YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday called upon the voters of Kuppam assembly constituency in Chittoor district to help defeat sitting MLA and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu in the next assembly elections in order to witness massive development on all fronts.
Since becoming the chief minister in 2019, Jagan for the first time stepped into Kuppam, considered to be the bastion of Naidu, who has been representing the constituency for the last seven terms.
Last year, the YSRC swept all the local body elections in Naidu’s constituency. It captured Kuppam municipality by winning 19 out of 25 wards, 75 out of 89 gram panchayats, 62 out of 65 block parishad seats and all four zilla parishad seats in the constituency.
“The people of Kuppam reposed their faith in the YSRC by voting for the Jagan government, which is implementing welfare schemes and against the TDP, which believes in looting. They taught a lesson to Naidu for cheating the backward classes,” Jagan said, addressing a public meeting after disbursing financial assistance to the weaker sections under the YSR Cheyutha scheme at Animiganipalle near Kuppam.
He said Kuppam had a large population of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and hence, the YSRCP should represent the seat. “Naidu, who doesn’t believe in social justice, has grabbed this seat from the OBCs. He always adopted a use-and-throw strategy towards OBCs,” Jagan said.
Stating that his party had acknowledged backward classes as the backbone of the society, Jagan said all the schemes being implemented by his government were aimed at uplifting the OBCs. “If the people of Kuppam elect local OBC leader of YSRC K R J Bharat as the MLA in the next elections, I will make him a minister and see to it that Kuppam is developed on all fronts,” he said.
Jagan explained how his government had taken up programmes for the development of Kuppam in the last three years, adding that the development was tangible in every field. He also announced the hike in old age pensions to ₹2,750 from ₹2,500 with effect from January and said it would reach the promised figure of ₹3,000.
Jagan said for the third consecutive year, 2.6 million beneficiaries received pensions worth ₹4,949.44 crores directly into their bank accounts. In all, the government awarded ₹3.12 lakh crores under direct bank transfer (DBT) and non-DBT, of which ₹2.39 lakh crore was given only to women, he added.
The opposition TDP reacted strongly to Jagan’s comments.
“Look at the way the restrictions were imposed by the police in Kuppam during the chief minister’s visit. The schools were closed, shops were forced to down shutters, RTC suspended its bus services and people from different parts of the district were forcibly shifted to his meeting, fearing the locals won’t attend his meetings,” senior TDP leader and former MLA Dhulipalla Narendra said.
He further said that if Jagan had the support of the people, there wouldn’t have been so many restrictions. “This was never the situation when Naidu toured any constituency when he was the chief minister,” he pointed out.
Narendra said Naidu had contested from Kuppam because the TDP was the party of the OBC and Naidu had enjoyed their massive support. “While Jagan contests only from Pulivendula dominated by his community and his group, Naidu had chosen Kuppam, where he had no backing of his community,” he reminded.
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