Welfare schemes or election manifesto?

Welfare schemes or election manifesto?
Highlights

Welfare Schemes or Election Manifesto. A slew of welfare schemes launched in the past few weeks are beneficial to the common man, but many say that the real agenda is to swing votes

Which party benefits through GHMC’s welfare schemes?

A slew of welfare schemes launched in the past few weeks are beneficial to the common man, but many say that the real agenda is to swing votes

Both the Mayor and the GHMC Commissioner have embarked on a project launching spree. Be it the Rs 5 a meal scheme, which drew parallels with Jayalalithaa’s Amma Canteen scheme in Tamil Nadu; the She Taxi scheme, women driven cabs for women; safe water, manakuragayulu etc, they are aimed to generate employment, provide basic amenities etc. However, there are increasing voices that these schemes were launched with a clear political agenda. Many claim that these were launched to swing the votes for the election. The spree with which these projects are launched before the commencement of the election code, supports the argument

The much appreciated and lauded ‘Rs 5 a meal’ scheme was launched on Sunday. The scheme was titled ‘Fakhr-e-Millath’ in Urdu. The day also marked the 56th anniversary of the AIMIM. The launch cannot be just a coincidence. Apart from the scheme, the development of Qutub Shahi Tombs, Old City parks and cleaning of Mir Alam Tank etc. stands a testimony to MIM’s hand.

Of late, the Urban Community Development (UCD) wing of the GHMC has been hogging all the limelight. The ‘Rs 5 a meal’ (named Fakhr-e-Millath in Urdu) ‘She Taxi’, ‘Nagara Mitra’, ‘Manakuragayalu’, ‘Safe water’ and other such programmes, are aimed at the welfare of people. However, the department wasn’t like this earlier.

There was a misconstrued notion that the UCD was more like a “punishment department”. Until recently, the department used to be in news only twice a year -- on January 26 and August 15 -- when the department officials along with the Commissioner, handed over bank linkage cheques to women groups over various programmes. All these changed after Somesh Kumar took charge as the Commissioner. The department is unveiling welfare schemes one after another, literally every week!

GHMC loyalists attributed the transformation of the UCD to Somesh Kumar. They said that it was the Commissioner’s interest in welfare schemes that brought about the change. They even remarked that Somesh Kumar’s earlier stint as the Commissioner of the tribal welfare department had helped in bringing about these new changes.

Welfare schemes or election manifesto?

However, it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to decipher that the slew of welfare schemes and other related programmes announced by the GHMC has a clear political agenda behind it. With the election code of conduct inching closer, the Commissioner and the Mayor are leaving no stone unturned. They are on an inauguration spree and are launching welfare schemes. On Monday, at 8am the corporation inaugurated the ‘Drive and Own Your Vehicle Scheme” at its head office and at 8.30am, a foundation stone was laid for a swimming pool at Indira Park.

GHMC sources suggest that these schemes are a clear pre-election ploy to woo voters. “All the programmes are aimed at providing basic amenities; generate employment to people in slums, women and low income groups. The elections are near and these schemes will help in swinging votes,” they add.

But the question here is that which political party will benefit because of these schemes. When Somesh Kumar was transferred as the Commissioner of the GHMC, replacing MT Krishna Babu on October 23, 2013, the secretariat grapevine said that the transfer was a good move by the Congress party as elections were near and Somesh’s flair for welfare projects would help to bring in votes.

However, the recent developments suggest otherwise. It has been pretty evident that it was All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) that has benefited the most because of these schemes.

The much appreciated and lauded ‘Rs 5 a meal’ scheme was launched on Sunday. The scheme was titled ‘Fakhr-e-Millath’ in Urdu. The day also marked the 56th anniversary of the AIMIM. The launch cannot be just a coincidence. Apart from the scheme, the development of Qutub Shahi Tombs, Old City parks and cleaning of Mir Alam Tank etc. stands a testimony to MIM’s hand.

There was uproar at the GHMC’s general body meeting on February 24 that passed the budget for the year 2014-15, where corporators and floor leaders of TRS, TDP and BJP said that the budget was nothing but AIMIM’s election manifesto.

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