Telangana Assembly: TRS, Congress spar over drought relief issue

Telangana Assembly: TRS, Congress spar over drought relief issue

Hyderabad: The ruling TRS and main opposition Congress were on Sunday engaged in a war of words in the Telangana Legislative Assembly on drought relief measures in the state.

The Congress staged a walkout over the debate not being continued as demanded by them.

Speaking on drought conditions during Question Hour, Congress members G Chinna Reddy and T Jeevan Reddy alleged that several mandals (revenue units) in the state have not been declared drought-hit and sought reply on the specific drought-relief measures initiated by the government. Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy said 231 mandals in the state have been declared drought-hit and explained about the norms for declaration of drought.

The state government gave an incentive to dairy farmers and also sought Central help, he said. The government is also addressing issues of providing drinking water and fodder to livestock, he said. Not satisfied, the Congress went into the well of the House and raised slogans against the government. Speaker S Madhusudanachary told the Congress members to give notice to take up debate on the issue separately.

Observing that drought manual is to be followed in declaring drought, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari said Jeevan Reddy and other Congress members, who served as ministers earlier, should be aware of it. As war of words continued between the two sides, the Speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes. After the House re-assembled, Opposition Leader (Congress) K Jana Reddy said the debate can be continued on the issue for another 15 minutes. Noting that the government is ready for debate, Panchayat Raj and IT Minister K T Rama Rao, however, said Jeevan Reddy should express regret for coming directly to the Agriculture Minister’s seat earlier.

The Speaker said Question Hour was already over and told the opposition members to seek debate separately. The heated exchange continued and Jana Reddy announced walkout by his party for not continuing the debate on drought. MIM member Akbaruddin Owaisi and BJP floor leader K Laxman said they cannot take part in the debate on Demands for Grants as the members have not got any time to study the concerned books.

Owaisi argued about the procedures and the debate on Demands was taken up, with TRS member G Balaraju initiating it.