The former chief minister is hoping to woo back his main vote-bank after failing to meet their expectations during the last general elections.
Having announced a declaration to attract Backward Classes community in the next assembly elections the main opposition Telugu Desam Party has shifted focus to its erstwhile vote bank-woman of the State. Woman voters played a crucial role in Telugu Desam Party’s victory in 1994 and 1999 Assembly elections.
Party’s promises like complete ban on sale of liquor, `2 kg rice and Self Help Groups schemes like DWACRA (Development of women and children) acted as a crowd puller for the women in the State and helped the party defeat incumbent ruling Congress in 1994.
But in the 2004 general elections, the TDP faced a series of drought, could not fulfill its promises and consequently the same women voters played a crucial role in its defeat. Keeping these factors in mind party president N Chandrababu Naidu set up a committee on woman empowerment. The committee recently held a meeting and discussed problems faced by women across the State. It is also planning to visit various districts to personally take stock of the welfare programmes being implemented by the Congress government and identify loopholes in them.
“Many of the pro-women welfare programmes of the State have grossly failed to provide benefits to women. Majority of the women are denied pensions, SHG loans and other benefits. We will incorporate all these problems in our draft and announce our declaration for women,” party Mahila Morcha president Shoba Hymavathi told Postnoon. She further informed that Babu has novel idea of announcing a comprehensive health insurance scheme for women.
“State-run Rajiv Argoysri scheme is a big failure as far as women’s health is concerned. So we have decided to incorporate this comprehensive health scheme in our manifesto,” she said. The committee will hold a series of meetings with various stake holders including intellectuals to incorporate their suggestions and ideas. The committee is likely to submit its report in a month’s time.