Leader of Opposition and YSR Congress party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday described the ''Backward Class'' as ''Backbone Class'' and promised them several welfare measures including an annual budgetary provision of Rs 15,000 crore, if his party was voted to power in Andhra Pradesh in the coming assembly elections.
Unveiling a ''Backward Class'' declaration at a rally in Eluru in West Godavari district, Mr Reddy's promises to the community, which is strong in the state, comes in the wake of several measures for them announced by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu recently.
Mr Reddy's declaration promises to provide every woman above the age of 45 would get 75,000 rupees, allocating 15,000 crores every year for the welfare of the community, the constitution of special corporations for all 139 backward castes and 50 per cent jobs to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the backward communities.
Identity cards for small businesspersons, apart from giving Rs.10,000 loan whenever they need, providing Rs 10,000 for Nayee Brahmins, houses, jobs and admission in Gurukul schools to the sanchara caste, Rs 10,000 to fishermen community, financial assistance for SCs, STs, BCs and minorities in case of accidental deaths are the other promises made in the declaration.
At the ''BC Garjana'' rally, Mr Reddy alleged that the chief minister had made many promises but failed to deliver. He also alleged that Chandrababu Naidu was using the backward class as vote-banks and the community was not a priority for him.
"Before the 2014 elections, Chandrababu Naidu had promised free education for students till post-graduation, promised allocation of special budget of 10,000 crores every year, and introducing BC sub-plan and providing them legal protection, increasing the reservation to 33 per cent and other such promises totaling to 119. But over the last 5 years not a single promise has been fulfilled," Mr Reddy said.
The leader of the opposition in the state assembly also invoked efforts by his father the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy for the welfare of the backward class community.
Before starting the event, Mr Reddy paid tributes to the soldiers who lost their lives in the recent terror attack in Pulwama.