HYDERABAD: Finance minister T. Harish Rao and panchayat raj minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao charged the Opposition BJP and Congress of attempting to sabotage ‘Palle Pragathi’ programme set to begin from June 3 across the state by provoking sarpanches against the state government.
Speaking to media personnel in Siddipet on Wednesday, both the ministers came down heavily on BJP state president Bandi Sanjay and Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president A. Revanth Reddy for undertaking malicious campaign against Palle Pragathi and resorting to false propaganda that the state government owes huge arrears to gram panchayats with regard to works undertaken in villages as part of previous rounds of Palle Pragathi programme and pushed sarpanches into debt trap.
They urged sarpanches not to fall in the trap laid by the Opposition parties to derail Palle Pragathi programme and make it a big success for the overall development of villages. They claimed that only the sarpanches belonging to BJP and Congress were making statements to boycott Palle Pragathi and majority of the sarpanches were with the TRS government.
"Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi programmes conceived by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao in 2019 were a runaway success. Both the programmes helped a lot for the comprehensive development of villages, towns and cities in terms of cleanliness, greenery, infrastructure development, civic facilities etc. The fact that the majority of the municipalities and gram panchayats figure in the list of awards announced by the Centre for best performance are from Telangana every year proves that these schemes are a big success. Unable to digest this, the BJP and Congress leaders are trying to derail these programmes by provoking sarpanches," said Harish Rao.
Harish strongly condemned Opposition leaders' charges that the state government owed huge arrears to gram panchayats. "In April and May alone, we cleared bills worth Rs 700 crore to local bodies under Palle Pragathi and Pattana Pragathi programmes. There could be arrears of just seven to ten days which we will clear immediately. The fact remains that it's the BJP-led government at the Centre which owes arrears of s 1,200 crore to Telangana under NREGA scheme. If Bandi Sanjay is really sincere for the welfare of sarpanches, he should write a letter to the Centre seeking clearance of arrears and not write a letter to sarpanches seeking boycott of Palle Pragathi," he added.
The Centre owed a total of Rs 8,995 crore grants to Telangana, of which a major chunk belongs to local bodies, Rao said adding that if recommendations of Niti Aayog asking Centre to give grants to Telangana for Mission Bhagiratha, Mission Kakatiya etc were taken into consideration, the Centre owed Rs 34,149 crore to Telangana.
Dayakar Rao urged sarpanches not to fall in the trap laid by Opposition parties to derail Palle Pragathi programme. He requested them to make Palle Pragathi a big success and contribute to the overall development of villages.
Dayakar Rao said the government would send a delegation to Delhi to put pressure on the Centre to clear Rs 1,200 crore NREGA arrears to Telangana.