Telangana BJP to \'Follow the money\' in quest to expose BRS government\'s graft
Hyderabad: The Telangana BJP appears to have adopted a more aggressive stand in its efforts to draw attention to the alleged corruption of the ruling party and the state government's misappropriation of Central funds.
As part of its strategy to topple the BRS government led by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, the state BJP is putting together a presentation to show the citizenry how much money the Central government has given Telangana for various programmes, schemes, and projects since the formation of the state.
Perhaps inspired by the 1976 Oscar-winning movie All The President's Men that exposed the Watergate scandal, the BJP is following the popular dictum that uncovering unbridled corruption is simply a matter of ‘Follow the money’.
The invitees for a presentation on Central aid to the state, scheduled for some time in February, will begin asking uncomfortable questions about how these funds were used in Telangana. "We want to inform people about the Central contribution to the state," asserted a top state BJP leader.
This battle on finances will be led by Union minister G Kishan Reddy, Secunderabad MP. “The party will be inviting some 400 to 500 influencers, including NGOs involved in raising public issues, and different sections of society. Our campaign will be focused on the positives, on what the Centre has given the state for different sectors. We will leave the negativity to the BRS and its leaders,” said Dr S. Prakash Reddy, BJP state secretary.
“The presentation will make it clear to the people how the KCR government failed utilise the funds. The Narendra Modi government provided the state government with significant funding, but neither the Chief Minister nor minister K.T. Rama Rao responded to invitations from our state party president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Kishan Reddy, or senior leader Dr. K. Laxman for a debate on the issue. Instead, they remained silent,” N.V. Subhash, the party’s official spokesperson said.
When Rama Rao speaks about the Centre not giving Telangana the funds the state feels are due to it, he is focusing on the devolutions from the Central pool, which he says is below what the 41 per cent share the state is supposed to get and harps on how some states get more than what they should.
This is the stand behind his argument. It is true that some poor states like Chattisgarh get more, but that is because they need funds as they cannot claim the kind of ‘rich state’ status Telangana claims, a BJP leader explained.
“In the last eight years, the shortfall on this count is between Rs 3,000 crore and Rs 4,000 crore each year. But this has been more than offset by the Central funds given to the state be it for agriculture, MSMEs, PM Garib Kalyan, national highways development, railways, and horticulture. For health alone, Telangana received under the National Health Mission nearly Rs 10,000 crore, but all of it was not used as the state failed to contribute its share of 40 per cent for NHM programmes. In the process, almost half of the NHM funds given to the state could not be used,” the party leader explained.