Congress dubs “Grama Jyothi” as old wine in new bottle

Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has described the “Grama Jyothi” programme, to be launched by TRS Government from August 17, as an “old wine in a new bottle”.

Addressing a press conference at the Congress Legislature Party office here on Thursday, Shabbir Ali reminded that on July 13, 2014, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao launched the scheme “Mana Vuru, Mana Pranalika”. He asked KCR to explain the difference between the two schemes. He said that the State Government promised to spend Rs. 14,658 Crore on “Mana Vuru, Mana Pranalika” and even gave the break-up of proposed expenditure which included works like CC Roads (Rs. 6578.26 Cr), Drainage (Rs. 2846.29 Cr), Overhead Tanks (Rs. 874.16 Cr), Irrigation (Rs. 1476.31 Cr), Bridges (Rs.797.92 Cr) and Pipelines (Rs.638.52 Cr). He said not even 20% of these funds was spent and the entire scheme turned out to be a damp squib despite spending crores of rupees on its publicity.

Shabbir Ali said KCR should give an explanation on the status of “Mana Vuru, Mana Pranalika” before going ahead with “Grama Jyothi” scheme. He said that new scheme has been announced only to cover up the failures of old scheme. He alleged that KCR has become habitual of dual-talk. He speaks one thing today and swallows his own words later, he said.

Citing instances, Shabbir Ali said KCR himself announced that Osmania General Hospital building would be demolished. A similar statement was given by Commercial Taxes Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav during his visit to the OGH. Following severe criticism, the government appears to have changed its mind and told the High Court that it was yet to take a final decision on the issue. He said KCR’s beheviour has been creating confusion among the people and they are unable to make out his real stand on major issues.

The Chief Minister made some insane announcements and backtracked after they turned into controversies, he said. Demolition of illegal structures, shifting of Chest Hospital, shifting of Secretariat, draining out Hussainsagar Lake, construction of skyscrapers, change in alignment of Metro Rail project, construction of Telangana Kala Bharathi at Indira Park, acquisition of Parade Ground land, Intensive Household Survey, taking over the land of Osmania University, and demolition of OGH are some of the issues which were over-hyped and then sidelined by KCR, he said.

Shabbir Ali asked KCR to explain as to how he proposes to mobilise at least Rs. 1.70 lakh crore to fund some of the flagship schemes which his government proposes to implement. They include Rs. 50,000 crore for SC Welfare, Rs. 25,000 crore for BC Welfare, Rs. 5,000 crore for Minorities Welfare, Rs. 20,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya, Rs. 35,000 crore for Water Grid and Rs. 25,000 crore for Grama Jyothi. Stating that these figures are unrealistic, he asked the Chief Minister to issue a White Paper explaining how he proposes to do to raise funds. “KCR should specify whether he plans to borrow loans, sell government land or increase taxes to mobilise funds for his schemes. He has already turned Telangana from a revenue surplus State to a bankrupt State. At least now he should adopt a realistic and transparent approach,” he demanded. (INN)