Hyderabad: Holding the Congress responsible for stalling development, caretaker minister K.T. Rama Rao denied the charges levelled by Congress president Rahul Gandhi at his three public meeting in the state on Saturday
Mr Rama Rao said, “Both the Congress and the BJP are our rivals. As the BJP has no presence in the state, we hold the Congress as a challenger which may come second.”
He said the Congress viewed Muslims only as “vote-giving machines” and had no concern for them. He said there were no curfews in the state since 2014, and said the previous Congress governments were synonymous with “curfews”.
Regarding Mr Rahul Gandhi’s allegations of corruption, Mr Rama Rao said the Congress president was ill-informed. Narrating the injustices done to the state, Mr Rama Rao said It was Mr Gandhi’s grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who had abolished Mulki rules and brought in Article 371 (D) of Constitution that robbed Telangana of jobs.
He said the Congress had no moral responsibility to talk about creating employment in the state. Mr Rao said the finance department had given sanction for filling of 1.09 lakh jobs, of which notification was issued for 87,000. About 32,000 jobs are being at various stages of being filled up, he said. Congress leaders had filed cases in High Court and stalled recruitment of contract lecturers.
He advised Mr Gandhi to speak with full information and added that the charges of the Congress president were “full of lies” and this did not augur well for his party.
He reiterated that the name of Dr B.R. Ambedkar would continue to be associated with the Pranahita-Chevella project. Mr Rama Rao spoke of the insult meted out to former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao even after his death, Mr Rama Rao said it was the Congress which did not give of pride of place for a Telangana bidda by not allotting space for his cremation in New Delhi.
He said there was no truth in the allegations of corruption in irrigation projects. He explained that the project conceived by the Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy government had an initial outlayof Rs 17,000 crore in 2007 which had shot up to Rs 38,200 crore within a year. In 2010, the Congress government revised it to Rs 40,000 crore.
Mr Rama Rao said the Central Water Commission had given final clearance for Rs 80,190 crore, and not Rs 1 lakh crore as alleged by Gandhi. He said the escalation was due to the rehabilitation and resettlement package package due to new land acquisition Act brought in 2013.
He said redesigning was done to bring more benefit to the farmers as the reservoir capacity had gone up 10 times to 160 tmc ft in addition to constructing three barrages.
Mr Rama Rao said the government had brought 25 lakh acres under irrigation in the past four and a half years with 9 lakh acres only in Mahbub-nagar district. He said Karnataka model on farm loan waiver was based on the Telangana state model, and Mr Gandhi to introspect on what he was hinting at.
On farmers’ suicides, Mr Rama Rao said they were on the decline in the state. He quoted Union minister of state Pursushottam Rupala as telling Parliament that the state had recorded 1,346 deaths in 2014, 1,400 deaths in 2015 and 645 in 2016....