The YSRCP today invoked Mahatma Gandhi to justify the government of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s ‘social programmes’ after the Supreme Court expressed concern over the distribution of gifts by political parties. YSRCP leader V Vijayasai Reddy filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court defending the Jagan government’s welfare programs.
“It is reiterated that governments and politicians play a crucial role in facilitating socio-economic progress. It would not be out of place to mention that it was the declared goal of the father of our nation to wipe every tear from every eye. is the solemn responsibility of every elected government to work in this effort and until there is pain and suffering, the work of government is unfinished.In view of this enormous responsibility, elected governments who enjoy the confidence of the people and who are accountable to the people must be charged with the responsibility of effectively formulating and implementing programs to ensure inclusive progress,” Reddy said in the affidavit.
He said that it would not be appropriate to consider the initiatives of governments formulated in accordance with the fundamental principles of governance, enshrined in Part – IV of the Constitution of India, in areas such as education, health, women’s empowerment, agriculture, housing, poverty alleviation and support for the elderly and in need, in the form of gifts. “I argue that any committee formed should recommend ways to empower states to help them discharge their responsibilities more effectively,” he said.
Invoking Article 38 of the Constitution, he declared India to be the Socialist Republic. “It hardly needs mentioning that our country is a welfare state and that governments and Union and State levels are responsible for taking action to ensure that the egalitarian goals set by the framers of the Constitution are achieved. The State shall endeavor to promote the welfare of the people by ensuring and protecting as effectively as possible a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of national life “, did he declare.
“The State shall endeavor, in particular, to minimize inequalities of income, and shall endeavor to eliminate inequalities of status, facilities and opportunities, not only between individuals but also between groups of people residing in different regions or working in different occupations In addition, Governments have, among their fundamental responsibilities, the alleviation of inequalities in health and education, rural and urban disparities, etc. To achieve these goals , governments will necessarily have to incur substantial expenditure, which is revenue in nature, and the type and scale of intervention to effectively address fundamental problems and alleviate distress is that of the elected government,” he said in citing the constitution.
Reddy was quick to add, however, that programs devoid of any real purpose and implemented solely to attract voters should necessarily be labeled freebies.
“However, to paint the programs of great socio-economic importance that are being implemented to alleviate the current distress with the same brush is, to say the least, an insult to the constitutional mandate. Elected governments must be given the latitude to formulate interventions to determine their quantum and the duration of their implementation to achieve the desired socio-economic result, because it is the elected officials who have a real understanding of the ambient distress and the real reasons which cause it distress”, a- he declared.
The YSRP leader admitted that some political parties formulate and introduce programs to reap political dividends. There have been instances in the past where political parties in power pushed the government to rush the scheme benefits days before the election to induce voters to vote for that political party.
“The intention of this political party to mislead voters by mocking democracy is quite obvious. Strong action against these political parties is essential as it would prevent political parties from behaving irresponsibly. On the other hand On the other hand, there are political parties that have formulated programs after careful deliberations and with absolute clarity as to the objectives of these programs, have made commitments to voters before the elections and implement these committed programs after their election. came to power with the utmost sincerity despite several obstacles. for a purpose not devoid of merit. In this scenario, it would be unfair to generalize and describe these social programs as gifts,” he said.
He said that following the financial collapse of our neighboring country, Sri Lanka, and other countries elsewhere, there is now an increased awareness of fiscal sustainability and the need to reduce the pressure debt on savings.
“This is absolutely necessary, especially at this crucial time when economies around the world have become debt-heavy over the past two years, due to headwinds of an unprecedented scale given the cyclical downturn followed by the epidemic. of Covid-19 causing serious economic disruption. There was a need to increase public spending despite the sharp drop in revenue. This spending was essential to save lives, support livelihoods and prevent economies from completely plunging. . Indian government debt has reached alarming levels in 2020-2,” he said.
He lamented that Andhra government programs such as Ammavodi, Rythu Bharosa, etc. have unfortunately been qualified as gifts. With total disregard for the purpose or the impact of these programs, they are reduced to being qualified as populist measures. “It is very respectfully submitted is highly objectionable,” he said.