Dalit Bandhu’s implementation may anger other caste groups against TRS

Hyderabad: A major question on the mind of many among political circles after the TRS’s loss in the just concluded Huzurabad bypoll is whether chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) will keep up his promise of implementing the Dalit Bandhu scheme.

Aside from KCR’s assurance on it, leaders from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) also said that the programme will be implemented in the coming days (he said earlier this week that Rs 20,000 crore would be kept for it in the next state budget). But they added that there is a cause for concern, as other castes are unhappy over its implementation. Under the Dalit Bandhu scheme, each beneficiary will get Rs 10 lakh for self-empowerment.

The scheme was announced recently by KCR, and he chose the Huzurabad seat, which was up for a by-election, as a pilot assembly constituency for its implementation. Later four more mandals from four other seats were also chosen. “It will be 100% implemented by KCR. It can’t just happen immediately. But the push back from other communities is going to be an issue,” said a TRS leader who did not want to be named.

The TRS leader told Siasat.com that leaders and members of other castes are unhappy with the Dalit Bandhu scheme, given that members of the Scheduled Caste are being given such a big amount. “But they don’t realise that the TRS government has been helping other communities already since 2014, like giving sheep to the Golla community. They will not acknowledge it, simply because they think the Dalit Bandhi scheme is unjust,” he added.

It may be recalled that after KCR announced the Dalit Bandhu scheme’s implementation in Huzurabad before the bypoll, Rs 2,000 crore was given to the constituency for the same in September. However, after the by-election was scheduled to be held on October 30, the Election Commission of India stopped its implementation over complaints of the model code of conduct being violated.

Eatala Rajender, once a close aide of KCR and an ex-TRS minister, won the seat on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket. He won the seat comfortably, beating TRS’s Gellu Srinivas Yadav, in spite of the ruling party using all the strength it had.

A political analyst who did not want to be named, said that KCR may have originally planned to announce the Dalit Bandhu scheme during the campaign for the 2023 state elections. “But because of the Huzurabad bypoll coming in between, he may have felt it was needed and then announced it. Now it is to be seen how it works, because even in this bypoll, it may have been the case that other communities voted against the TRS because of it,” he added.