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YSR to supply free power to farmers

By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
May 15, 2004 00:27 IST
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New Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy on Friday announced the waiver of power bill arrears and free power supply for farmers. 

The twin measures are expected to cost Rs 1,500 crore to the state exchequer.

In his thanks-giving address after his swearing in as the chief minister at an impressive ceremony at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad, YSR said that he was true to his promise to waive off the power arrears of farmers amounting to Rs 1,100 crore.

He said power would be supplied free of cost to farming community for their agricultural connections. The free power would entail a burden of Rs 400 crore on the state exchequer.

The new chief minister thanked the people for giving a massive mandate to the Congress both in the state and at the Centre.

"The Congress has a 120-year history. I work as a dedicated worker of the party. I will strive hard to mitigate the sufferings of all sections of society who were hit hard during the Telugu Desam Party misrule," he assured.

YSR asked the people to pinpoint any failures or mistakes on the part of the new government so that he could take corrective steps.

He alleged that the TDP government under N Chandrababu Naidu's stewardship had grossly neglected farmers, leading to spate of suicides. 

"My government will take every care to mitigate the sufferings of farmers. Hence, there should not be a single suicide by farmers under the Congress rule," he said and made a fervent appeal to the farmers not to resort to such extreme steps.

YSR recalled how in the pre-Independence era, severe famines hit the country and claimed the lives of lakhs of people in Bengal and other places.

When Mahatma Gandhi led the country to freedom, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru took over as prime minister and saw to it that there was no food shortage.

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Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad