Hyderabad, November 25: Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir said that the results of by-elections for Warangal Lok Sabha seat reflected the hidden fear which prevailed among the voters with regard to continuance of welfare schemes if TRS loses the polls.
Addressing a press conference at Congress Legislature Party office here on Wednesday, Shabbir Ali said that the TRS cadre, at the ground level, had spread veiled threats that the State Government would stop pensions, deny 2BKH houses and discontinue other welfare schemes if ruling party candidate P. Dayakar loses the by-elections. “While the TRS strategy of blackmail worked, Congress party failed to allay those fears despite receiving specific complaints during campaigning. Therefore, instead of deciding to teach TRS a lesson, people of Warangal have decided to give it another chance. The ruling party should not take the overwhelming majority for granted and must take immediate steps to fulfill all the poll promises. We welcome and respect the people’s verdict,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the Congress party too has faced many by-elections during its regime. However, it never blackmailed people to seek their votes. “People were in a state of shock when TRS Government sent a cotton farmer Kumraiah to Warangal Central Jail just for questioning Deputy CM Kadiyam Srihari. The vindictive politics triggered fear among the people and apparently for the first time, there was a silent voting in favour of ruling party,” he alleged.
Referring to claims made by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao of TRS enjoying public support, Shabbir Ali advised him to seek re-election in all 13 Assembly seats being represented by MLAs who defected from other parties to TRS. “As many as 13 MLAs, who were elected on Congress, TDP, YSRCP and BSP tickets, have joined the TRS in open violation of Anti-Defection Law. As the first Chief Minister of Telangana State, KCR should set some good precedents in upholding democratic norms and Constitution. Therefore, he must make all these MLAs resign from their post and seek re-election. Since he is already enjoying people’s support, KCR should not be afraid of facing by-elections in those seats,” he said.
The MLAs who defected to TRS are: G Vithal Reddy (Mudhole), Korram Kanakaiah (Yellendu), S Redya Naik (Dornakal) and K Yadaiah (Chevella) of Congress party; Teegala Krishna Reddy (Maheshwaram), Talasani Srinivas Yadav (Sanathnagar), C Dharma Reddy (Parkal), Manchi Reddy Kishan Reddy (Ibrahimpatnam) and Madhavaram Krishna Rao (Kukatpally) of Telugu Desam Party; Thati Venkateswarulu (Aswaraopet) and Madan Lal (Wyra) of YSRCP and Allolla Indra Karan Reddy (Nirmal) and Koneru Konappa (Sirpur). He said Talasani has been serving as minister in TRS Cabinet while officially continuing as TDP MLA.
Shabbir Ali said KCR should ensure by-elections in all these 13 constituencies along with Narayankhed Assembly segment. “When you can stand on your own feet, why do want to borrow other’s limbs?” he asked.
Reacting to KCR’S objection to criticism by opposition parties, Shabbir Ali said that the opposition leaders were quite willing to give constructive suggestions. But except for addressing press conferences they have no other means to convey their message. “You never convened all-party meetings on major issues, never held consultation with senior leaders on crucial subjects and you did not even allow the Assembly and Council to function for more than three days. Then, how do you expect us to give suggestions?” he asked.
He said that the Congress party has been giving positive suggestions since Day 1, but TRS leaders mistook it for criticism. “We have been demanding declaration of drought hit districts since October 2014. While drought was not declared last year, this year too, it was delayed and only on Tuesday, 231 mandals were declared as drought hit. The Congress party welcomes the decision and would support the TRS Government in getting Rs. 1,000 crore package from the Centre,” he said.
Similarly, he welcomed KCR’s assurance on filling up of post of Vice-Chancellors in all State Universities. He said Congress party has been making this demand since at least one year. However, only on Tuesday, KCR informed that Search Committees have been formed to fill VCs’ post. He said that the Congress party would extend full support to TRS in waging a battle against the BJP-led NDA Government for the injustices that it has done with Telangana State. He said all the assurance made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act like 4,000 MW NTPC power plant, National project status for Pranahita Chevella should be fulfilled and Congress would support TRS MPs in Delhi in pursuing these demands with the Centre.