Karimnagar: Former health minister and BJP leader Etala Rajendar suspected on Thursday that the sanction letters and cheques being released to ‘beneficiaries’ in Huzurabad under the Dalit Bandhu scheme of the TRS government might be “duplicates” to fool them. He demanded that the government, instead, deposit the Rs 10 lakh offered to each dalit in his or her bank account before the by-poll.
Addressing the media in Huzurabad where the poll heat is currently building up, Etala said the people are not in a mood to trust Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao any longer as he had “broken promises” in the past.
“For the past eight years, KCR never thought of dalits and never said Jai Bhim. He never ever paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram. Suddenly he started remembering them. Is this not vote bank politics? KCR is playing with the future of the dalits,” he alleged.
Etala said, “KCR’s own Velama community formed just 0.2 per cent of the state’s population, but they have got four minister posts. KCR allotted only one minister post to the dalits who formed 15 per cent of the state’s population. Ahead of Huzurabad by-polls, KCR appointed Rajul Bojja at the CM office. Then what about representation to other communities?”
“R.S. Praveen Kumar who worked in the social welfare department resigned as he was unhappy with the state government over its failure to release funds for the department’s welfare schemes. Three police vehicles are after him to inspect his movements. Six vehicles are tracking my movements. I am a politician, but why the police and vigilance teams are used against Praveen Kumar? What mistake did he do,” the former minister asked.
Pradeep Chandra who worked as chief secretary to the state government was god’s diamond gift to the Dalit community. He is responsible for starting TS-Ipass in the state. Why did KCR insult him and stopped his retirement benefits? Several officials who participated actively in the Separate Telangana movement are not given any prominent post till date,” he alleged.
“I never expected that this many results would come out of my resignation from the government. I am feeling proud that many sections of people are benefiting from my resignation,” he said in a reference to the Dalit Bandhu scheme.
There is a saying in English, ‘Wealth and health are the greatest assets, but if one’s character is lost, everything is lost’. KCR lost his character. KCR may be intelligent, but he should first try and know what the people are thinking about him, Rajendar said.
“In the past, Kings and emperors hid their identity while visiting various places to know what the people thought about them and earned a good name among the people. People remembered them for long years, those like Emperor Ashoka who planted trees on either side of the road to give shade to pedestrians.
Chief ministers of the past used to conduct Praja Darbars to interact with the people and find out what issues they faced, and resolved them. KCR suspended such a system and stopped conducting meetings at the CM office, Etala said.
He said that if any scheme is introduced, it must be applicable to the entire state. "But, to defeat me in Huzurabad, KCR launched the Dalit Bandhu scheme for only the Huzurabad people. KCR himself said about 1.7 lakh crore would be required for the dalit bandhu scheme, but it will cross Rs 2 lakh crore. From where will he organise that much money? Does as much money exist in the state treasury?”
“Being a finance minister in the past, I know that about Rs 40,000 – Rs 45,000 crore are needed for salaries. For the repayment of debts it would require around Rs 56,000 crore. For Rythu Bandhu, power subsidy, rice subsidy and KCR kits, it would require around Rs 35,000 crore. What is the revenue of the state? After spending for all these, how much of state funds will be left, and from where will the CM get the remaining money required to run various departments,” Rajendar wondered.
He said the government does not have the budget to spend at least Rs 10 crore for the Dalit Bandhu scheme. To spend Rs 1.7 lakh crore from the exchequer for such a scheme, it requires revenue collections of 17 years. Did the people give KCR a written assurance that they will keep him in power for such a long time? I am ready to participate in an open debate on this matter,” the former minister challenged the CM.
Etala said the Huzurabad people “are fully aware of the gimmicks of the CM and are ready to teach him a fitting lesson in the Huzurabad by-poll.
Former MP Jithendar Reddy, BJP core committee member Vivek Venkataswamy, former MLA Ravinder Reddy, former MP Suresh Reddy, former GHMC mayor B.K. Reddy and district party president Krishna Reddy were present along with Rajendar at the media meet....