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Observation: Cult Leaders in Telugu States

Cult leaders differ from traditional political figures in that they command unwavering loyalty from their followers, who support their actions and decisions no matter what. These leaders often inspire fierce devotion and can influence their supporters to engage in intense advocacy, debates, and even occasional unrest.

In the Telugu states, three notable figures have stood out as cult leaders in the last 3 decades:
Manda Krishna,
K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), and
Pawan Kalyan.

Manda Krishna:

Manda Krishna emerged as a significant cult leader in the 1990s, primarily within the Madiga community. His followers were passionately committed to his cause, which centered on dividing Scheduled Caste (SC) reservations into categories based on the population of sub-castes. This movement aimed to ensure fair representation and benefits for smaller sub-castes within the SC category. His influence was so strong that his followers sometimes resorted to minor violence when they felt political entities were obstructing their leader’s goals. Manda Krishna’s movement succeeded temporarily, with SC categorization implemented for a few years before being abolished by a court verdict. As the issue faded, so did Krishna’s prominence.

K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR):

K. Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR, became a cult leader for the people of Telangana during the movement for statehood. During the peak of this movement, KCR’s followers were fiercely loyal, and any criticism against him was met with staunch defense. His leadership culminated in the creation of the state of Telangana, achieving the primary goal of his movement. However, despite his success, KCR’s party now faces challenges in maintaining its dominance in the state.

Pawan Kalyan:

Pawan Kalyan’s journey as a cult leader began even before his political career. Known as a popular film actor, he retained a massive fan base despite experiencing a series of flops at the box office for over a decade. When he transitioned into politics, he brought his loyal fan base along, transforming them into cadres for his party, Jana Sena. Over ten years, he successfully mobilized his supporters, even convincing them to back his alliances with various political entities, including the Communists and the BJP. In the 2024 elections, Pawan’s strategic decision to contest only 21 out of 175 seats and transfer his votes to TDP resulted in a sweeping victory, earning him the position of Deputy Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Chandra Babu Naidu’s Political Acumen: Allying with Cult Leaders During Their Peak

Chandra Babu Naidu, though not a cult leader himself, has adeptly collaborated with all three cult leaders during their peak periods, earning him the reputation of a master strategist. Naidu supported Manda Krishna’s movement, helping him achieve his goal of SC categorization in the 90s. In 2009, he allied with KCR, although the alliance did not yield the desired electoral success. Nonetheless, Naidu commanded great respect from KCR during that period. In the 2024 elections, his alliance with Pawan Kalyan proved to be a formidable combination, as they successfully defeated their opponents, securing 164 out of 175 seats.

Cult leaders in the Telugu states have demonstrated the power of unwavering support and the ability to mobilize their followers toward achieving significant political goals. Manda Krishna, KCR, and Pawan Kalyan have all left their mark on the region’s political landscape. Meanwhile, Chandra Babu Naidu’s strategic alliances with these leaders highlight his political acumen and adaptability. The dynamics of cult leadership and strategic partnerships continue to shape the political environment in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

– ZURAN (@CriticZuran)

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Disappointment and confusion among Telangana BJP cadres

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In the run-up to the crucial Telangana Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership has taken a very risky decision of removing the state unit president Bandi Sanjay Kumar in favor of Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy. After these recent developments in Telangana BJP, cadres seem to be in huge disappointment. details as follows.

The previous assembly elections in Telangana were fought between TRS and Congress-led Praja Kutami. BJP was not even a main contender in the 2018 assembly elections in the state. But within a couple of years after that, BJP became a formidable force in the state of Telangana, mainly due to the relentless efforts of the state chief Bandi Sanjay. His aggressive nature and untiring efforts to corner the KCR-led government earned him a huge fan following especially among the youngsters. Bandi’s padayatras were hugely successful and lots of youngsters especially the unemployed followed him during these padayatras. He was highly appreciated by the high command for his accomplishments in bi-elections as well as GHMC elections.

However, despite all these positive results, the high command of the party decided to replace him with Kishan Reddy in this crucial year of the elections. A sizable portion of the party’s cadres, especially the younger members who had been won over by Bandi Sanjay’s confrontational demeanor and hardline Hindutva stance, seem to have been hugely disappointed by this abrupt action of removing Bandi from his position as party leader. At the same time, they do not have high hopes for Kishan Reddy on steering Telangana BJP into victory in the 2023 elections.

BRS to join NDA before LS elections?

Many of the Telangana BJP fans are now believing that BJP leadership might have made a secret pact with BRS party supremo KCR as Kishan Reddy is no match for KCR. Some even think that KCR may join NDA after the assembly elections and offer a considerable number of MP seats to BJP as part of the probable alliance in the 2024 LS elections and because of this understanding with KCR, BJP central leadership might have decided to go easy on him in the assembly elections. All these developments disappointed not only BJP fans but also the sections who do not want to vote for BRS in subsequent elections due to various reasons.

We need to wait and see if KCR can win back these sections of the voters before the assembly elections. But BJP cadres are definitely in huge disappointment at this moment.

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Ruling parties of both Telugu states opt out of Oppn unity moves

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With both Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) staying away from Patna meeting of opposition parties, the Telugu states may not have any role in cobbling together an anti-BJP front ahead of 2024 elections.

While Telangana’s ruling party BRS is trying to expand on its own to other states, Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP prefers not to be part of any pre-poll alliance at the national level.

With opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Jana Sena Party (JSP) led by actor politician Pawan Kalyan inclined for an alliance with the BJP, it appears that there will be no contribution from Telugu states to the opposition unity at the national level.

After failing in his efforts to form an alternative to both Congress and BJP, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has charted his own course by turning Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) into BRS late last year to expand his footprints to other states.

Before 2019 elections and again in 2021-22, KCR had reached out to various regional parties to bring them on a common platform but his efforts did not yield desired results as parties like DMK, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party insisted that the Congress should be a part of any anti-BJP alliance.

However, BRS wants to maintain equi-distance with both BJP and Congress. After BRS skipped the Patna meeting, its working president K. T. Rama Rao (KTR) explained that BRS doesn’t subscribe to the view that the BJP or Congress should be the nucleus of any front or coalition.

“We believe in uniting people on issues and not uniting political parties. Even if 20 parties unite and there is no outcome, which is people-centric, there is no point in it. It can’t hinge on your blind hatred for one party or another,” he said.

What raised eyebrows in political circles is that on the day when opposition leaders were meeting in Patna, KTR was in Delhi the same day to meet Central ministers. Though officially the purpose of the meetings was to put forth before the Centre certain demands with respect to various infrastructure projects, the timing of the visit triggered speculations.

“KTR’s visit to Delhi and meetings with union ministers is not a mere coincidence. This is to cement the secret pact with the BJP,” alleged AICC incharge for Telangana, Manikrao Thakare.

He claimed that this proves that there is a secret understanding between BRS and BJP. “Even the TRS transforming into BRS is aimed at helping BJP. BRS will be acting as B team of BJP by cutting into anti-BJP votes,” he said.

KTR’s visit to Delhi assumed further significance in the wake of recent change of tack by KCR. At his public meetings in different parts of the state over the last couple of weeks, the BRS chief went all out to attack the Congress party but spared BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had been his main targets over the last couple of years.

This sudden change in his approach baffled political circles. Some political analysts see this as a change in strategy by KCR for Assembly elections due to be held in the next four-five months.

“KCR is the smartest and shrewdest politician in the country. He realised that after the Karnataka poll results, the momentum has shifted towards Congress and hence he began attacking the party,” explained political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

However, others believe BRS may have entered into a secret understanding with the BJP. As part of this, both the parties may have agreed not to attack each other. “If BRS falls short of majority, it may take the help of BJP and in return the BRS may extend its support to BJP post 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” said another political analyst P. Pavan.

The state Congress leaders see a direct link between allegations against KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha in Delhi liquor policy case and the sudden change in the BRS leader’s tone and tenor. “Kavitha was questioned only a couple of times by CBI and ED but the kind of action we have seen against others in various states has not been taken in her case,” said Abdullah Sohail Shaik, chairman of minorities department of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.

Political analysts point out that Telugu states have been losing their relevance in national politics. “YSRCP has failed to bargain a better deal for Andhra Pradesh including special category status in return for the crucial support he extended to the Modi government in Parliament for some key Bills and for the election of President and Vice-President,” feels Pavan.

Interestingly, TDP led by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has stopped talking about national politics.

“TDP, which played kingmaker in United Front and NDA governments, is surprisingly maintaining silence on national issues. Not even once the party leaders opened their mouths to criticise the Centre,” observed Pavan.

Ever since it lost power to YSRCP in 2019, the TDP has been desperately trying to revive its alliance with the BJP. However, with Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP extending vital support to the Modi government whenever required, the BJP remained cold to Naidu’s overtures.

It was only this month that Naidu could meet BJP leaders Amit Shah and J. P. Nadda to discuss the alliance proposal. After this meeting, Shah and Nadda addressed public meetings in Andhra Pradesh and launched an attack on Jagan government.

With Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh due to be held along with Lok Sabha polls next year, the TDP is becoming active. Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena Party (JSP), which is an ally of BJP, is making efforts to forge TDP-BJP-JSP alliance to prevent split of anti-YSRCP votes.

Due to his political compulsions, Naidu is likely to remain mum on national politics, at least till 2024 elections.

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Telangana BJP dares KCR for debate on Telangana development

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BJP’s Telangana unit president Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Sunday dared Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for a debate on development of Telangana during the last nine years.

He said Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy will participate in the debate on behalf of the BJP. “Let the Chief Minister come for the debate,” he told reporters in Karimnagar.

Sanjay said Chief Minister KCR should debate on the funds given by his government and the Centre for the state. He demanded that KCR also explain why he failed to fulfill the promises he made during previous elections and how he would repay Rs 5 lakh crore debts.

Sanjay, who is also a MP, reiterated that BJP will come to power on its own in Telangana.

He also made it clear that the BJP will continue good schemes being implemented now. He said the BJP would also continue the Dharani portal with certain changes. He remarked that it is a good move but it is being used to serve the interests of KCR family. “We will do justice to those who suffered because of the Dharani portal,” he said.

The BJP leader dismissed the allegations by the Congress party leaders that the BJP is hand-in-glove with BRS and claimed that Congress and BRS have a secret understanding. He pointed out that it was BJP which defeated BRS in Assembly by-elections in Dubbaka and Huzurabad and gave a tough fight to the party in Munugode and also in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. He wanted to know why Congress performed poorly in these elections and even forfeited deposits.

Sanjay also alleged that BRS provided funds to Congress party for Karnataka elections. He claimed that Congress MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and senior leader Jana Reddy have already stated that BRS and Congress will join hands.

The BJP leader said the collusion between BRS and Congress is clear from the fact that those elected on Congress ticket are joining BRS. “KCR decides candidates of both Congress and BRS. He has already decided candidates in 30 Assembly seats,” he said.

Sanjay also recalled that when the NDA fielded Droupadi Murmu, a tribal woman, as the candidate in the Presidential election, Congress and BRS together tried to defeat her.

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Telangana CM directs to withdraw UAPA charges against ex-professor, 151 others

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday directed Director General of Police (DGP) Anjani Kumar to withdraw Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against G. Haragopal, former professor at the University of Hyderabad and a human rights activist, and 151 others.

Following the Chief Minister’s direction, the DGP asked the Mulugu Superintendent of Police (SP), Gaush Alam, to consider withdrawing the FIR registered against Haragopal and others under UAPA.

For the first time in Telangana, the Tadvai police in Mulugu district had registered cases under UAPA against 152 persons, including Haragopal, in 2022.

In the 52-page FIR, the police named 152 persons who were booked under UAPA.

The police said that on August 19, 2022, complainant V. Shankar was performing his duty at Pasra Circle when he received information about an illegal assembly of CPI (Maoist) members from Telangana, including Bade Chokka Rao, Kankanala Raji Reddy, Koyada Sambaiah, Kursam Maggu, Madakam Sannal and others in the Beerella forest area.

Rights activist Haragopal, along with 151 others, was booked by the police under UAPA for his alleged links with Maoists, though he had claimed that he had no clue as to why they were booked.

Haragopal, who served as the Dean of School of Social Sciences at University of Hyderabad, had given a call to the society to respond as all those booked under UAPA fought for civil liberties and for the statehood to Telangana.

The well-known activist also reminded K. Chandrasekhar Rao of his word during the Telangana movement that after the formation of the state, he will be in the forefront for civil liberties.

“Doesn’t he know about our work,” Haragopal had asked.

He had also demanded that KCR rein in the police which act recklessly, and cautioned that if the police are not controlled, it would not be good for the Telangana government, which may have to pay a price in the next elections.

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2,000-bed hospital to come up in Hyderabad, CM says efforts on to strengthen healthcare

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Telangana celebrated Health Day on Wednesday as part of its formation day celebrations by laying foundation stone for 2,000-bed facility at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao laid foundation stone for Dashabdi block which will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,571 crore.

CM KCR, who also launched KCR Nutrition Kits scheme, said the government will continue its efforts to strengthen the healthcare sector and make it a role model for the country.

He stated that the performance of the doctors, nurses and senior officials of the state’s Health Department during Corona was admirable. KCR said that, “In order to provide the best services to the people, we should be ready to face any pandemic like Corona.”

He said that when the condition of patients infected with corona in private hospitals worsened, they sent patients to Gandhi Hospital. He said Gandhi Hospital’s doctors saved the lives of such patients.

The Chief Minister suggested the Health department to improve Public Relations (PR) and prepare plans to ensure the doctors and medical staff reach out to people extensively.

He said the bed strength in NIMS has increased from 900 to 1500. With the construction of the new block, another 2,000 beds will be added.

“We are building big hospitals in the state. We are also building a super specialty hospital like no other in the world in Warangal,” he said.

Four super specialty hospitals will come-up in four sides of Hyderabad under Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS).

He claimed that the excellent medical services right are available in the state and there is no need for anyone to go abroad for treatment.

The chief minister formally launched the distribution of nutrition kits to pregnant women. He listed out steps taken by the government in the last nine years to improve healthcare services in the state.

The Chief Minister pointed out that 70 per cent of deliveries are taking place in government hospitals against 30 per cent earlier. Maternal mortality and infant mortality has come down.

Health minister Harish Rao pointed out that the allocation for the health sector in 2014 was Rs.A 2,100 crores and it went up to Rs. 12,367 crores in 2023-24.

He claimed that the bed capacity in government hospitals across the state has gone up from 17,000 to 50, 000. “We have increased the number of oxygen beds to 50,000. We have set up our own 550 tonne oxygen producing plants without depending on the Centre,” he said.

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KCR changing tack: Congress is now his main target

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In a surprising shift in strategy, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has started singling out the Congress party for his attacks while sparing the BJP, which had been his main target for the last couple of years.

The speeches made by KCR at public meetings in Nirmal and Nagarkurnool districts this week have baffled the political circles as he went all out to attack Congress party but avoided criticizing the BJP.

The content and tone and tenor of his speeches indicate a shift in strategy ahead of Assembly elections, which are due to be held towards the end of 2023.

At both the public meetings, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) chief slammed the Congress party and called on the people to throw the party in Bay of Bengal. Not long ago, KCR was using the same words for the BJP.

With the Congress leaders promising that if the party is voted to power it will abolish Dharani portal, KCR is hitting back at the grand old party. “Those talking of throwing Dharani portal in the Bay of Bengal should be thrown in Bay of Bengal,” he said at the public meeting in Nagarkurnool on June 6.

The BRS government had brought the Dharani portal in 2020 as a one-stop solution for all land records under large-scale reforms in the revenue system. The Congress party, however, claims that Dharani added to the problems of land owners, especially farmers.

KCR at his public meeting at Nagarkurnool launched an all-out attack on Congress saying by repealing Dharani it wants to bring back the regime of middlemen and corruption in the revenue administration.

The BRS chief, however, was silent on BJP, whose leaders are equally critical of Dharani. Union minister for tourism and culture G. Kishan Reddy had said last month that KCR family and BRS were looting people using Dharani portal.

At most of his public meetings over the last two years, KCR minced no words to attack BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a host of issues ranging from hate politics to discrimination against Telangana. His silence on BJP at the public meetings raised eyebrows in political circles.

It is not clear what prompted this change in strategy by the BRS chief. The development is significant as it comes days after the Congress party stormed to power in neighbouring Karnataka.

The result pumped new enthusiasm in the Congress party and its leaders claimed that the outcome will be repeated in Telangana.

KCR’s son and BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao has stated that the Karnataka poll result will have no bearing on Telangana.

While the BRS leaders are publicly denying that the Karnataka outcome will have no impact on Telangana, the ruling appears to be wary of a rejuvenated Congress.

Political analysts say that changed political equations in the wake of BJP’s poll debacle in Karnataka may have led to KCR changing tack.

After its win in two Assembly by-elections and impressive performance in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls, the BJP had replaced Congress as the main political opposition.

Before elections in the neighbouring state, the BJP was in an aggressive mode in Telangana but the poll drubbing has dealt a blow to the party’s morale.

The BJP, which has been trying to project itself as the only viable alternative to BRS over the last couple of years, now appears to be on the backfoot.

The infighting in the saffron party has dealt another blow to its confidence.

Political observers say that leaders who quit BRS or were expelled from the party in recent times may now prefer Congress over BJP in the changing political dynamics in the state.

Till 2019 Lok Sabha polls, KCR used to dismiss BJP as a non-existing force in state politics. However, by winning four Lok Sabha seats out of 17 seats in the state, the BJP made its presence felt. The win in two Assembly by-elections had further bolstered it.

There is also a view that KCR’s change of tack may be a strategy to ignore BJP and create a narrative that Congress will be the main opponent for TRS in the ensuing elections.

Last week, KTR had remarked during an interaction with journalists that BJP has no presence in society and that it is only present on social media.

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KCR lays foundation for BRS Centre for Excellence & HRD

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Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) launched work on Centre for Excellence and Human Resource Development here on Monday, which will provide training to the party leaders.

BRS national President and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for Bharat Bhavan at Kokapet in Hyderabad.

Stating that political parties are the pillars of the democratic governments, he called for developing more effective leadership in tune with the aspiration of the people of the country.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said that to prepare youth as the future leaders, education and training in political, social, economic, cultural and ideological fields are imperative.

“Today’s India needs effective leadership that understands the aspirations of the people of the country. It is our responsibility to develop leadership and help them to contribute to the development of the society,” he said.

“We will invite great intellectuals and Nobel laureates who have experience in the respective fields from all over the world and provide leadership training. We will develop a leadership that helps to give good governance to the people. Thus, we will work to consolidate the democratic structure of the country,” he said.

The BRS chief said that experienced political scientists, economists, sociologists, writers, professors, retired officials and others, who contributed to the development of the society, will be invited from across the country to provide training in political, social and economic fields. Social activists, politicians and leaders from all over the country will have access to the comprehensive information available at the Bharat Bhavan.

KCR said that facilities will be provided for those who come here for training. The centre will be have training classrooms, mini halls with projectors, spacious meeting halls, digital libraries with latest technology, and luxury rooms for accommodation.

The Chief Minister said that the newspapers of the country and abroad, works and books of world intellectuals belonging to the world’s political, social and philosophical fields will be made available in the centre. A facility to watch local, domestic and international media channels will be set up in the information centre. A platform will be created to study the progress taking place in the social, economic, political and cultural fields around the world. Systems will be set up to analyse and compile the news articles from time to time.

He said that there will be special training classes for awareness about social media which is affecting people regularly. Senior technical teams will also work towards introducing the latest technology in the media. Information will be available to study the welfare and development sectors in the training.

KCR said that the construction of the building will be undertaken on a small part of the land allotted to Bharat Bhavan and the rest of the land will be filled with greenery. Those who come to the centre for leadership training will undergo training in a pleasant environment.

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Telangana overcame all hurdles to become a model in 9 years: KCR

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said on Thursday that the new state overcame all hurdles and thwarted the political conspiracies hatched by the antagonists during the last nine years to become a model for the entire country.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, extended greetings to the people of Telangana on the 10th state Formation Day on June 2 (Friday).

He expressed happiness that Telangana, which suffered many setbacks in the past, is now taking the country forward in all fields. He observed that with the efforts of the state government and the participation of all the people, the development and welfare programmes and the results achieved by Telangana in these nine years became exemplary for the country.

The Chief Minister said that the ‘Telangana model’ of governance available to the people of the country now was never seen before.

He claimed that the people of all states are demanding a government like Telangana.

He said that it is a great achievement of the people of Telangana to get the support of all the people of the country in this direction.

KCR said that it is a great occasion that every citizen of Telangana should be proud of.

In his message on the eve of Telangana entering the 10th year of self-rule, he remembered the struggles, movements and sacrifices done for Telangana statehood at various stages for six decades.

KCR recalled the manner in which the second phase of the Telangana movement was transformed into a democratic struggle in a parliamentary manner by spreading the ideology towards the formation of the state and uniting people.

He recounted the hardships, humiliations and obstacles he had to overcome in the process of achieving statehood for Telangana.

The Chief Minister recollected the support extended by all those who contributed to the whole process by touring Telangana, holding thousands of meetings, mobilising and coordinating all sections of people, continuing the struggle in a peaceful manner, mounting pressure on the centre and finally achieved statehood for Telangana .

CM KCR commemorated the success of this entire movement, the action plan devised in accordance with the situation and “Educate, Gather and Fight” path adopted during the struggle.

The Chief Minister said that the state government made all arrangements to organise state Formation Day celebrations for three weeks by displaying the achievements in all sectors including agriculture, irrigation, electricity, education, healthcare, welfare and finance, in a festive atmosphere.

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After new Secretariat, KCR now plans twin towers for heads of departments

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A month after the inauguration of the new Telangana Secretariat, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday decided to build twin towers near the Secretariat for all heads of the departments.

As the new Secretariat came into full operation, the Chief Minister discussed bringing the offices of all theAgovernment Heads of Departments (HODs) at one place. He decided to build their offices in an integrated place near the Secretariat in view of the fact that these officials are working closely with the Secretariat.

He asked the officials about the number of full-time staff working under the HODs of the government departments of all sectors and other aspects and directed the officials to find a spacious government place available near the new Secretariat. The CM said that after finalising the location, construction of twin towers will be undertaken.

The Chief Minister expressed happiness that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Telangana Secretariat is built to make the country proud and the employees and Secretariat staff are performing their duties in a pleasant environment.

He reiterated that the state government is committed to supporting the communities engaged in the traditional occupations. The state government will financially support Rajaka, Nai Brahmin, Pusala, Budagajangala and other castes who depend on their traditional occupations.

The state government already announced financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each.

As Cabinet Sub-Committee Chairman and BC Welfare Minister Gangula Kamalakar said that the assistance will be provided to them in a phased manner, KCR, as Rao is popularly known, directed him to finalise the procedures at the earliest and launch the scheme on Welfare Day to be celebrated during State Formation Day celebrations beginning on June 2.

KCR again asked the officials again to organize 21-day decennial Telangana State Formation Day celebrations on a grand scale. He held a review meeting with ministers and officials and discussed the progress in the arrangements made for the celebrations.

After the review meeting, he went to the Martyrs’ Memorial being built on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake near the Secretariat and inspected the construction work going on there. He suggested the installation of Telangana Talli Statue in front of the Martyrs’ Memorial.

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Telangana has become centre of spirituality, says KCR

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who will be inaugurating Telangana Brahmin Sadan here on May 31, has said the state has become the centre of spirituality.

Brahmin Sadan has come up on a sprawling nine acres of land at Gopanpally.

Chief Minister KCR hoped that the first Brahmin Sadan built by Telangana government will stand as an ideal spiritual and religious information centre for the country and become a centre of religious guidance to the society.

As part of the inauguration, ‘Chandi Yagam’ and ‘Sudarshan Yagam’ will be conducted. Leaders of Brahmin communities from other states, priests and Vedic scholars will attend the ceremony.

Priests from famous shrines, Kanchi Kamakoti and other places including Dwadasha Jyotirlingas, prominent Hindu religious leaders, Brahmin community leaders from all states and Brahmin public representatives have been invited.

KCR reviewed the arrangements for the inauguration with the President and members of Telangana Brahmin Welfare Parishad.

He suggested that the Brahmin Sadan collect information related to spiritual literature and rituals from all over the country and preserve it in books and digital format and make it available to all.

The Chief Minister said that it is the responsibility of the society to protect the Vedic ‘purohits’ who are always engaged in the service of well-being of the whole world and in the divine service. He said that the same philosophy is involved behind the implementation of many schemes for the welfare of Brahmins.

The Chief Minister said that Telangana has become a centre of spirituality with the revival of temples and spiritual and religious programmes organised across the state. The Chief Minister said that priests and Vedic scholars are migrating from other states to Telangana for employment. He claimed that along with all communities, Telangana has become a centre of employment for Brahmins.

President of Telangana Brahmin Welfare Parishad K. V. Ramanachari explained to Chief Minister KCR the implementation of development programmes for the welfare of Brahmins for the last six years. He said that since the establishment of the Welfare Parishad, around 6,500 families have been benefited.

The Chief Minister said that in addition to the existing schemes, some more programmes should be designed to provide support to the poor Brahmins.

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KCR urges PM Modi to withdraw ordinance on Delhi service matters

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the ordinance issued to nullify the Supreme Court order which granted control of services in the national capital to the Delhi government.

Terming the ordinance an insult to the people of Delhi, he announced that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) would oppose in Parliament the Bill to be brought by the Centre to replace the ordinance.

KCR said this while addressing a joint press conference with his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann after they called on him to seek BRS’ support against the ordinance passed by the Centre designating Delhi Lt Governor as the administrator who will have the final say on the postings and transfer of all bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.

“We demand the Prime Minister to withdraw the ordinance on his own. Don’t make an issue unnecessarily. Let the government elected by the people of Delhi work,” said KCR.

He alleged that by issuing the ordinance the Modi government insulted the people of Delhi as the government there is mandated by the people.

KCR slammed the Modi government for not honouring the Supreme Court order. “The journey is towards the emergency. In fact, this is worse than the Emergency,” he said, adding that the Centre should come to its senses and withdraw the ordinance.

Stating that people of Karnataka taught a lesson to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), KCR said the people in other states will also teach a lesson to it. He remarked that India reacts as and when something goes wrong.

“If the government of India does not honour the Supreme Court judgment, what will be the fate of the country? Where do you want to take the country,” asked the BRS leader.

He alleged that the Modi government at the Centre was creating problems for the non-BJP governments in the states by different means like stopping the release of Central funds and misuse of the office of the Governor.

Thanking KCR for the support, Kejriwal recalled that AAP formed its first government in February 2015 and in the same year in May, the Centre brought notification and snatched the powers of the government in service related matters.

“For eight long years, we ran around the courts fighting against this. When the Supreme Court’s larger bench gave the order 5-0 in favour, the Centre issued an ordinance to nullify it. When the PM does not obey the Supreme Court order, where will people go for justice,” he asked.

The AAP leader said the Prime Minister was sending a message to people that whatever government they elect, he would not allow it to function.

“This is happening across the country. They are toppling the non-BJP governments by either buying the MLAs or pressurising them by using ED and CBI against them or by misusing governors,” he said.

Calling this a dangerous situation, he said their fight was not just for Delhi but for the entire country and for saving democracy.

“We are going around the country seeking support from various parties. We want to defeat the Bill when it comes to Rajya Sabha. There are 238 MPs in Rajya Sabha and BJP has only 93 MPs. When opposition parties unite to defeat the Bill, this will be a semifinal before 2024 elections,” he said.

Bhagwant Mann said the AAP government in Punjab also had to knock the doors of the Supreme Court when the governor refused to call the budget session.

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Kejriwal to meet KCR to seek support against Ordinance on services matter

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrasekhar Rao here on Saturday to seek support against the Ordinance passed by the Centre designating Delhi Lt Governor as the administrator who will have the final say on the postings and transfer of all bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader on Friday tweeted that he will seek Telangana Chief Minister KCR’s support against the “unconstitutional and undemocratic Ordinance passed by the BJP government against the orders of the Supreme Court”.

The Supreme Court had recently passed an order giving the Delhi government the power to make laws and post or transfer bureaucrats.

In a unanimous ruling, a five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court on May 11 had stated that the Delhi government had legislative and executive powers over administrative services in the national capital.

Kejriwal along with other AAP leaders will urge Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) president and Telangana CM KCR to extend support to the party against the ordinance.

He will also request the BRS to oppose the Bill to be brought by the Modi government in Parliament to replace the ordinance.

The meeting with KCR will be the latest in a series of meetings the AAP leaders are having with leaders of various opposition parties in various states.

Kejriwal has also sought time with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi to seek Congress support in Parliament.

On May 25, Kejriwal along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had called on Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar in Mumbai to enlist his support. The AAP leaders also had a separate meeting with Shiv Sena UBT leader Uddhav Thackeray.

Kejriwal was earlier in Kolkata to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She assured him that when the Narendra Modi government presents the bill in Parliament, Trinamool Congress will oppose it.

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Telangana CM announces Rs 105 crore for formation day fete

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday decided to provide Rs 105 crore for the decennial celebrations of Telangana state formation, beginning on June 2.

At a meeting with district collectors at Dr B.R. Ambedkar Telangana Secretariat, the chief minister announced that the money will be released to the collectors for state-wide celebrations.

KCR directed the officials to ensure that the 21-day-long celebrations are organised in a grand manner highlighting the sacrifices made by the martyrs and the state’s achievements during the last 10 years.

He recalled that as a result of six decades of struggle and sacrifices, the Telangana state was achieved in the democratic and parliamentary way. He said the progress made by Telangana in a short period has made the nation proud.

Ministers, government advisors, Chief Minister’s advisors, chief secretary, secretaries in Chief Minister’s Office, district collectors, superintendents of police, Director General of Police and other top officials were participating in the day-long meeting.

The Chief Minister directed officials to ensure conduct of the daily programmes from village to the state level in a festive atmosphere. He gave directions to them on the programmes to be held in villages, constituencies and districts.

He asked the district collectors to coordinate with ministers, MLAs and other public representatives for smooth conduct of the celebrations.

KCR will inaugurate the celebrations on June 2 by paying tributes to Telangana martyrs at Gun Park in Hyderabad. Later, he will unfurl the national flag at Telangana secretariat premises and address the participants.

As per the schedule already announced, daily programmes will be held to highlight the progress achieved by the state in sectors like electricity, agriculture, irrigation, healthcare and industry.

The programmes will also highlight various schemes being implemented for welfare of farmers and other sections of people.

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Telangana plans wide range of activities for formation day celebrations

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From farmers’ day to celebrations at water bodies and from literature day to tribal festival, a wide range of activities are scheduled as part of the 21-day long decennial celebrations of Telangana Formation Day, beginning June 2.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government has planned grand celebrations to highlight the state’s achievements during the last nine years.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is holding high-level review meetings with ministers and officials almost on a daily basis to personally finalise the activities during the celebrations and monitor the preparations.

Apparently with an eye on the assembly elections scheduled to be held in November-December, the KCR government is going all out to celebrate the formation day in a grand manner to highlight what it calls the rapid strides made by the state across sectors.

KCR will inaugurate the celebrations on June 2 by paying tributes to Telangana martyrs at Gun Park in Hyderabad. Later, he will unfurl the national flag at Dr. BR Ambedkar Telangana secretariat premises and address the participants. Ministers will participate in the celebrations to be held in the districts.

June 3 will be celebrated as Telangana Farmers Day. The State Agriculture department will organise several programmes at Rythu Vedikas to highlight the achievements of the state’s agriculture sector, free electricity, Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima and other schemes. Public representatives and officials will participate in the community dine with all the farmers.

Safety Day (Suraksha Day) will be observed on June 4. The State Police department will organise programmes to explain the efforts of the police to maintain law and order in the state, friendly police policy and the efficient services.

To highlight the achievements of the energy sector June 5 will be celebrated as ‘Telangana Vidyuttu Vijayotsavam’. There will be meetings at constituency level to explain the qualitative change achieved by the state in the power sector. Singareni celebrations will also be held on the same day.

Telangana Industrial growth Festival will be held the next day (June 6) to highlight progress achieved in the industrial sector.

June 7 will be celebrated as Irrigation water day. Meetings will be organised in each constituency to explain the progress achieved in the irrigation sector. The State Irrigation department will hold a state-level meeting in Hyderabad which will be attended by KCR.

According to the Chief Minister’s Office, June 8 will be celebrated as ‘Oorura Cheruvula Panduga’ (celebrations at Water bodies in every village) Cultural programmes including Batukamma and Bonalu will be held. Fishermen will take out rallies and meetings on the embankments of the pond are planned. Leaders and people join the lunch near the ponds.

‘Telangana Sankshema Sambaralu’ (Celebrations of welfare programmes) will be held on June 9. Meetings will be held with the beneficiaries of Asara Pensions, Kalyana Lakshmi and other welfare schemes extended by the government at the constituency level.

Telangana Good Governance day will be celebrated on June 10. Meetings will be organised in all the district headquarters and programs will be held to convey the benefits of making government systems more accessible to the people through administrative reforms in the state.

Telangana Literature Day will be celebrated on June 11. District level kavi Sammelanams and state level programmes will be held.

Telangana Run will be held on June 12. The state police department will organise the event in all the constituency centres. Youth, students, public representatives, officials and others will participate.

Telangana Women’s Welfare Day will be celebrated on June 13 to explain the programmes and welfare schemes being implemented by the government for the welfare of women. Awards will be given to the best women employees.

Telangana Medical Day on June 14 will highlight the revolutionary developments in the medical and health sector. The health department will explain to people the medical facilities provided to them by strengthening the infrastructure. The Chief Minister will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a new building of a 2,000 bed super specialty hospital and expansion of NIMS, Hyderabad.

Telangana Palle Pragathi Day on June 15 will showcase the progress achieved by Telangana villages which have become a role model for the country. This will be followed by Telangana Pattana pragathi Day on June 16 to highlight progress achieved by urban bodies.

Telangana Tribal Festival will be celebrated on June 17. Meetings will be held in the newly-formed tribal villages. Officials will explain the measures taken by the government for tribal welfare.

The government has also planned the Telangana Drinking Water Festival on June 18. As Telangana region suffered a lot due to drinking water scarcity in the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh , the programme will highlight transformation of Telangana into a 100 per cent drinking water supply state through Mission Bhagiratha.

Under Telangana Green Festival (Haritha utsavam) on June 19, a large-scale plantation programme will be taken in all villages and towns across the state. The programme will explain the efforts made to increase greenery in the state by the state Forest Department and the improvement of forest cover in the state.

June 20 will be celebrated as Telangana Education Day. Meetings will be organised in all educational institutions across the state highlighting the achievements in the field of education.

Telangana Spiritual Day will be held on June 21 with various programmes at temples, mosques, churches and other places of worship.

The celebrations will conclude on June 22 with Telangana Martyrs Commemoration Day. People in villages, towns, cities and schools will pay homage to the martyrs and observe silence. A big rally will be taken out in memory of martyrs at Tank Bund in Hyderabad. KCR will inaugurate the newly-constructed Martyrs Memorial near Tank Bund.

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KCR faces anti-incumbency challenge as he attempts to score a hat-trick

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The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) will have anti-incumbency and history stacked against it when it faces the Telangana Assembly elections in the next few months.

The K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS will have to overcome a likely strong anti-incumbency factor to retain power in India’s youngest state.

KCR will also have to make history as no chief minister in South India has ever scored a hat-trick. This will be the first election after the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) transformed itself into the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to play a key role in national politics.

This is also likely to be the first election in Telangana sans a Telangana sentiment, which may make the task more daunting for the BRS.

Telangana sentiment dominated the 2014 and 2018 elections as the TRS sought a mandate in the first election to rebuild Telangana and a fresh mandate in 2018 to continue its efforts to turn the state into Bangaru or golden Telangana.

As KCR feels that he has achieved his task of a progressive Telangana, he rechristened the TRS as BRS in tune with his national ambitions, with a call to replicate the Telangana model in the rest of the country.

Unlike in 2018 when KCR had advanced the polls by a few months, this time the elections are likely to be held as per schedule (November-December).

With multiple players set to enter the poll fray, the electoral battle is likely to be very interesting, whose outcome will be difficult to guess.

With a multi-cornered contest on the cards, the stakes will be high for the BRS to retain power in Telangana. Political observers say the anti-incumbency factor will be in play as the party has been in power since the formation of the state.

KCR, who led the fight for statehood to Telangana and achieved the goal, is considered one of the smartest politicians in the country. He is known for surprising his opponents with his political tactics.

With the BJP emerging as a key challenger in the state, it will be interesting to see how KCR will devise a strategy to counter the saffron surge. Some political analysts see KCR’s move of turning the TRS into BRS as part of the strategy.

They believe KCR may play the son of the soil card by seeking a mandate for a big role in national politics to embark on his mission to bring a qualitative change in the nation’s polity.

The BRS chief is already trying to hardsell the Telangana model by getting leaders from various states to Hyderabad to talk about Rythu Bandhu and other schemes of Telangana.

“KCR is countering the BJP’s Modi model of governance. He calls it a golmal model and is trying to project the Telangana model,” observed political observer Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

At every meeting, KCR highlights how Telangana has become a model state with the highest per capita income, with one of the highest per capita power consumption, a growth rate which is much higher than the national average and innovative schemes for farmers, Dalits and other sections of the society.

Political observers feel KCR needs such a narrative as there will be strong anti-incumbency with the opposition questioning him about the promises he failed to keep.

This time, BRS will be facing new opponents like the YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) headed by Y. S. Sharmila, sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the Jana Sena Party (JSP) headed by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also likely to enter the field with new vigour under the leadership of R. S. Praveen Kumar, who took voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service (IPS) to join politics.

With the Telangana sentiment not in play in the manner it was seen in previous elections, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is also expected to flex its muscles to regain lost ground in Telangana.

The BRS, which fought earlier elections on its own, is likely to have an alliance with the Left parties. There was indication to this effect when the Left parties extended support to the BRS in the by-election to the Munugode Assembly seat late last year.

The BRS with its Dalit Bandhu scheme and various other measures will be hoping to receive full support from the Dalits, who constitute 10 per cent of the voters. Muslims, who are also about 10 per cent of the electorate, may once again back the BRS. “If BRS gets support of 10-15 per cent voters from the remaining 80 per cent, it will retain power comfortably,” said an analyst.

Though the BRS appears to have lost the support of the politically influential Reddy community, the votes may get divided between the BJP, Congress and others. The same is likely to happen with the backward classes, who constitute 50 per cent of the voters.

Unfazed by the BJP’s emergence as the main challenger, KCR remains confident that the BRS will retain power by winning more than 100 seats in the 119-member Assembly.

“The BRS party will win more than 100 in the next election,” he told a BRS general body meeting on April 27 to mark the party’s formation day.

“Coming to power again in Telangana is not a big task. The priority is to win more seats than before,” he told the participants including ministers, MPs and state legislators.

The BRS had bagged 63 seats in the 2014 election and improved its tally to 88 in 2018. With the defection of several MLAs including a dozen from the Congress, the BRS increased its strength to over 100.

KCR used the occasion to pull up some MLAs over complaints of wrongdoing against them. He warned them that if they did not mend their ways, they would be expelled from the party.

The BRS also asked the party leaders to take steps to reduce discontent among the cadre. He wanted them to educate the people about the government schemes, interact with them and mingle with them regularly.

BRS leaders remain hopeful that with the anti-incumbency votes getting divided among the Congress, BJP and other players, the BRS may not find it difficult to retain power.

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Somesh Kumar appointed chief advisor to Telangana CM

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The Telangana government has appointed retired IAS officer and former chief secretary Somesh Kumar as chief advisor to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Somesh Kumar has been appointed as the chief advisor in the rank of a Cabinet minister.

Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari issued a Government Order in this regard on Tuesday.

Somesh Kumar’s appointment came three months after he took voluntary retirement, weeks after he was shifted to Andhra Pradesh following a court order.

Somesh Kumar was removed as Chief Secretary of Telangana after the High Court quashed his allotment to that state.

On January 12, he had reported to Andhra Pradesh government as per orders of the central government. He had subsequently called on Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

He was not given any post on his request as he was also not interested to continue in service though it ends in December.

Somesh Kumar, who had served as Chief Secretary of Telangana for three years, was considered very close to Chief Minister KCR.

Telangana High Court on January 12 had set aside the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), allocating Somesh Kumar to Telangana in 2016.

The same day Department for Personnel Training (DoPT) of the central government relieved him from the state government of Telangana and directed to join the Andhra Pradesh government within two days.

CAT’s Hyderabad bench had passed an order on March 29, 2016 allotting Somesh Kumar to Telangana.

Following bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh into two separate states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2014, the Union government had re-allotted IAS and IPS officers working in the undivided state to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and the newly created Telangana state.

Somesh Kumar, an IAS from the 1989 batch in Bihar, was allotted to Andhra Pradesh by the DoPT.

However, Somesh Kumar had moved the CAT and secured an order staying his allotment to Andhra Pradesh cadre. Since then, he continued in Telangana and became Chief Secretary in 2019.

DoPT had filed an appeal in the High Court challenging the stay order of CAT, Hyderabad branch.

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Telangana implementing action plan to spread Buddha’s teachings: KCR

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has said that the state government is implementing an action plan to spread teachings of Gautam Buddha worldwide from Telangana by reviving the old Buddhist temples spread in different parts of the state.

He said that the propagation of Buddhism on Telangana soil is a matter of pride for all as he noted that the roots of Telangana’s social life and culture are deeply embedded in Buddhism.

The Buddhist sites (Aramas), erected on the banks of river Krishna and Godavari rivers and dating back thousands of years, are the evidence of the spread of Buddhism in Telangana. The Chief Minister said that the ‘Buddhavanam’ which has been developed with international standards at NagarjunaSagar by the state government is attracting tourists from all over the world.

On the occasion of birth anniversary (Jayanti) of Gautam Buddha, called Buddha Pournima, KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, extended his greetings to the people.

He asserted practicing the teachings of Gautama Buddha will help mankind to achieve utopian life and the enlightenment of living in harmony with nature, love, compassion, non-violence taught by Lord Buddha are imperative for today’s society.

KCR said that it is a proud moment for every Indian to live on the land from where Buddha taught noble principles of peaceful coexistence to the entire world of humanity 2500 years ago. He observed that the social, economic and cultural principles preached by Lord Buddha with great vision and philosophical wisdom against discrimination and hatred based on color, gender, caste, etc. are immortal. Buddha’s teachings will remain relevant as long as human society exists.

The CM said that the government is making efforts to ensure that the people of Telangana live happily in all fields. The state government is fulfilling Lord Buddha’s aspirations by implementing the schemes meant for the development of all sections of people including SC, ST, BC, minority, women, poor etc regardless of caste, colour and religion.

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BRS looks to accelerate activities with permanent office in Delhi

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BRS national president and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will inaugurate party’s central office building in Delhi on Thursday, and with this, the party is looking to accelerate its activities.

The work on four-storied building for the BRS, which started last at Vasant Vihar in the centre of Delhi, is now ready for inauguration.

The BRS was launched with the agenda of comprehensive development across the country and empowering farmers’ rule in the country.

With the inauguration of central office in the national capital, the activities of BRS will be accelerated.

KCR will enter the office, built with perfect vastu, by performing rituals and special pujas and occupy his seat.

Telangana Roads and Buildings Minister Prashanth Reddy and Rajya Sabha MP Joginapalli Santosh Kumar have been constantly monitoring the works related to the construction of BRS Bhavan in the national capital and overseeing the inauguration activities.

The BRS Bhavan with four floors is built on an area of 11,000 square feet. Lower ground will have a media hall and servant quarters. A canteen, reception lobby and four chambers for General Secretaries are built on ground floor.

KCR’s chamber, other chambers and conference halls are established in the first floor. A total of 20 rooms are available on the second and third floors, including the President’s Suite, the Working President’s suite and the remaining 18 other rooms.

It was in 2021 that KCR had laid foundation stone for the building.

KCR had inaugurated temporary office of BRS at Sardar Patel Marg in Delhi on December 14, 2022.

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Telangana to introduce insurance scheme for toddy tappers

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday decided to introduce an insurance scheme for toddy tappers in the state.

‘Geetha Karmikula Bhima’ (Insurance for toddy tappers) will be on the lines of Rythu Bhima, an insurance scheme for farmers which is already being implemented in the state.

KCR said that the insurance money of Rs 5 lakh will be deposited directly in the bank account of the family members in case a toddy tapper dies accidentally while collecting toddy from palm trees in the fields.

The CM instructed Telangana Finance Minister T. Harish Rao and Excise and Prohibition Minister V. Srinivas Goud to prepare guidelines for the new insurance scheme.

The Chief Minister held a review meeting in this regard at B.R. Ambedkar Telangana Secretariat on Tuesday.

Speaking on this occasion, KCR expressed his concern that there are unfortunate incidents of toddy tappers losing their lives due to accidental fall from the trees.

The CM said that it is the responsibility of the government to support the families of toddy tappers who died in such unfortunate incidents.

KCR said that the government is already providing ex-gratia to the victims’ families but there is a big delay.

Considering the plight of toddy tapper families, the government decided to extend insurance coverage and disburse the amount within a week to the bereaved families like the farmers’ families availing Rythu Bhima benefit.

CM KCR issued orders to the ministers and the Chief Secretary to take action in this direction.

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