Pre-poll sop opera: It's raining freebies in Andhra | india | Hindustan Times
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Pre-poll sop opera: It's raining freebies in Andhra

It is populism at its best or worst! Direct cash transfer to the poor, distribution of free colour TVs, essential household items for Rs 100 and increasing the quantum of Rs 2 a kg rice and free power are only some of the doles announced by Andhra Pradesh's major parties like TDP, Congress and Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam in their election manifestos.Full Coverage

india Updated: Apr 04, 2009 18:52 IST

It is populism at its best or worst! Direct cash transfer to the poor, distribution of free colour TVs, essential household items for Rs 100 and increasing the quantum of Rs 2 a kg rice and free power are only some of the doles announced by Andhra Pradesh's major parties like TDP, Congress and Chiranjeevi's Praja Rajyam in their election manifestos.

Once seen as a poster boy of economic reforms, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu has announced perhaps the mother of all doles: cash transfer to the poor, in the party manifesto unveiled on Friday.Under the Cash Transfer Scheme (CTS), an amount of Rs 2,000 would be transferred per month to the account of every housewife of the "poorest of the poor" families, Rs 1,500 to the poor and Rs 1,000 to the middle classes.

Denying that the scheme is populist, Naidu asserted that it is aed at removing economic imbalances, providing food security and improving the general health of the poor.The distribution of colour TVs, too, is not populist but intended to enable poor people have entertainment and gain knowledge, the former Chief Minister said.