Telangana

Every family benefited from our schemes, says Finance Minister

Minister T Harish Rao addressing an election meeting in Chegunta mandal on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

One of the key figures in the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the government, Finance Minister T. Harish Rao is no stranger to elections, be it his own polls or for the party. The same is the case now as he spearheads the campaign in Dubbak Assembly constituency, which is going to bypolls next week ,following the death of sitting member Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy. In his inimitable style, Mr. Rao has been attracting voters, addressing large gatherings, meeting voters and earning the goodwill of people. Taking time off his busy campaign schedule, the Finance Minister spoke to The Hindu at length on the prospects of the party in the by-elections and explains how the opposition Congress and the BJP are way behind the ruling party and exuded the confidence that the party would retain the Dubbak seat. Question: On what basis you are seeking votes in the byelections?

Answer: During the past six years we have taken up various development activities and at least one from every family benefited from our schemes - be it Aasara pensions, Kalyana Lakshmi, KCR kit, Rythu Bandhu or Rythu Bima. Dubbak, with 1.98 lakh voters, is an agriculture-dominated constituency with 78,000 farmers benefiting with ₹5,000 per acre each season. There are about 20,000 beedi farmers and 60,000 Aasara pensioners. Our schemes are self-explanatory of our performance.

Is the ‘sympathy wave’ working in the party’s favour?

We have won three byelections – Narayankhed (Sangareddy dt.), Palair (Khammam dt.) and Huzurnagar (Nalgonda dt). We won Narayankhed and Palair, where the deceased Congress MLAs’ families contested. We won at the height of sympathy wave and in Dubbak the sympathy is for our candidate. It will be a smooth sail and our candidate has already covered 130 villages out of the 148 in addition to the wards in the constituency headquarters.

How is the competition from Congress and BJP?

We are exposing the misdeeds of both parties. For instance we have been offering ₹2,016 pension for beedi workers whereas Congress introduced skull symbol on the beedi packet while BJP gifted them GST. The BJP has promised one crore jobs per annum and what happened to six crore jobs in the past six years? The competition is between Congress and BJP to get deposits and for second place, not for first place. They can continue their politics and retain party workers in the State only if they secure the second position. We are telling people that the demonetisation introduced by BJP had shattered the economy.

Are the voters convinced of the government programmes, performance and deliverables?

The public response is overwhelming. We are telling people what we are offering and exposing both national parties. For instance, when BJP leaders are claiming that Centre’s share is ₹1,600 in beedi workers pension. Likewise, in the case of KCR kit. They do not know even the complete details of the scheme and each leader is telling something different. So far they have not responded. BJP is resorting to false campaign and banking heavily on social media. I have challenged them to an open debate but they have not responded.

In the case of power, BJP wants to establish meters for borewell motors while during Congress regime it was motors which burnt due to erratic power supply. We are offering round-the-clock power with quality. We are asking farmers to chose their choice among the three.

What will be the impact of late Cheruku Muthyam Reddy on the elections? Will it be advantage Congress?

Actually it was advantage TRS! This constituency has severe drought and power problem. We have brought Kaleshwaram water here from 300 km and addressed the water problem. Similarly, we have addressed the power problem by establishing a number of transformers and substations. Muthyam Reddy had failed to address these problems while in power. Congress candidate Srinivas Reddy, while in TRS, said that his father’s soul would weep if he contested elections on Congress ticket. Now how is he contesting?

What your reaction on the recent episode at Siddipet where money was seized from BJP candidate’s relative’s house?

BJP leaders are acting out of frustration. The videos released by the police have exposed how the BJP leaders behave like goondas and snatched money from police. If the money did not belong to him, why did BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao rush to Siddipet, abandoning the campaign?

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:57:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/every-family-gained-from-our-schemes/article32966288.ece

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