Railway Budget allocation is an insult to Telugu States: Shabbir Ali

Hyderabad, February 27: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Vice-President Mohammed Ali Shabbir has alleged that the BJP Government at the Centre has insulted both the Telugu States by allocating meagre funds in the Railway Budget.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here on Friday, Shabbir Ali said that the South Central Railway has been allocated a meagre sum of Rs 2,768 crore in the Railway Budget presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday. He said that the SCR serves the State of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Therefore, the allocation of Rs 2,768 crore was not only insufficient, but an open insult to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, whose individual annual budgets exceed Rs 1 lakh crore each. “I have not seen such a worse budget in my political career of more than 25 years,” he said.

Furnishing the list of major ongoing projects, Shabbir Ali said seven major projects related to Doubling/Tripling of lines cost about Rs 11,293 crore. However, a paltry sum of Rs 258.22 crore or just 2.28 per cent have been allocated for them in the year 2015-16. He said about 30 major projects worth Rs 20,680 crore are pending in both the Telugu States. “How the Centre does propose to complete those projects by allocating just Rs 2,768 crore?” he asked.

The Congress leader alleged that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has failed to get funds even for the project meant for his constituency. He said the 159-km Manoharabad-Kothapalli passing through Gajwel, Sircilla and Vemulawada found no mention in the budget. Similarly, nothing has been done on 200-km Manuguru to Ramagundem line which was crucial for transportation of coal for power projects. He expressed wonder over the reaction of Nizamabad MP and KCR’s daughter K Kavitha praising the Railway Budget. “She is praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi as she wants to joint his cabinet. She would’ve condemned the budget if she was really concerned about the people of Telangana,” he said.

Shabbir Ali accused KCR and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of singing ‘bhajans’ in praise of Modi only for personal gains. “Both of them have disappointed the Telugu people and failed to get anything from the Centre. They should either get at least Rs 1,000 Crore each from the Centre or return the allocated budget. We were treated like beggars as the allocated amount is nothing short of alms. We must refuse to accept it,” he said.

The Congress leader demanded that KCR should lead a protest at Jantar Mantar and all MPs from Telangana should jointly lodge their protest against the Centre’s attitude. He said that the Congress party would fully support and participate in such a protest.

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