Hyderabad: The message to the newly-elected councilors and corporators in the State was loud and clear – perform without resorting to corrupt practices or face the axe.
KT Rama Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president and Municipal Administration Minister, was unequivocal in conveying the party line and government stand on the functioning of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the State when he met with the newly-elected corporators and councilors at Telangana Bhavan on Thursday. “Create excellent urban infrastructure during your tenure without resorting to corrupt practices. The government will not spare anyone if they are found willfully delaying granting building permits,” Rama Rao said, who also categorically told them not to pay any heed to opposition criticism since they were decimated in every election since 2014 in the State.
“If someone starts building a house, the first people to reach there are the officers and councilors, asking the owners for their share. This culture has to stop. If you are not ready to change this age-old practice, then Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is in no mood to allow such people to continue,” he said.
He reminded them that he had already asked every candidate before the elections to read and understand the new Municipal Act and then get into the election arena. “If you commit a mistake, you are bound to lose your position. With 92 per cent of municipalities on TRS side, there is no question of differentiating anyone on party lines. All the people are ours,” he told the newly elected municipal councilors who met him at Telangana Bhavan on Thursday.
“So don’t try to get a recommendation from your MLA or Minister to forgive you because I will see that you are sacked. So don’t commit mistakes and don’t bring shame on you and us,” he said.
The Minister, explaining the self-certification clauses in the Act, said that rules of building permissions have been simplified. “Building rules are no rocket science that you need to study the plan for months. Then why delay granting permits for months?” he asked them. He also said that even erring citizens will not be spared as per the new Act.
He invited suggestions from the new chairpersons and councilors on improving further the Act and urban infrastructure. “There are engineers and even IT professionals who won municipal elections. There is a young lady preparing for IAS exams who got elected as a councilor. Though reservation for women is 50 per cent, we allocated 57 per cent seats to women,” Rama Rao, said adding that TRS was probably the only party that allocated general category seats to SCs and STs.
Interesting political scenario in Telangana
“Since the formation of Telangana, TRS has been winning election after election which is a rare phenomenon in Indian political history and this is because the Chief Minister’s welfare schemes and development programmes have attracted voters,” the party’s working president said.
In 2014, TRS won the Assembly elections with 63 seats, and in 2018, even after the then Congress president Rahul Gandhi and then then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu campaigned together, the party won 75 per cent of Assembly seats, Rama Rao recalled.
“Then we won the Panchayat, ZP and Mandal Parishad seats, and in the recent Municipal elections, TRS won 112 municipalities and 10 corporations,” he said.
Coming heavily on Congress and BJP, he pointed out that attributing the TRS victory to money and liquor power is nothing but belittling the wisdom of the Telangana voters.
He called upon the newly elected councilors to concentrate on development without paying any heed to opposition criticism since the government will be granting Rs 3000 crore for municipalities every year.
The working president then met the elected members from Maripeda, Dornakal, Ramayampet, Medak, Choutuppal, Kamareddy, Kollapur,Narsampet, Husnabad, Nagarkurnool, Municipalities and congratulated them for their success in the Municipal elections.