The Centre’s move to leave out Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao from a high-powered committee of chief ministers on agriculture has drawn flak from his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The TRS believes that keeping out KCR, as Rao is popularly known, is a political decision by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre.
The party feels that the country could have benefited from KCR’s vision and his ideas in transforming agriculture as the Centre was already replicating his ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme to provide investment support to farmers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday constituted a nine-member committee of Chief Ministers, headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, to help transform agriculture by increasing farmers’ income.
The panel — comprising Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — has been asked to submit in two months, its report suggesting policy measures to transform agriculture by attracting investments and raising growth in food processing.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand are also part of the panel.
“It is unfortunate if they don’t appreciate KCR’s efforts for the development of agriculture in the state and also his contribution at the Centre. It is also unfortunate that even after replicating Telangana’s schemes like ‘Rythu Bandhu’, they do not think his experience and vision is needed for the country,” TRS spokesman Abid Rasool Khan told IANS.
He pointed out that Telangana was path-breaker in the agriculture sector as it reduced farmers’ suicides by providing them 24-hour electricity and ample water, completing irrigation projects in record time and implementing innovative schemes like ‘Rythu Bandhu’ to provide financial assistance for cultivation and ‘Rythu Beema’ to offer free life insurance.
“All his experience would have helped the Centre in policy making. I think, it is only a political decision they have taken,” said Khan.
The pro-TRS media has also found fault with the Centre’s move to keep KCR out of the panel, saying it reeked of prejudice against states that had success stories to tell.
KCR, who had mooted a Federal Front comprising non-BJP and non-Congress parties before the Lok Sabha elections, had also announced that agriculture would be top on the national agenda of the proposed alliance.
The Federal Front could not take off as BJP-led NDA retained power with a huge majority.