Why Take a Risk When in Safe Hands of KCR?: Harish

Hyderabad: Finance minister T. Harish Rao asked people not to take the risk of electing an alternative political party, “especially when they are in safe hands of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.”

Telangana is on a path of development and progress that is unprecedented for any state in the country, with the BRS government, under Chandrashekar Rao’s able and stable leadership, doing well. Telangana, which is already a role model for many other states and with the Centre copying our programmes and schemes, is poised to reach greater heights. “People sometimes vote based on emotions. But when you are in safe hands, when doing well, why take a risk by voting for Congress or BJP?” Harish Rao said.

“KCR has a vision for Telangana. He knows every village, every nook and corner of the state. With his 14 years of leading the statehood movement and his more than 30 years of public life, he has a great understanding of Telangana. There is no other leader who can match KCR in the state,” Harish Rao said.

“The state needs an able leader and stable government, which we have in KCR and the BRS government. So, in whose hands should Telangana be? The answer is definitely KCR,” Harish Rao said.

Harish Rao, who was the Guest Editor at Deccan Chronicle on Monday, spoke at length on the positive changes in Telangana since 2014 after the state was formed, how the BRS government, led by the Chief Minister’s vision, set about making the state self-sufficient on various fronts and turned the crisis-ridden agriculture around to make the state’s farmers the largest paddy producers in the country.

He also spoke about how, in its two terms so far, the BRS government went forward with a plan addressing one important issue after another.

“The Congress keeps saying ‘give us one chance’. The fact is it was given 11 chances, but did nothing. We say we did what Congress could not for Telangana in its 11 terms of being in power. On the other hand, we gave Rythu Bandhu 11 times. There was a time when farmers used to lose lives to snake bites sleeping next to their borewells in their fields because they did not know when power supply would come. Today, Telangana is the only state in the country that provides 24-hour quality power supply to all sections of consumers,” he said.

The previous governments, he said, used to “firefight” to combat power and drinking water supply crises. Power supply management meant deciding how many hours of power would be supplied. “And drinking water supply meant long lines of tankers, and daily protests in Khairatabad in the city at the water board office, with people protesting with empty pots. Those days, apartment complexes used to spend between '50,000 and '1 lakh for water tankers. We don’t see many tankers today in Hyderabad, there is sufficient water supply,” he said.

Harish Rao said that in the past 10 years, the Budget sessions of the Telangana Assembly did not see protests by MLAs demanding power supply and drinking water, which, he added, was not the case when Congress was in power before the formation of Telangana.

“In the second term, the government focused on health and education sectors, but the Covid-19 pandemic, which came after demonetisation, resulted in an economic slowdown even as expenditure went up. We have done well despite these challenges but not as well as we had hoped for,” he said.

Harish Rao said that the government’s efforts to reduce public healthcare costs saw a multiplication of hospitals and ‘basti dawakahanas (local clinics)’, which were a big hit. Today a doctor is available practically at your doorstep with around 400 ‘basti dawakhanas’ in the HMDA limits. Every constituency has a hospital and every district has a medical college, he said.

“There was a time when curfews and droughts were common and today, Telangana is number 1 on many fronts. The state has the highest growth in water table thanks to Mission Kakatiya, the green cover has increased by 7.7 per cent; in paddy production, we are now number 1, with 3 crore tonnes being produced a year; in IT growth, exports and in job creation too, Telangana is at the top,” Harish Rao said.

The state ranks first in per capita income, and per capita power consumption and with 15.65 per cent of the state’s own tax revenue, it is number one in south India, he said.

“Opposition parties are ganging up with the sole desire to come to power. These are the people who tried their best to demoralise KCR during the (Telangana) movement. All these forces who were against Telangana, be it the Congress, the BJP, or their supporters Sharmila or Pawan Kalyan, do not have Telangana’s interests in their hearts,” he said.

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