Telangana celebrated the third year of its formation on Friday, with chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao triumphantly declaring it as India’s richest state with a record growth rate of 17.82%.
Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, still bears the scars suffered during the 2014 bifurcation. Its chief minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, adopted a more sombre note on the day – leading residents in a pledge to bring the truncated state back on the road to prosperity.
Addressing an impressive gathering at the Secunderabad Parade Grounds, Rao said Telangana had emerged as an advanced state after the bifurcation. “I repeatedly asserted during the Telangana movement that once our state is formed, it will be the richest in the country. The statements I made have been proved correct,” he said.
KCR, as Rao is fondly called, listed out the schemes launched by the government for various sections of the society. The government is spending Rs 40,000 crore on 35 welfare schemes, he said.
The chief minister announced two more welfare programmes on the occasion – a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for single women with no support, and the KCR Kit Scheme for ensuring the wellbeing of pregnant women and newborns.
He said the KCR Kit Scheme would provide monetary aid to expectant mothers from poor families, so they don’t have to continue working during advanced stages of pregnancy, besides nutritious food and post-delivery care. While pregnant women would be given a sum of Rs 12,000 under the scheme, they would be entitled to an additional incentive of Rs 1,000 if the infant turns out to be a girl.
After the delivery, the mother and newborn would get a ‘KCR kit’ comprising 16 items, such as clothes, baby soap, baby oil, baby powder, mosquito net, toys, napkins, diapers and a saree. “This would be a token of affection to the mother and her child,” the chief minister said, adding that the scheme would cover 2.5 lakh pregnant women across Telangana.
Besides this, KCR came up with a series of welfare measures for farmers, including payment of Rs 8,000 as input cost per acre for two crop seasons a year; uninterrupted power supply for agriculture; and provision of the minimum support price for crops. He also promised to promote hereditary professions such as sheep and cattle rearing, fishing, carpentry and stone-cutting.
“My ambition is to turn Telangana into the country’s number one state,” KCR declared.
At Vijayawada, the Telugu Desam Party government administered the Nava Nirmana Deeksha – a vow to rebuild the state into a prosperous one – to the people. “We have the capacity. All we need now is dedication and determination,” Naidu said.
The Nava Nirmana Deeksha programme will continue till June 8, when the government completes three years in governance.