Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Chief Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan has dismissed the version of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao over reduction in quota for Backward Classes in Panchayat Raj elections.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Sunday, Sravan said that the Chief Minister not only defended cut in reservation percentage for BCs but also tried to divert people’s attention to other topics by targetting opposition leaders in the most inappropriate language. “KCR must realise that he is not the Chief Minister only for TRS. He is the Chief Minister for 4 crore people of Telangana. Therefore, he must learn to speak in a decent and balanced manner. His cheap talk by calling Congress leaders ‘bevaqoof’ or ‘idiots’ does not suit the stature of a man who is sitting on the CM’s chair. KCR has brought utter shame and disrespect only to his position, but to the entire State of Telangana,” he said.
He said KCR was like his father and he won’t mind if he uses harsh language against him. However, he said he would tolerate if KCR tries to divert the real issues.
Sravan said KCR’s attack on Congress leaders and defence of cut in quota for BCs in Panchayat Raj polls was nothing but a major conspiracy to disempower the Backward Classes politically by reducing their representation in local bodies. He attributing motives he wants to prevent everyone from going to court to seek justice and by indulging in cheap talk, he wants to stop Congress leaders from taking up public issues. “Its war to get justice for BCs and we will not fall into the KCR’s trap,” he said.
He said KCR apparently expects everyone, including the opposition parties, to accept all his decisions without raising any questions. KCR could not suppress BCs with his arrogant talk and misrepresentation of facts, he said.
Sravan said KCR’s accusation that Congress was trying to stop Panchayat Raj elections was only a figment of his imagination. He said Congress never approached the court to stop an election. However, it went to the court seeking adequate representation for the BCs in PR polls. Showing the open letters that he wrote to the Chief Minister on the issue, he said it was on 9th June, 2018, he had questioned only 33% reservation for BCs while they constitute 52% of total population as per the Intensive Household Survey held in August 2014. After getting no response to the first letter, he said he wrote another letter on 14th June to Commissioner and Principal Secretary of Panchayat Raj and also the Election Commission. They too did not respond on the issue. Finally, on 17-06-2018, Ravindranath of Yadadri Bhongiri District filed Writ Petition No. 20477 in the High Court.
Acting on the petition, the Congress leader said that High Court directed the State Government to conduct caste-wise enumeration of BCs in Telangana before holding the PR polls. He said Karnataka has already done categorisation of BCs and therefore, it can also be done in Telangana. However, he said TRS Government simply ignored the HC directives and did not act on its directions for the last six months.
Sravan pointed out that it were the TRS leaders who tried to stop the Panchayat Raj elections and not the Congress party. He said Nagarkurnool MPTC Gopal Reddy, who is a close associate of TRS MLA from Nagarkurnool Marri Janardhan Reddy, who filed a petition No. 21651/2018 in the court demanding that reservation in PR elections should not cross 50% ceiling. He said he would send a copy of the petition to the Chief Minister if he was not having that information. He said that the TRS Government did not even file the counter in this case as it wanted BC quota to be slashed. He said it was a matter of shame that the Chief Minister himself is indulging in falsehood and only to prevent political empowerment of BCs, KCR wants to hold elections without having categorisation and without giving them reservation in proportionate to their population.
The Congress leaders also ridiculed KCR’s claims on measures taken by his government for BC welfare. He said that the TRS Government did not spend promised Rs. 25,000 Crore on BC welfare. Further, he said nothing was done to introduce a BC Sub-Plan. He said BCs were not given any importance and were suppressed everywhere. He pointed out despite having a population of 52% in the State, there were only 25 BC MLAs out of 119 members. He said now conspiracies were being hatched to crush them in the local bodies.