Congress demands special Assembly session on drought situation

  • Shabbir Ali slams KCR for holding review on education, public health
  • Shabbir Ali demands White Paper on Telangana’s financial position
  • MIM must clarify stand on 12% Muslim quota, Ek Khana Masjid & Metro Rail in Old City

Hyderabad, July 16: Congress senior leader and former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao convene a special Assembly session to discuss the drought situation and other important issues concerning people of Telangana State.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday, Shabbir Ali strongly condemned the Chief Minister for convening a day-long session of Assembly and Council only to pass the new Municipal Act aimed at extracting political benefits while ignoring other crucial issues. “Of 584 mandals, as many as 433 or almost 80% mandals in Telangana State are facing drought situation. Farmers have lost their crops. Borewells have gone dry and there is no drinking water in many mandals. Instead of discussing these issues to find a solution, KCR is interested only in a new Municipal Act which could give his party an advantage in Municipal elections,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the State Government has failed to provide required funds to Gram Panchayats. The Sarpanches have been stripped of cheque power and they and Panchayats are unable to undertake development or spend funds as per their needs. Further, salaries are not being paid on time to Gram Panchayat Secretaries and other officials. But still, he said CM KCR wants his party to win municipal elections at any cost, he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister’s activity was confined to hold a review meeting on Kaleshwaram Project and focus on commissions from contracts. He slammed the Chief Minister for not a holding a review meeting with officials on the Khariff season. Further, he said more than 4,000 government schools have closed across the State. But the Chief Minister has no time to find the reasons which are leading to closure of closures. He said thousands of students were being forced to discontinue higher studies due to delay or denial in payment of scholarships. He said the conditions in majority of residential schools were highly deplorable with students not having basic amenities like drinking water, toilet or safe food. “I had visited minority residential school in Kamareddy on Sunday and found that students were being forced to live in inhuman conditions. Situation is the same in almost all residential schools in the State. But the Chief Minister is not having time to visit those schools for inspection or at least hold a review meeting to check their requirements,” he said.

“Public health is in a state of neglect. Private hospitals are about to stop treatment for poor Aarogyasri patients due to pending dues of over Rs. 1,750 crore. There is a fear of spread of seasonal and viral diseases due to monsoon. But the Chief Minister is only focussed on making a strategy to win next municipal elections,” he alleged.

The Congress leader said that the State Government should convene at least a week-long session to discuss issues concerning farmers, education and public health sectors. However, the Chief Minister wants the Assembly to meet and pass a new municipal Act and remain silent on issues concerning common man,” he said.

Shabbir Ali also demanded that the State Government release a White Paper on Telangana’s financial situation. Quoting the figures furnished by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman in the Parliament in the ongoing budget session, he said that the Telangana’s outstanding public debt has increased to Rs. 1,80,239 crore as per Budget Estimates of 2018-19. This was just Rs. 69,517 crore as on June 2, 2014. Therefore, Telangana’s debt has increased by almost 159% in the last five years. He said these figures do not include the bank guarantees and other liabilities of the State Government. “Every citizen of Telangana has a right to know the exact financial position of the State. The State Government must release a White Paper giving specific details of bank guarantees given by government and the loans procured by various corporations,” he said.

When asked for reaction on MIM’s present relationship with the TRS Government, Shabbir Ali alleged that there was a match fixing between MIM and TRS. “If MIM is honest and sincere towards people, then why is it not raising the key issues? MIM should clarify whether or not TRS Govt will implement promised 12% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education. It should also clarify its stand on Ek Khana Masjid in Amberpet which was demolished by GHMC. MIM should also give the deadline for construction of Islamic Centre promised by TRS Govt. MIM leaders should make it clear whether or not Metro Rail in Old City will ever become a reality?” he asked

Shabbir Ali said both CM KCR and MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi would adopt an old policy to cheat the people. Akbaruddin Owaisi will deliver an emotional speech to please the ears of common Muslims and CM KCR would give hollow assurances to please and silence MIM leader. There will only be speeches and no implementation. He said MIM leaders must learn to become accountable to people. “Is MIM leadership not responsible for closure of thousands of government schools in Old City? Are they not answerable to people for not bringing Metro Rail facility in the Old City?” he asked.

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