Drought becomes poll issue after 20 yrs in TS

Hyderabad: Drought has become a key issue in Lok Sabha elections in the state after a gap of 20 years. Political parties have made drought a major campaign issue during 2004 general elections in combined Andhra Pradesh when the state witnessed successive drought conditions in 2003 and 2004 leading to agrarian and water crisis.

The drought issue was absent in subsequent 2009, 2014 and 2019 general elections as there was good monsoon. However, with deficit rainfall recorded this year, Telangana is witnessing drought conditions, dams and barrages hitting dead storage levels leading to irrigation and drinking water crisis and withering crops, which led to political slugfest between ruling Congress and opposition BRS, and the BJP.

While the main opposition BRS has undertaken an aggressive campaign alleging that prevailing drought conditions in the state were not caused by nature but due to the failure of the 'inefficient' Congress government which failed to utilise water resources. It even went to the extent of dubbing Congress as 'iron leg' (one that brought bad luck) by bringing drought soon after coming to power in the state.

The Congress on the other hand is strongly countering this saying they came to power in December 2023 which was not a rainy season and the present drought is due to the sins committed by BRS government in the past 10 years which angered rain gods due to which there were no good rains in rainy season this year when BRS was in power.

The BJP announced to launch "Rythu Satyagraha" in all the district headquarters on April 5 demanding release of water from projects to save standing crops, compensation for farmers for crop damage on account of drought etc. BJP

The BRS on Tuesday launched week-long agitation programmes to expose the Congress government's failures in handling drought. Top BRS leaders submitted representations on drought to officials in Secretariat while district-level leaders submitted petitions to collectors of respective districts.

BRS leaders are organising dharnas at reservoirs demanding release of water.

Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy said that the BRS and the BJP were enacting dramas on drought only for gaining political mileage in Lok Sabha elections.

"We are monitoring the water levels in reservoirs every day. As the water levels have touched dead-storage levels, the government is giving priority to drinking water over irrigation. Any government has to do this. There is no other option. We have to conserve water levels for the next three months till June when there will be rains," Revanth Reddy said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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