Bengaluru, Nov 10 (PTI) The Congress seems to be using its entire might from Karnataka in Telangana, seeking to emulate its success there, with the party sending 10 ministers and 48 senior leaders from the state for election management to its poll-bound neighbour.
While 10 ministers from Karnataka have been appointed as AICC cluster in-charges, 48 other party leaders -- mostly MLAs and MLCs -- have been appointed as AICC assembly constituency observers for various districts in Telangana, which goes to polls on November 30.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who is also KPCC chief, are leading from the front in the election push in Telangana.
In fact, both leaders are currently in Telangana for electioneering, working for the Congress to emerge victorious in that state too, like it did in Karnataka.
In the polls held for the 224-member assembly in Karnataka in May this year, the Congress posted an emphatic victory by ousting the BJP from power, bagging 135 seats. The BJP secured just 66 seats and the JD(S) 19.
Ministers Dinesh Gundu Rao, Priyank Kharge, M C Sudhakar, S P Patil, K H Muniyappa, Krishna Byre Gowda, Shivaraj S Tangadagi, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Eshawara Khandre and B Nagendra have been appointed as AICC cluster in-charges.
Congress is also facing some criticism in Karnataka, especially from the opposition BJP, for deputing Karnataka ministers for Telangana "poll duty", and CM and DCM themselves getting involved in campaigning despite their own state facing a drought.
The saffron party has also accused the Congress government of functioning as an ATM for the party in poll bound states, especially in Telangana, by providing it the resources required to manage the polls and campaigning, calling it "#ATMSarkara".
Responding to a question on the criticism, Shivakumar before leaving for Telangana today, said: "Not too many, we have only deputed five to six ministers. Even during the BJP government, they had deputed." Also, about 40 Congress legislators have been deputed. They too will be going to Telangana for campaigning, he said. Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, however, has been asked not to go as he would be required in the state amid the drought situation.
"We will have someone else as an alternative for the Revenue Minister... About 40 legislators are going. Three or four of them are not going citing health reasons, but the rest all are going," the KPCC chief added.
Shivakumar, who had campaigned in the poll-bound state last month too, had expressed confidence that the Congress would form the next government in Telangana and implement its poll guarantees.
Highlighting the six poll guarantees announced by the Congress in Telangana, he had said that they are better than the five made by the party in Karnataka.
The six guarantees promised by the Congress in Telangana are: Mahalakshmi -- Rs 2,500 monthly financial assistance for women, LPG cylinders at a cost of Rs 500 each, and free travel for women on TSRTC buses throughout the state.
Rhythu Bharosa -- Rs 15,000 annual aid for farmers and tenant farmers, and Rs 12,000 for agricultural workers. Additional bonus of Rs 500 for paddy crop.
Gruha Jyothi -- Rs 200 units of free electricity for eligible households.
Indiramma Indlu -- Allocation of house site and Rs 5 lakh for people who do not have own homes. Those who fought during Telangana statehood movement to get 250 sq yard plot.
Yuva Vikasam -- Vidya Bharosa cards worth Rs 5 lakh for students; Telangana International Schools to be established in every mandal of the state.
Cheyutha -- Rs 4,000 monthly pension for the elderly and Rs 10 lakh insurance coverage under Rajiv Arogyasri scheme.
In Karnataka, the Congress's five 'guarantees' were 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), additional 5 kg of rice free for every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti). PTI KSU RS KSU ANE