through allocation of Rs. 50,000 crore over a period of five years.
Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu who announced the scheme said that a separate ministry would be created to implement it.
Slew of sops announced at the meeting include loans at 10 paise interest rate, an unemployment allowance of Rs.1,000 per month to the unemployed, and free education for poor students among the forward castes.
Describing youth as a political powerhouse, he said positive change could come only through their involvement and expressed satisfaction over support from the youth to the party at a time when some defectors deserted it.
He also announced a Rs. 500-crore budget for the minorities with a 5 per cent reservation for Muslims if Telugu Desam Party returned to power.
On Telangana, he said the party would go as per the sentiments of the people and not force its decision on them.
Whenever the name of Nandamuri clan was invoked it met with rapturous response from the teeming crowds, who repeatedly cheered Mr. Balakrishna during the course of his address.
Mr. Balakrishna declared that he was taking up this political responsibility unable to tolerate the present situation in the State and gave a call to the youth to throw out the “corrupt Congress”.
He said his services would be available to the party and recalled that N.T. Rama Rao had given preference to the honest and efficient youth to enter the portals of Assembly.
Lashing out at the Congress, Mr. Balakrishna said when N.T. Rama Rao was in power he never encouraged nepotism.
The Congress rule was marked by atrocities on women, corruption, rowdyism, and terrorism.
“People today live in constant fear wondering when and where a bomb will explode,” Mr. Balakrishna quipped .
Harikrishna described the fight for power between Congress and Telugu Desam Party as the one between “adharma and dharma” and asserted that the Nandamuri clan would seek people’s mandate for upholding N.T. Rama Rao’s ideals for Telugu people.
Cine stars Kalyanram and Tarakaratna were also present on the dais adding colour to the event being described by party people as a clear indicator for their wresting power in 2009 Assembly elections.
A photograph of N. Chandrababu Naidu as Chief Minister and Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy as Leader of Opposition at the 125th year celebrations of The Hindu, drew appreciation from people at an exhibition put up by the Telugu Desam Party at the venue of the Yuva Garjana.
The event at Hyderabad was organised at the Shilpa Kala Vedika on November 27, 2003.
The photograph shows Mr. Chandrababu Naidu seated close to Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, N. Ram and Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, one chair away