TRS will return to power after next elections too, asserts KCR

Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has exuded confidence that the ruling party would retain power in the State after the next elections.

“We have our estimates. There is not an iota of doubt that we will continue. People will not leave the government, which is delivering,” he said. Mr. Rao dismissed the Opposition parties’, particularly the Congress, claims that Dalit Bandhu had been started with an eye on the Huzurabad bypoll.

The scheme, he said, should have been launched a year ago, but for the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the State’s finances. Now that the State was witnessing significant economic growth post COVID-19, the government thought it appropriate to launch the scheme. “Why should we lie? Huzurabad’s result is not going to change the government,” he said.

Cascading effect

The Chief Minister was replying to an elaborate debate on the Dalit Bandhu, the flagship scheme for Dalit empowerment, in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. The scheme would have a cascading effect with spin off economic activities in diverse sectors. Explaining about the robust economic situation in the State, he said the government had planned implementation of Dalit Bandhu in a phased manner so that no family was left out.

He said the Central government should have implemented a similar scheme as the number of Dalits had increased significantly over the years, but their condition remained the same. Dalit reservation was fixed at 15 %, but the actual percentage of their population was in excess of 18 %. “Several districts in the State like Mancherial, Jangaon, Bhupalapally, Karimnagar and Rangareddy have Dalit population in excess of 20 %,” he said.

He faulted the Central government for refusing to undertake caste census. The Centre had gone ahead to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court expressing its inability to conduct caste census of backward classes. He favoured passage of a unanimous resolution by the State Legislature in support of caste census so that it could be forwarded to the Centre.

The Centre had also shelved more than 25 representations submitted by the State, including a unanimous resolution passed by the Legislature for allowing categorization of Scheduled Castes. “Let the BJP members from the State convince the Centre to allow categorization of SCs,” he said.

Responding to queries about how the State planned to mobilise funds required for Dalit Bandhu, he said anything was possible in politics. “We may have an influence over the next government at the Centre or we may be part of the next government. The present government may extend its assistance for the implementation of the scheme,” he said adding the government planned to speed up coverage of families based on the situation.

3-acre promise

Responding to the remarks by MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi on assignment of three acre land each to Dalit families, he said the TRS had never given any such assurance. Mr. Rao said he favoured assignment of 2.5 to three acre land parcels to Dalits as the assignment made by the previous governments was “unscientific” and land did not yield the expected economic results. The government had assigned 16,000 acre land so far, but land had become a scarce commodity now. The government had to rationalize its spending in the past year because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which cost the State around ₹ 1 lakh crore.

To a question, he said the government would implement schemes similar to Dalit Bandhu to poorest of the poor among Muslims, BCs and upper castes. “But it will take time. We need to have patience,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 12:32:35 AM |

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