Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Saturday alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao was speaking in a language which is worse than of a ‘Rowdy Sheeter’.
Addressing a press conference, along with Deputy CLP leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, at the Congress Legislature Party office here, Shabbir Ali strongly condemned the Chief Minister for threatening to send the opposition leaders to jail. “While addressing the celebrations of agreement between Telangana and Maharashtra for construction of irrigation projects on Godavari River on August 24, KCR stoop down to the level of personally targetting TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy. After luring 25 MLAs, 4 MPs and several MLCs into TRS fold, KCR has turned too arrogant due to the power of corruption money,” he alleged.
Shabbir Ali referred to a recent judgment delivered by Supreme Court Bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, in the defamation case of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha wherein the Apex Court has said, “If somebody criticises the policy of the government, if the person criticised is a public figure, he has to face it instead of using the state machinery to choke criticism.” He said that the Chief Minister should at least follow Supreme Court’s directives in dealing with opposition leaders. He said KCR’s behaviour was not good for a healthy democracy.
The Congress leader demanded that KCR immediately withdraw his remarks to protect the sanctity of his post. He said that the Congress leaders fought for country’s freedom and also to achieve statehood for Telangana. Therefore, going to jail for people’s cause was not a new thing for Congress leaders. “If you have guts, put us behind bars,” he challenged the Chief Minister while predicting that KCR and his family members were bound to go to jail for the irregularities they have been committing since 2014.
Shabbir Ali challenged KCR for an open debate on agreement with Maharashtra Government. He said that the previous Congress regime proposed 16.4 lakh acres ayacut under Pranahita-Chevella project while TRS Government is promising 18 lakh acres ayacut under Kaleshwaram. Only to add an ayacut of 1.6 lakh acres, TRS Government is planning to spend an additional amount of nearly Rs. 50,000 crore. Further, he said that KCR was wrongly claiming that pact with Maharashtra would take the total ayacut to one crore acres. “In its advertisement published in media, the TRS Govt itself mentioned that the total ayacut through new projects on Godavari River will be 18 lakh acre. I challenge KCR to prove how he proposes to get one crore acre ayacut from Godavari,” he said.
The Congress leader also claimed that the then united Andhra Pradesh Government had signed an agreement with Maharashtra Government on May 5, 2012, for constitution of an Inter State Board for Pranahita Chevella project. This was done as a follow-up to the original agreement signed on 06/10/1975 by then Chief Ministers S.B. Chavan (Maharashtra) and J. Vengala Rao (AP). The agreement clearly described Lendi, Lower Penganga and Pranahita project as joint ventures of two State Governments. It was signed by the then Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (AP) and Prithviraj Chavan (Maharashtra) in the presence of Union Water Resources Minister Pavan Kumar Bansal. He said these proceedings are part of government records and KCR could not deny them. He alleged that KCR had surrendered before the Maharashtra by agreeing to provide 20% of water from three major projects on Godavari. “The projects are being built with 100% land, water and money of Telangana. But KCR had agreed to provide 20% of water to Maharashtra in exchange for nothing,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that KCR’s controversial remarks were primarily aimed at diverting people’s attention from real issues. “Instead of addressing crucial issues, KCR is busy celebrating the pact with Maharashtra Government,” he said while demanding that the proposed Assembly session from August 30 should be held for at least 15 days. (INN)