Increased pensions which were one of the many welfare schemes that brought Telangana Rashtra Samithi led by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to power in the recent assembly elections in Telangana, seem to be the mantra for political parties in Andhra Pradesh as well.
Even as YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, as part of his Nava Ratnas, promised enhancement of old-age pensions from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per month during his marathon padayatra, Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu did not lose much time in announcing the doubling of pensions with effect from January this year.
The increased pensions has no doubt created some positive impact on the TDP prospects, as Naidu gave it a massive publicity.
Realising that Naidu has grabbed the advantage, Jagan hurled a big bouncer at the former by announcing that he would increase the pension to Rs 3,000 per month, if he is voted to power.
“Naidu has copied my promise made during the padayatra, but the people will reject his election gimmick. I am promising to hike the pension to Rs 3,000 per month and I will implement it in letter and spirit,” he said.
He reminded that those who tried to copy the schemes of others had bitten the dust in the elections.
During the 1983 elections, when NTR had announced that he would implement Rs 2-a- kg rice scheme, the then chief minister Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy started giving rice at Rs 1.90 a kg just six months before the elections.
“People remember what happened to the copycat chief minister who was trounced decisively and NTR secured a thumping majority. The same thing will happen in the coming days to the copycat chief minister Chandrababu Naidu,” he said.
In the recent Telangana assembly elections, too, the Congress party has promised to enhance the old age pensions to Rs 2,000 per month, but KCR won the elections again with a massive mandate!