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Congress MLCs blame KCR for farmers’ suicides

The Telangana Congress MLCs have held Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directly responsible for the suicide of more than 1500 farmers during his 16 month rule in the State.

Addressing a press conference after the Congress MLCs held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the strategy for the forthcoming monsoon session of Telangana Legislative Council, Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir and MLCs Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Ranga Reddy, MS Prabhakar and Akula Lalitha said that the Chief Minister woke up from slumber over farmers’ suicide after a gap of 16 months. They thanked KCR for accepting Congress party’s demand for increasing the compensation amount to Rs. 6 lakh. However, they said that the enhanced compensation should be paid to the families of all the farmers who committed suicide since TRS Government took over. They said instead of implementing the orders with retrospective effect from June 2, 2014, the KCR Cabinet has agreed to pay enhanced compensation from September 19, the day when the decision was taken.

Shabbir Ali pointed out within 15 days after coming to power, the then Congress Government issued GO MS No. 421 dated 01-06-2004 to pay compensation of Rs. 1.5 lakh to the families of farmers who committed suicide. The order was implemented with effect from 1-7-1998. He ridiculed TRS leaders’ for blaming Congress party for the recent suicides by farmers. “Is the State being ruled by a Congress Chief Minister? You are in power for the last 16 months and did nothing for farmers. Farmers lost three consecutive crops and they got no help from the State or Central Government. Who is in power? Congress or TRS? Do you expect opposition Congress to declare drought hit mandals or pay input subsidy or compensation?” Shabbir Ali asked.

The Congress leader asked whether KCR or any of his ministers visited the family of any farmer who committed suicide. “The TRS Government completely failed to give any assurance to the farming community in the last 16 months. Now the situation has turned so worse that so far two farmers, Limbaiah and Mallesh, came to Hyderabad only to commit suicide,” he said. The TRS Government still lacks clarity on total number of farmers who committed suicide. He alleged that the government was suppressing the real figures to deny compensation to the affected families. KCR wants to wait till this month end to declare drought hit mandals. He said farmers have already lost their crops and any quantum of rainfall in the next few days could not recover their losses.

He said that the TRS Government did nothing for the development of Telangana. It did not add a single MW of power after coming to power and whatever exists in Telangana was achieved by the previous Congress Governments.

Deputy CLP leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy accused the TRS Government of hiding the facts from the people, especially the main opposition Congress party. He alleged that there were several irregularities in the Water Grid tenders and asked Panchayat Raj Minister K. Tarakarama Rao to place all the records related to Water Grid project in the Legislative Assembly and Council. He also announced that the Congress party would raise the issue of “Cash for Vote” scam under Short Notice questions.

MLCs Ranga Reddy, MS Prabhakar and Akula Lalitha also addressed the press conference. (INN)