Is it a conspiracy or strategy?

An altogether different blame game

Three major political parties in Telangana – Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party – have been accusing each other of colluding with the other, ever since the schedule for Huzurabad by-election was announced by the Election Commission.

The blame game went up a notch recently when working president of TRS K.T. Rama Rao alleged that BJP candidate Eatala Rajender had a ‘clandestine’ meet with TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy only to reach at an “understanding” to defeat TRS together in Huzurabad.

Prior to that, several Congress leaders have alleged that TRS and BJP are colluded to defeat Congress, and BJP leaders have alleged that Congress and TRS have joined hands to defeat BJP.

“In the process, every party has forgotten a basic political reality that defeating a party is a prime objective for an opposition party even if it necessitates to join hands with another party to defeat one party. If two parties join hands to defeat a third party, it would be more of a political strategy rather than a conspiracy,” a senior politician who lost the last Lok Sabha election observed.

RTI Act being diluted?

The State government’s reported decision to allow replies to queries raised under the Right To Information Act only after the senior officials give their consent has come as a jolt to the information seekers and RTI activists.

The activists are expressing concern that the spirit of the well-intentioned Act aimed at ensuring transparency in public issues will be diluted with steps like this. Moreover, the decision comes at a time when there is huge pendency of RTI applications with different departments.

Activists and those supporting the RTI Act are also raising questions about the efficacy of the RTI implementation mechanism created in the State with full team of information commissioners in place.

The government hopefully will reconsider its decision so that at least some amount of transparency continues in public domain.

Stern measures against forest destruction

The State government seems to have woken up to the reality that outsiders are destroying the precious forest cover, and not the tribes inhabiting the forests for ages. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao himself has acknowledged that “forces from outside” are indulging in destruction of the forests while the “adavi biddalu” (tribes, the children of forests) are trying their best to protect the forest cover. The Chief Minister in the process had directed the officials to invoke provisions under the Preventive Detention Act (PD Act) against those found guilty of destroying the forest wealth.

He went ahead to announce constitution of committees to take applications from eligible tribals for allowing podu cultivation, delineating the boundaries where it can be taken up, and said the government would erect forest trenches to prevent destruction of forest cover forthwith. Hopefully, these words will translate into action to protect forest cover as well as rights of the tribes.

(B. Chandrashekhar and M.Rajeev)

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 11:04:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/is-it-a-conspiracy-or-strategy/article37154681.ece

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