Praja Rajyam Party
|Praja Rajyam Party|
|Politics of India
Praja Rajyam (Telugu: ప్రజా రాజ్యం translation: People's Rule) was a regional political party in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, founded by Telugu cinema actor Chiranjeevi on 26 August 2008.On 6 February 2011, it was officially announced that the party would be merging into the Indian National Congress. As announced, it was formally merged with Indian National Congress in August 2011.
Chiranjeevi's foray into politics had been highly anticipated in media and political circles. While it was reported that he was seeking the opinions of the people during the latter half of 2007, the media also suggested that he would announce the decision in January 2008. He launched his political party as an alternative to the ruling Indian National Congress and Telugu Desam Party in his native state of Andhra Pradesh. PRP merged with the Indian National Congress on 20 August 2011.
The first public meeting was held by Chiranjeevi on 26 August 2008, at Tirupati. He addressed a gathering of about a million people and announced the party name and its agenda. The party flag, which has white colour making up 3/4 of the height at the top, and the bottom 1/4 filled with green, was unveiled at the meeting. In the middle of the flag a red coloured sun symbol is encircled with a yellow line.
The green color is an "acknowledgement to the farmers", red symbolizes "change and revolution", the yellow border around the sun symbolizes "happiness in every home", white symbolizes "clean governance and transparency", and the sun in the middle emphasizes the need for change and revolution.
Merger with NTP
The Nava Telangana Party headed by former minister Devender Goud was merged with the Praja rajyam Party. NTP was a political entity campaigning for Telangana State formation, and had a strong base in the Telangana Region of Andhra Pradesh. Post-merger, Goud was made the Vice-President of Praja Rajyam Party.
Chiranjeevi at one time expressed his support for the efforts to forge a "Fourth Front" at the national level.
They won 18 out of a possible 294 assembly seats. The party leader, Chiranjeevi contested in two assembly seats - Tirupathi and Palakollu (West Godavari District) - and won in Tirupathi. It polled 18% votes, which is considerable for a debut. The entry of PRP made a huge vote split between the existing major parties like Congress and TDP .
- The PRP party will be give footwear to the poor, family distribution of land among poor and total prohibition in phases.
- In the manifesto, Chiranjeevi said if voted to power the first file his party would sign would be for supply of grocery items for Rs. 1000 per month for every poor family and will also supply cooking gas cylinder for Rs. 100.
- The manifesto promised many populist schemes to counter the Telugu Desam Party's free colour television and cash transfer scheme for poor and schemes like Rs. 20 a kg of rice currently being implemented by the Congress government. The grocery scheme was aimed to provide food security to the poor.
- The PRP promised to implement land reforms and allot two to 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land for landless poor.
- The party also vowed to usher in 'gram swaraj' by transferring powers and finances to village-level bodies.
- Promising to continue the current scheme of free electricity to farmers, the manifesto said the duration would be increased from the present seven hours to 24 hours. It said it would provide social security to farmers by introducing a pension scheme for them.
- Under another populist scheme promised in the manifesto, the government would deposit Rs.10,00,000 in the name of every new-born girl child. She would be paid the amount on reaching the age of 15 years.
- All women will get free education from kindergarten (LG) to post-graduation (PG) level. The women members of self-help DWACRA groups will be provided interest-free loans. Women will also be provided 50 percent reservations in appointment of teachers.
- The PRP promised creation of half a million jobs in 1,000 days. It said it would also pay unemployment allowance of Rs.10,000 a month to every unemployed youth, and assured Rs.1,500 monthly pension to physically challenged.
- The party said it would try to introduce total prohibition in phases and shut down all 'belt shops' (illegal counters of licensed liquor shops).
Merger into Congress Party
On 6 February 2011, PRP chief Chiranjeevi announced that his party would merged with the Congress party after a meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The merger was proposed by A.K. Antony, Minister of Defence. He stated that he had originally been compelled to create the PRP on a platform of fighting corruption and ensuring social justice due to the "rampant corruption" of the Congress government of the late chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ("YSR"), but that Congress now had a good record of fighting corruption elsewhere.
It was asserted by political observers that Chiranjeevi's move may have been prompted by his loss of support in the wake of his own strong anti-Telangana stance in previous months. It was argued in the press that Chiranjeevi's move would particularly strengthen Congress' hand in retaining the Kapu (caste) vote, as the PRP had done particularly well among them.
- "Chiranjeevi names his political party 'Praja Rajyam'". Indo-Asian News Services (Hindustan Times). 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "Chiranjeevi launches 'Praja Rajyam'". Press Trust of India (Chennai, India: The Hindu). 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "Praja Rajyam Party merges with Congress". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- "Andhra Pradesh: Chiranjeevi entering politics?". Press Trust of India (Rediff.com). 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- "So what's cooking Chiru?". Times News Network (Indiatimes.com). 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- IANS (2008-08-17). "Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi enters politics". Agencies (ThaIndian).
- "Chiranjeevi leader of PRP legislature party in Andhra". Thaindian News. 18 May 2009.
- "Praja Rajyam merges with Congress". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2011-02-07.
- "After merging party with Congress, Chiranjeevi attacks YS Rajasekhara Reddy".
- "PRP merger to have little impact on Telangana" The Times of India 07 February 2011
- Prasad Nichenametla, Prasad & Ashok Das. "Chiranjeevi to merge party with Cong" Hindustan Times 6 February 2011