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Shabbir’s Telangana “dole” remark sparks uproar in Upper House

Telangana Legislative Council today witnessed acrimonious scenes during a debate on agriculture.

 

Participating in the debate, Leader of the Opposition and Congress MLC Shabbir Ali commented that it was the Congress party that conceded separate State for Telangana. His comment that “We gave dole of Telangana” led to acrimonious scenes.

Immediately Minister K T Rama Rao raised objection to the comment of Shabbir Ali. He said while one veteran Congress member said his party had committed a mistake by giving separate State for Telangana, now that party’s MLC says his party gave “Telangana State dole”. KTR asserted that Telangana State was formed on the sacrifices of people and not on anybody’s charity. The people of the region had bravely fought for separate State, he said. The minister alleged that previous Congress regime had miserably failed to provide loans and fertilizers to hapless farmers. Because of the “anti-people and anti-farmer policies” of the Congress government the people of Telangana gave a massive mandate to the TRS and KCR, he asserted.

KTR recalled that while the previous Congress government used to give only two-hour power supply during night time, the TRS government was supplying power supply for nine hours during day time itself. “Now the farmers are not standing in queues for procuring fertilizers”, he said and reminded that a farmer had lost his life while standing in a big queue for fertilizer in Sircilla during Congress regime.

The minister said as the TRS government was protecting the interests of the farmers, the Congress party has no right to criticize this government on farmers’ issue. “While then Congress government had given Rs 4,000 crore to farmers only once, our government was giving Rs 4,000 crore to farmers every year”, he added.

Intervening, Shabbir Ali alleged that the Telangana government has failed to provide ex gratia to farmers. He said of the 750 farmers committed suicide, the government paid ex gratia to only 345 deceased families and  demanded that the government pay ex gratia to all the remaining families also. However, on the advice of the Chairman, Shabbir Ali withdrew his word “dole” about Telangana State. When the Council chairman said “dole” is not a parliamentary word, Ali said there is no clarity on the number of martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for Telangana State.

Intervening for second time during the debate, KTR said Congress has no right to talk on the martyrs of Telangana. He said hundreds of people died in 1969 when Congress was in power. The people of the region had sacrificed their lives against the hostile attitude of Congress on the issue of Telangana State till 2014, KTR reminded. There was exchange of words again between KTR and Shabbir Ali when the former said the government had paid Rs 10 lakh to each family of martyrs.

Shabbir Ali also demanded that the government pay Rs 790 crore subsidy to farmers and wanted to know why the government asked the farmers not to raise cotton crop and asked to sow soyabean crop which led huge loss to the farmers due to spurious seed in Khammam and Mahabubnagar districts. “Have you taken action against those firms, which supplied sub-standard soyabean seed?” he asked.

Minister Tummla Nageshwar Rao said the State government would definitely initiate action against the erring firms, which supplied fake seed to the gullible farmers. Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said his government was committed to the welfare of the farmers. (NSS)