Promising Rs 5,000 a month for poor, Kharge kicks off Congress’s Andhra Pradesh poll campaign

PTI, Feb 27, 2024, 8:12 AM IST

Credit: X/@kharge

Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh): Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge kicked off the party’s election campaign for Andhra Pradesh at Anantapur on Monday, ahead of the upcoming state assembly polls and Lok Sabha elections, promising to dole out Rs 5,000 every month for eligible poor households.

Kharge termed the monthly dole a ‘Congress guarantee’ and a poll promise greater than the five ‘guarantees’ being fulfilled in Karnataka and the six being implemented in Telangana.

“This is not a promise, this is a guarantee. Like no other state in India, we are giving a promise for the poor. Every poor family will get Rs 5,000 per month into their accounts,” Kharge said, addressing the party’s first election campaign meeting, switching between English and Kannada, as the region has a significant Kannadiga minority and borders Karnataka.

Stating that Congress leaders feel ’emotional and anguished’ whenever Andhra Pradesh comes to their mind, Kharge asserted that the ‘state is close to their heart’.

Recalling that Anantapur district had produced two former presidents of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and N Sanjiva Reddy, and that the formerly undivided Andhra Pradesh had given former prime minister Late P V Narasimha Rao and former chief minister Late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to the country, the Congress President reminded the people that Medak Lok Sabha constituency had elected Indira Gandhi as an MP as well.

Kharge called on all the Congress party leaders to empower Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Y S Sharmila, the daughter of Rajasekhara Reddy, and bring glory to the grand old party in the state.

Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for targeting the Congress party in his speeches, Kharge asked why — if the party is weak as the Prime Minister portrays it — did Modi ‘attack’ it and ‘buy’ its MPs.

Criticising the PM for his constant jibes at Rahul Gandhi, Late Indira Gandhi and other Gandhi family members, Kharge claimed it is because Modi is afraid of them. “Modi doesn’t spare me also because he is afraid of the Congress president as well,” he added.

Likening Modi to a dictator, Kharge said it is everybody’s duty to defeat ‘fascist forces’ to save fundamental rights.

Reminding people of Modi’s unkept promises of two crore jobs, Rs 15 lakh deposit into everybody’s accounts, doubling farmers’ income and others, Kharge asked the people if the PM lived up to his words.

Moreover, he pointed out that the PM has raised taxes and the price of petrol and diesel, which has made everything expensive.

Launching a broadside at the regional parties in Andhra Pradesh, Kharge slammed Chief Minister and YSRCP chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu and Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan, saying they have ‘pawned’ Andhra Pradesh to Modi because they are allegedly afraid of him.

Sharmila, on the other hand, is not afraid of Modi, he asserted, saying ‘nobody should underestimate the Congress party’.

Highlighting the deprivation of funds and special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Kharge targeted Jagan Reddy and Kalyan for gravitating towards Modi and the BJP, without questioning these things.

Calling on the people to vote for the Congress to save their rights and protect the Constitution, Kharge also encouraged party workers to be strong and work diligently, from the booth level to the state level, to win the upcoming polls.

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