Nov 8 AP Cabinet Meet May Discuss Snap Poll

Hyderabad, Nov 6: | Updated: Nov 7 2003, 05:30am hrs
The possibility of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) calling for an early dissolution of the state assembly has surfaced yet again. This time an "early" cabinet meeting scheduled for November 8 (Saturday) has triggered the expectation apart from the various actions of the government.

According to informed sources, the cabinet is expected to discuss at length the possibility of going for a snap poll to take advantage of the sympathy wave post-assasination bid of the TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu. There is a `distinct possibility' of the state cabinet firming up its decision on snap poll at the meeting which was advanced by a week, apparently to secure approval for a string of administrative sanctions accorded during the last one week covering social welfare, panchayat raj and irrigation sectors.

There was a flurry of activity in the secretariat here with officials stretching every nerve to meet new deadlines for completing a plethora of welfare schemes. It is widely believed in TDP circles that Mr Naidu is set to seek dissolution of the assembly and early elections `anytime after November 8'.

In what is seen by some as a preparation for a possible elections, Mr Naidu revived his district tours on Thursday, five weeks after surviving the attempt on his life. Addressing two public meetings at Cheepurupally and Amudalavalasa towns on Thursday as a part of his district tour, the Chief Minister sought to strike an emotional chord with the people, describing his escape from naxalite attack as a `re-birth' and vowing to dedicate his `new lease of life' for the development of the state.

Meanwhile, TDP sources said the party would organise three regional conventions at Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra, Kurnool in Rayalaseema and Karimnagar in Telangana regions from November 20, widely seen as an attempt to gear up the cadre for polls.

Though Mr Naidu has been keeping the cards close to his chest, the tone and tenor of his recent instructions to officials to expedite completion of a string of welfare packages, christened as `Koti Varaalu' (boons benefitting one crore people), and setting rigid deadlines for their completion are being viewed as pointers to early elections.

For instance, Mr Naidu directed the officials to complete distribution of 25 lakh ration cards for the poor by this month-end, complete construction of 6.5 lakh houses under the weaker sections housing programme by February end and distribution of two lakh bi-cycles for girl students by November 10.

Apart from announcing sops for agricultural power consumers including waiver of surcharge, instructions were also issued for distribution of 10 lakh LPG connections for rural women and speeding up survey on identification of families below poverty line for the purpose of issuing new ration cards.

During the review meetings with ministers and officials on Wednesday, Mr Naidu gave his nod for two key proposals pertaining to transfer of additional powers to local bodies and constitution of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes commission.

Earlier on Monday last, he launched an ambitious Rs 1,200 crore micro irrigation project besides issuing directions to speed up several irrigation projects.

The Chief Minister has been closely monitoring the status of implementation of a package of sops unveiled by him during TDP's `mahanadu' in May last aimed at benefitting farmers and weaker sections.