Jagan awards for ‘volunteers’ raise doubts amid polls

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Grama and ward volunteers have become a major controversy for their role in the panchayat elections. Now, the State Election Commission is busy with the municipal elections. The ZPTC and MPTC polls are also on the cards. Amid this election season, the Jagan Reddy Government has come out with a plan to give awards to the volunteers in the coming Ugadi festival in recognition of their services.

Interestingly, the awards presentation would be taken up with the assembly segment as a unit. ‘Seva Ratna’, ‘Seva Mitra’ and ‘Seva Vajra’ awards will be given to them. Cash awards of Rs. 10,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 30,000 would be given to these Volunteers respectively.

CM Jagan himself is going to attend these awards distribution functions in the three regions. The excessive focus being given by the YCP has triggered doubts on the greater importance it is going to give to the Volunteers system. Already, the Opposition parties are greatly alarmed at the misuse of this system to pressurise and even threaten the voters during the elections.

The volunteers are next only to the police in becoming controversial for their role in harassing the Opposition candidates and voters. From the beginning, the ruling party MLAs and top leaders are closely having a total control on the activities of the volunteers which has triggered serious concerns among the rivals.

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