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Telangana to implement 10 per cent quota for EWS

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The Telangana government has decided to implement 10 per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the state, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Thursday.

He said a high-level review meeting will be held in the next two to three days on the matter and appropriate orders will be issued.

“There is a need to implement 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to those economically weaker classes. We have decided to implement 10 per cent reservations to the EWS while continuing the reservations to those who are already enjoying the benefit as it is,” he said.

“As on date in the state, 50 per cent reservations are being implemented to the weaker sections. With 10 per cent reservations to the EWS, the reservation percentage will be 60 per cent,” he added.

It was in 2019 that the Centre had announced 10 per cent quota for EWS but the Telangana government had not taken a decision to implement it in the state.

The Narendra Modi government had told the Supreme Court early this month that the decision to implement the 10 per cent quota for the economically weak sections in states lie with the state governments.

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment stated this in response to a petition seeking the implementation of the quota in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The Telangana legislature in 2017 had already passed a bill enhancing Reservation for Muslims from four per cent to 12 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes (STs) from six per cent to 10 per cent.

The state had requested the Centre to amend the Constitution to relax 50 per cent upper limit for quota to all sections as prescribed by the Supreme Court. Despite repeated demands by the Chief Minister, the Centre did not agree to the proposal.

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KCR master stroke to BJP Hindutva agenda

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Since the GHMC elections, it became clear that the ruling TRS is going to face a tough competition from the BJP. The upper caste Hindu votes in Telangana are indeed a matter of great concern. The Velamas, Reddys, Kammas, Brahmins, Vysyas, etc were largely divided among the TRS, Congress, BJP and to a minor extent TDP.

No doubt, if the BJP is allowed to take forward its Hindutva agenda at the current pace, KCR would have to face a difficult time ahead. The rise of the BJP has led to a triangular fight between the TRS, Congress and BJP in most segments. As a result, small swings in votes would also make or mar the winning chances. The aggressive politics being pursued by BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay has posed another challenge.

In the midst of severe competition, KCR has come out with his surprise strategy which has potential to tide over the Hindutva threat to the TRS. The TRS boss has announced 10 percent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) candidates among upper castes in education and jobs as well.

Analysts say that it is going to be a timely calculated move that will help the TRS retain its firm hold on the voter mood. Moreover, some sections of the BCs are expected to come under the BJP influence. KCR has no option but to polarise and get a bigger share of the upper caste vote bank for his party to continue its supremacy in the State.

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Kaleswaram has redrawn irrigation map of Telangana: KCR

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has expressed happiness over completion of the Kaleswaram project and said that it has redrawn the irrigation map of the state.

With water being pumped uninterruptedly as planned, he congratulated the Water Resources Department officials, implementation agencies and officials from other departments for their efforts in completing the project on a fast track.

The CM, who visited Laxmi Barrage constructed at Medigadda, directed the officials concerned to fill the tanks and reservoirs this summer with the water stored now at the full level at the barrage. He wanted the officials to prepare project-wise operational guidelines and implement the same.

He wanted other major projects in the state should be completed with the same spirit with which the Kaleswaram Project was completed.

KCR, with his wife Shobha, ministers and other leaders, paid floral tributes to the Godavari waters. He recalled his experiences while constructing the project.

“The Telangana farming community has faced hardships for decades. We have resolved in the initial stages that once Telangana state is formed, farmers should get adequate water supply for two crops and that will be the result of getting Telangana State. We have planned a strategy of constructing a barrage at a point after river Godavari and Pranahita join so that more water can be pumped for more time,” he said.

“After a technical survey was done by the WAPCOS, it was decided to construct a barrage at Medigadda point. We have estimated that with if the barrage is constructed with 16.17 TMC storage capacity on 100 metres height, water can be pumped for 7 months in a year. Whatever we planned it is happening as it is now. 16.17 TMC of water is stored at a height of 99.7 metres. Constructions have happened as we planned. Pumping of water is also happening without any problem as planned. From Medigadda Point, water is stored till 54 km in Pranahita and 42 km in Godavari rivers,” KCR added.

He noted that barrages are brimming with water and they are looking like the sea. Water from Medigadda will reach Yellampalli, Mid Maneru, LMD, Mallanna Sagar, Kondapochamma Sagar, Baswapur and Gandhamalla reservoirs every year. Arrangements are being made to supply water to the Nizam Sagar from Kaleswaram. If need be, water will be pumped to the SRSP from Kaleswaram.

Taking inspiration from the Kaleswaram Project, works on the Tupakulagudem Barrage, Dummugudem Barrage of the Sitarama Project are being completed speedily, he said. “We want to complete all these projects quickly and put an end to the farmers’ hardships once and for all in the state and this is our aim,” the CM said.

“We have taken up construction of the Kaleswaram project as a Yagnam. Thousands of workers toiled 365 days even in the hottest 50 degrees temperatures. The officials have solved the problems like the land acquisition, crossings with lot of knack and presence of mind. I am very happy that the project, which is of immense help and need to the farmers, has become operational. It is a matter of satisfaction that the dreams of Telangana farmers have been realised and a solution to the drinking water problems is reached,” he added.

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Dharani portal yielding desired results, says KCR

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday said that the Dharani portal, which was brought in to ensure that the farmers would not face any problems while selling, purchasing, registering and getting mutation of agriculture lands, is giving the desired results.

He expressed satisfaction that the farmers are able to do registrations, sale and purchase and mutations within minutes without bribing any one, using any influence or running around the offices. The CM said in the two months period, 1.6 lakh booked the slots and of them, 80,000 have already completed their registrations.

KCR, as the CM is popularly known, said there are 90 per cent of farmers who hold less than 5 acres of land in the state and the government’s aim is to make sure that these farmers should be able to do the registration of their land and mutations without any problem.

He assured that even if there were some uncertainties regarding the agriculture lands, the District Collectors would solve them in two months. The CM also disclosed that the Dharani portal would have more options and more improvements would be done to it.

The CM held a high-level review meeting with top officials on the maintenance of the Dharani Portal and measures to be taken to improve its performance.

He directed officials to provide more options on Dharani portal, and strengthen it. He also gave instructions to sort out various issues related to the portal.

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Telangana dovetails Arogyasri with Ayushman Bharat

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After rejecting Ayushman Bharat scheme for more than two years, the Telangana government on Wednesday announced it decided to dovetail the state’s Arogyasri scheme with Centre’s programme.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has taken a decision to combine the two.

The Prime Minister on Wednesday held a video conference with Chief Secretaries of all the states to review the progress of various infrastructure projects, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Manthri Jan Aarogya Yojana, Jal Jeevan Mission etc.

Telangana said that through Mission Bhagiratha, it has provided safe tap water to all households. The Centre has acknowledged that 98.5 per cent of the households in Telangana have been covered with safe drinking tap water.

The state government’s decision has come as a surprise as it has been maintaining that Arogyasri scheme is comprehensive and better than Ayushman Bharat.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been criticizing the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for not implementing Ayushman Bharat.

BJP leaders had raised this issue in the recent elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Party President J.P. Nadda had targeted the state government for depriving people of Telangana of the benefits of Ayushman Bharat, which provides Rs 5 lakh health coverage.

Rejecting Ayushman Bharat in favour of Aarogyasri medical health cover scheme for the poor, Chandrasekhar Rao had stated in the Assembly last year that the state government is not interested in wasting public money on those central schemes which are not beneficial to the people.

While presenting the state budget, KCR had claimed that Arogyasri was more beneficial and had a wider outreach than the Ayushman Bharat scheme and that the government is spending Rs 1,336 crore a year to help 85.34 lakh families.

With Ayushman Bharat, it is possible for the state to provide medical benefits only to the extent of Rs 250 crore a year benefiting only 26 lakh families, he had said.

KCR had also claimed that through Arogyasri, the state government is extending services relating to 25 distinct organ transplant procedures free of cost which is not available under Ayushman Bharat scheme.

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KCR too faces charges of running a ‘mad Tughlaq’ rule

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All Opposition parties in AP are constantly attacking and terming the Jagan Reddy regime as an ‘insane Tughlaq’ rule. The YCP’s policies regarding colours on Government offices, demolitions and cancellations came in for severe criticism. Now, the Telangana Opposition parties have also started using similar allegations against the TRS rule.

The Congress leaders are now describing KCR’s regime as a ‘mad Tughlaq’ rule because of its non-stop policies against the interests of the people. Congress senior leader Komatireddy Venkat Reddy says that KCR’s latest decision on the layout regularisation scheme (LRS) will make even Tughlaq go mad.

Komatireddy asked how the Government would go ahead with the registrations without the LRS when the scheme was not scrapped. He asked KCR to first revoke the LRS scheme and then give a green signal for the registrations. If KCR does not cancel the LRS, then the Telangana people would permanently cancel the TRS party.

In his usual style, Komatireddy challenged that he would begin protests and agitations to expose KCR’s unacceptable policies. The Congress leader threatened to bring down the KCR rule with his non-stop crusade. The question is whether Telangana Congress leaders are thinking of a united fight at all even after the humiliating defeat in the GHMC polls.

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2020, a year of challenges for TRS

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The coronavirus pandemic, its impact on Telangana’s finances, challenges faced by the TRS government on various fronts, floods in Hyderabad and BJP’s emergence as the main opposition party marked 2020 in Telangana.

Like in other states of the country and other parts of the world, Covid dominated everything else during the year. Its impact on the state’s revenues also created a host of problems for the state.

One of the first states to report Covid-19 cases, Telangana did well to keep the situation under control. The state initially came under flak from public health experts and also faced ire of the state high court on several occasions for fewer testing. However, the authorities later ramped up testing and also took effective steps.

Health Minister Eatala Rajender claimed that Telangana was the first state in the country to announce lockdown and it was also the first state to alert the Centre over the spread of virus by the Tabilighi Jamaat conclave in Delhi.

After the public uproar over exploitation of pandemic situation by the corporate hospitals, the government stepped in to fix the tariff both for the Covid diagnosis and treatment.

The state government also claimed to have set an example for others by making all arrangements to send back migrant labourers to their respective states by special trains. The state government footed the bill for the same.

Hyderabad, known as the bulk drug capital of India, was also in the news for manufacturing of lifesaving Covid-19 drugs like Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine and Favipiravir by some of the top pharma companies based here.

Subsequently, the city also described as the vaccine capital of the world, hit the headlines for the development of vaccines for Covid-19. At least four companies based here are developing Covid vaccines. Bharat Biotech is working on India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.

Another city-based firm Biological E last month initiated a clinical trial of its subunit vaccine candidate in India following approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI).

BE is making the vaccine in collaboration with Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Dynavax), a US-based vaccine focused biopharmaceutical company, and Baylor College of Medicine, a health sciences university in Houston.

Envoys of over 60 countries also visited the facilities of the two companies early this month. The visit was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and it was part of India’s efforts to develop partnerships for the manufacture and delivery of vaccines.

In October, Hyderabad saw one of the worst floods in the city’s history due to heavy rainfall. At least 50 people were killed in and around the city. Hundreds of colonies were inundated.

The TRS government came under criticism from opposition for its failure to handle floods but the government defended itself saying there is no city in the country which is not affected by floods.

Telangana also claimed to be the only state in the country to provide financial assistance of Rs10,000 each to all the families affected. The government has so far spent over Rs 600 crore for distributing the assistance among 6.64 lakh families.

The state’s relations with the Centre also came under strain with Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao alleging that the state received no funds from the Centre for tackling the pandemic and for relief and rehabilitation in the flood-affected Hyderabad. He also slammed the Centre for not coming forward to help the states facing financial problems due to the pandemic.

A war of words also broke out between the TRS and the BJP leaders over the Central funds. While the BJP leaders claimed the Centre provided funds for the state’s schemes, the TRS countered saying the state contributed much more to the Centre in the form of taxes than what it received.

The ruling party faced toughest challenges since the formation of the Telangana state in 2014. The BJP emerged as the main opposition party with its victory in the Dubbak Assembly bypoll and impressive performance in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.

Despite the impact of pandemic on its economy, the state continued implementation of various welfare schemes. It set up purchasing centres in villages to buy paddy and maize from farmers to ensure that they don’t suffer losses during the pandemic.

The state also continued to attract the investment despite the challenges. Several firms, including marquee names announced investments of over Rs 30,000 crore over the last six months.

The state also took initiatives to expand information technology to tier-II cities. Within Hyderabad, the government took measures to disperse IT growth beyond the clusters of Hitec City and Gachibowli.

Under its ambitious plans to take IT growth to all corners of the city, the government announced GRID (Growth in Dispersion) policy. Authorities issued orders to convert as many as 11 industrial parks into IT parks.

Telangana clocked over Rs 1.28 lakh crore of IT exports during 2019-20, a growth of nearly 18 per cent over the previous year. This growth was registered despite the onset of the Covid-19 during the last quarter of 2019-2020.

The growth rate was more than double the national average of 8.09 per cent and more than two-and-a-half times the rest of the nation’s average of 6.92 per cent.

The number of jobs in the IT sector in the state went up from 5,43,033 to 5,82,126, a growth of 7.20 per cent compared to national average of 4.93 per cent.

The year saw no major law and order problems. However, Maoists continued their attempts to revive their activities in the districts bordering Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. They tried to regroup themselves by taking advantage of the pandemic situation.

In September and October, 10 Maoists were killed in separate exchanges of gunfight with police. Most of the killings happened in Bhadradri Kothagudem district bordering Chhattisgarh.

Maoists also killed a worker of the ruling TRS and a couple of others branding them as police informers.

The state also brought a new Revenue Act to usher in a new era of land transactions. Dharani portal was launched as a one stop solution for all land related transactions. The aim was to provide a transparent and corruption free system.

The registration process was stopped to ensure smooth transition to the new system. Though registration of the agricultural land resumed in October in a smooth manner, the process for non-agricultural properties was delayed. The government had to revert to the old system after the high court ruled that the government can’t insist that the applicants submit their Aadhaar card details. The hiccups dented the state’s revenues.

The Land regularisation Scheme (LRS) scheme announced by the government also evoked criticism with the opposition targeting the government for trying to fill the coffers by burdening people during the pandemic.

The government also came under attack for demolition of the old secretariat to construct a new building during the pandemic .

As one of the 10 buildings in the complex was heritage structure built in 1888 the demolition was strongly opposed by groups working for heritage conservation. Demolition of two mosques and one temple in the secretariat premises also triggered an outrage.

Strong reaction by Muslim groups forced the government to announce that the place of worship will be rebuilt. For the first time in six years, the TRS came under sharpest attack from the Muslim groups, who lodged their protest over the government organizing birth centenary celebrations of former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao.

Earlier this year, the KCR government was hailed by the community when the state legislature passed a resolution opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Chandrasekhar Rao stated that the CAA and the other two processes are methods being used to ‘tinker with the inclusive and non-religious nature of the citizenship.

The year also saw the end of the bonhomie witnessed between the Telangana and the Andhra Pradesh governments since May 2019 when YSR Congress Party stormed to power in the neighbouring states. They accused each other of building illegal projects over the Godavari and Krishna rivers and sought the Centre’s intervention.

The year saw Hyderabad Metro Rail becoming the second largest metro rail network in the country with 69.2 km operational distance when the stretch from Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) to Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) was thrown open.

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Telangana not to set up agriculture purchase centres in villages from next year

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The Telangana government on Sunday decided not to set up purchase centres in villages to buy agriculture produce from farmers, saying it was one time facility provided on humanitarian grounds during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The farmers will have to bring their produce to agriculture markets. However, the system will be streamlined by issuing tokens to ensure that all farmers don’t turn up at the market on the same day.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday.

The participants in the meeting observed that due to the pandemic, the government had set up purchasing centres in the village to ensure that farmers did not suffer losses.

“It is not possible to do the same thing every time. The government is not a business organisation or a trader. It is not a rice miller or a dal miller. Sale and purchase is not the responsibility of government. It is not possible to set up purchase centres in the villages from next year onwards. The new farm laws being implemented in the country allowed the farmers to sell their crop anywhere. Hence, the state government need not set purchase centres in the villages,” they said.

The officials said that even since the Telangana was formed, the government incurred heavy losses due to purchase of various crops. The government so far incurred losses to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore due to the purchase of paddy, sorghum, maize, redgram, Bengal gram and sunflower. Though the government had purchased these agriculture produce by paying the Minimum Support Price (MSP), it had to sell them at the lower prices in the market, as there was no demand for these crops.

The Chief Minister announced that all the farmers in the state would be given financial assistance under Rythu Bandhu from Monday. He stated that Rs 7,515 crore financial assistance is given to 1.52 crore acres of the cultivated land of 61.49 lakh farmers at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre for the 2020 summer season. The CM has instructed the officials concerned to ensure that every farmer get the assistance in his bank account directly for each acre.

The Chief Minister also directed agriculture officers to ensure effective implementation of Rythu Bhima scheme. When the Rythu Bhima scheme started Rs 630 crore was paid as the installment but many farmers have registered their land among their family members so that they are all covered by the Rythu Bhima policy. Hence the number swelled and the premium doubled. This year’s installment is Rs 1,144 crore but the government decided to continue the scheme.

Rao also directed the officials to continue 24×7 free power supply and ensure that the farmers get quality seed, fertilisers, and pesticides.

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Telangana forms cabinet sub-committee for non-agri registrations

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday appointed a cabinet sub-committee to finalise guidelines for registration of non-agricultural lands and other properties in the state.

The sub-committee will be headed by Roads and Buildings Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy and will have Municipal Administration and Information Technology minister K.T. Rama Rao, Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Home Minister Mahmood Ali and Animal Husbandry Minister T. Srinivas Yadav are the members.

The Chief Minister asked the sub-committee to hold talks with builders, real estate businessmen, and other sections of the society for three to four days, take their views into consideration and prepare the strategy and action plan.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, held a review meeting on the subject with ministers and senior officials. He asked the officials concerned to ensure that the non-agricultural lands and properties registrations are done in a transparent manner, without any official having any discretionary powers and people are not forced to pay any bribes.

The CM enquired about the agricultural lands registration being done through the Dharani portal. He expressed satisfaction that the farmers are happy to get the land registered through Dharani portal after getting over the initial small hiccups. He noted that the agricultural land registrations are done through Dharani in a smooth and easier manner to the satisfaction of the farmers, and wanted a similar process for the registration of the non-agricultural lands and properties.

“Due to various reasons, registration is stopped for 70 to 80 days creating some difficulties. There should not be any further delay now. There is a need to have a registration process, which should be simple, easy and comfortable. Real estate sector is doing very well in Hyderabad. The non-agricultural lands and properties registration system should not create any problem for the real estate sector and it should in fact help the sector’s further growth,” he said.

KCR said the process should be transparent in such a way that people have no scope to pay any bribes. No officer should have any discretionary rights to take any decision.

It was on December 11 that slot booking for registration of non-agricultural properties was launched. The process of registration is likely to begin from Monday.

The Telangana High Court on December 10 had permitted the commencement of registrations with 100 per cent advance slot booking.

The resumption of registration of non-agricultural properties in the state was delayed as some citizens had challenged in the court the government’s orders that Aadhaar and caste details of the property owners must be uploaded on Dharani portal.

The court directed the government not to insist on Aadhaar number and other details for Dharani portal and to resume registration with the old procedure.

The registration of both agricultural and non-agricultural land was stopped in the first week of September to facilitate the transition to the online process following enactment of the new Revenue Act.

The registration of agricultural lands commenced on October 29 when Dharani portal was launched.

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New challenges await KCR as he completes two years in office

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With the emergence of the BJP as the real opposition party in Telangana, new challenges await the TRS government which completed two years in its second term on Sunday.

The saffron surge, evident from BJP’s recent electoral victories, has overshadowed the celebrations in Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) camp.

In fact, the second anniversary came close on the heels of the BJP putting up an impressive show in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections to win 48 seats in 150-member municipal body, pushing the TRS down to 56 seats from a whopping 99 it won in 2016. The BJP was then almost non-existent with just two seats in its kitty.

The fractured verdict in GHMC polls came barely a few days after the shocking defeat for the TRS in by-election to Dubbak Assembly seat, which the BJP wrested from it.

The first defeat for the TRS in a by-election since formation of Telangana state, signalled the emergence of BJP as an alternative. The GHMC poll results came as another shot in the arm for the BJP, which now sees a realistic chance of coming to power in 2023.

In 2014, the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led TRS secured simple majority with 63 seats in 119-member Assembly. After successfully achieving the goal of Telangana state, he embarked on the mission to rebuild the country’s youngest state.

By luring top leaders from opposition parties to TRS camp, he considerably weakened the Congress and nearly decimated the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

With considerable progress made in realizing the vision of ‘Bangaru Telangana’ or golden Telangana, a confident KCR went for early polls. His gamble paid off as the TRS retained power with a landslide victory, winning 88 seats.

Not stopping at that, KCR went all out to eliminate the opposition Congress. A dozen out of 19 Congress MLAs defected to the TRS. Congress lost the status of even the main opposition party. However, the analysts believe that this strategy is now proving costly for him as in the absence of strong opposition alternatives, the anti-establishment votes have begun to consolidate under the BJP.

“KCR got lesser mandate but bigger authority in the first term. As he went on absorbing all and sundry, his mandate turned bigger and so also the challenges to his regime, mainly due to mistakes and shortcomings of his own making,” says political observer Telkapalli Ravi.

“KCR had a smooth run between 2014 and 2018, and he was able to rake up sentiments among the people that his detractors were equivalent to those who are anti-Telangana. However, that honeymoon period is over now, and people of Telangana are expecting visible development in the state,” said analyst P. Raghavendra Reddy

“Political actions of KCR between 2014 and 2019 led to the downfall of Congress in Telangana, which resulted in consolidation of the anti-TRS vote in favour of the BJP. And this is now the biggest challenge before KCR to overcome, in addition to great expectations people have from his government,” said Reddy.

Often criticized by his opponents for his “authoritarian” attitude, KCR also came under flak for promoting his own family.

In fact, he received the first jolt only a few months after retaining power with massive majority. In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP not only retained its lone seat but also wrested three other seats from TRS. This included Nizamabad where KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha had to taste defeat.

She recently returned to active politics after getting elected to state Legislative Council. KCR already has his son K.T. Rama Rao as a cabinet minister holding several key portfolios and Working President of the TRS. He is seen as KCR’s heir apparent. KCR’s nephew T. Harish Rao is the Finance Minister.

“Apparently, unilateralism and family presence undermined moral legitimacy. Problems like Covid and floods and the BJP targeting the government with communal card has created new challenges,” said Ravi.

KCR’s flip-flop in his dealing with Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre also led to many eyebrows being raised in the political circles.

On the eve of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he floated the idea of Federal Front as an alternative to both BJP and Congress. It proved a non-starter with BJP retaining power at the Centre with huge majority.

Just before the GHMC elections, he revived the idea. This time he announced that he will bring together like-minded parties on a common platform to take on the BJP. Many took this with a pinch of salt.

It was in 2018 that KCR had announced his plans to build an alternative to the Congress and the BJP to take the country on the path of development and progress. Political observers say speaking about a new alliance only at the time of elections will yield no gains.

With over 100 seats in the Assembly, KCR may be sitting pretty to complete the term but with BJP adopting aggressive posture following its recent electoral victories, he is likely to have tough times ahead.

“Challenges before KCR and the ruling TRS are mounting by the day. People want the promises made during the agitation for Telangana movement to be fulfilled at the earliest. The youth of Telangana expected more number of jobs, as promised, in separate State, which this regime failed to fulfil,” said Reddy.

On its part, the TRS government says it continued its focus on welfare and development schemes to make Telangana a trendsetter and a role model for the entire country.

It fulfilled the electoral promises like increasing the crop investment support to farmers to farmers under Rythu Bandhu scheme from Rs 8,000 per acre to Rs 10,000 per acre and loan waiver for loans of less than one lakh rupees.

KCR inaugurated Kaleswaram project which is expected to make the state fertile, providing water for irrigation, drinking water and industrial purposes.

The government introduced regulated farming to ensure that farmers grow the crops which have demand in the market.

It brought reforms in the revenue system with a new Revenue Act. Dharani website was launched for online registration of agricultural and non-agricultural properties.

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PM Modi giving appointments to KCR but not Jagan

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It was a long time ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave an appointment to AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy. There have been many pressing issues like funds problems for Polavaram, unfulfilled Reorganisation promises like Special Category Status, etc. But, the PM has not met the AP CM directly in recent months. The AP Ministers were making rounds to the Union Ministers in Delhi but there was no major gain for the State. AP Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy is virtually visiting Delhi every week for seeking the Central funds under one project or another.
On the other hand, the PM has given appointment to KCR who is supposed to be the arch enemy of the BJP in Telangana. What more, there was a warm reception to KCR in Delhi. The Telangana CM had also used the occasion to place a list of favours before the PM. A major plea of KCR was national project status to either Kaleswaram or Palamur-Rangareddy irrigation project.
Already, Polavaram was given the national project status in Andhra Pradesh. But, the Centre had not been clarifying whether it would give the massive Rs. 27,000 Cr needed for land acquisition or not.
Now, political circles are curious how Modi would be going to respond to KCR’s promises at a time when the Central Government was not so favourable to the projects in AP which is facing a serious financial crunch right now.

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Telangana CM hints at possibility of state’s second international airport

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday hinted at the possibility of second international airport near Siddipet in addition to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on outskirts of Hyderabad.

He said that Siddipet is a very dynamic place and is in very close vicinity to capital city. “In future, within boundaries of Siddipet district, we can expect another international airport to come up,” he said after laying the foundation stone for Information Technology Tower at Duddeda village in Kondapak mandal of Siddipet.

This is not the first time KCR spoke about the need for more international airports.

After formation of the Telangana state in 2014, he had said Hyderabad will require at least two more airports in the near future as the city’s population is expected to touch three crore with the development of the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR).

“Hyderabad’s population in 2014 is 94 lakh. We are soon to develop a Rs 2.30 lakh crore ITIR that will create two more Hyderabads and the population will shoot up to three crore. So, we will require at least two more airports to the east and north of the city to cater to the additional population,” he had said.

However, ITIR was later shelved by the Central government.

In his brief remarks on the occasion of laying foundation stone of IT Park, KCR said this will facilitate development of Siddipet on all fronts.

The IT Park is coming at a cost of Rs 45 crore in sprawling 3 acres with 60,000 square feet office space. On this occasion, four IT companies from the US exchanged MoUs with the state government to set up their offices in the IT Park.

KCR on Thursday laid foundation stone and inaugurated several development works in the Siddipet Assembly constituency, which he once represented.

The CM inaugurated Rythu Vedika at Mittapally near Siddipet, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 22 lakh.

He also inaugurated Government Medical College, which was constructed at a cost of Rs 715 crore, and laid the foundation stone for a 1,000-bedded Government Hospital.

The CM inaugurated 2,460 double bed room housing complex in Siddipet which was constructed at a cost of Rs 145 crore.

Addressing a public meeting, KCR spoke about his association with Siddipet and the role the constituency played in making Telangana state a reality.

KCR, who represented Siddipet constituency from 1985 to 2004, remarked that there is no KCR without Siddipet and no Telangana without KCR.

He recalled that when he was elected from both Karimnagar Lok Sabha and Siddipet Assembly seats in 2004, he had to quit as MLA with a heavy heart as he had to move to Delhi to fight for Telangana state.

Stating that there is something special about Siddipet, the Chief Minister said he lived up to people’s expectations by delivering Telangana state. He said he was also happy that he gave to people of Siddipet an able leader like Harish Rao.

Harish Rao, who is nephew of KCR, has been representing Siddipet since 2014.

KCR said he was happy to see tremendous development Siddipet has seen under Harish Rao’s leadership.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rs 100 crore defamation suit against KCR, Anjani Kumar

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BJP leader and vice-chairman G Vivekanand on Monday filed a defamation suit against chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and police commissioner Anjani Kumar.

The former TRS MP, in his suit, claimed that police commissioner had caused an irreparable damage to his reputation by making baseless and misleading allegations against him during the Dubbaka byelections. Vivekanand claimed damages to the tune of Rs 100 crore each from K Chandrasekhar Rao and Anjani Kumar. The BJP leader had released an advertisement in newspapers.

He stated that Anjani Kumar has falsely claimed that the police busted a major Hawala racket involving Vishaka Industries. Vivekanand alleged that Anjani Kumar held a press conference claiming that two people were arrested, including the brother in law of Raghunandan Rao. He had informed media that the police had intercepted a car near Begumpet Flyover, during which one crore net cash was seized. Apart from cash, the police seized two mobiles. The CP further claimed that the police found incriminating evidence from the call sheets of the mobile phones. As per the call records, Vishaka Industries allegedly sent Rs 1,000 crore through Raghunandan Rao’s brother in law Surabhi Srinivas allegedly for distribution to voters during Dubbaka by-elections.

The police detained Surabhi Srinivas Rao who is the brother in law of BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao and his car driver T.Ravi Kumar.

During the investigation police came to know that seized amount was collected by Surabhi Srinivas Rao from Vishaka Industries office situated at Begumpet, Secunderabad in order to deliver at Dubbaka for the purpose of distributing to voters at Dubbaka Constituency, Anjani Kumar had claimed according to Vivekanand.

He further informed that one manager of Vishaka Industries Ltd., belongs to G.Vivek Venkata Swamy, (Ex.MP of Peddapally) handed over the cash to him to transport from Hyderabad to Dubbaka.

Taking serious objection to the claims, Vivekanand filed a defamation suit.

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Your time has come to step down: Nadda to KCR

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Braving the downpour in the city, BJP national president J P Nadda took part in roadshows amidst the chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki jai, Jai Shri Ram” and drumbeats. The entire atmosphere was at once electrifying with the BJP showing signs of renewed vigor after its victory in Dubbaka polls.

In Kothapeta, chants of “jai jai Modi, down down KCR” reverberated with a massive turnout.

Addressing the public, Nadda urged the voters to give BJP a chance in the GHMC elections for the larger development of city. “I am telling KCR that your time has come to step down. Your downfall is near. The lotus will blossom in Telangana. We will steer Hyderabad into the path of progress and development. We will go to any city to bring development, end corruption and family rule. I request voters to support the BJP to blossom in every single division under the GHMC limits,” Nadda said while amping up adrenalin rush in the BJP’s camp.

As Nadda’s vehicle snaked through the road, a massive public held the BJP flags while showering flowers and petals amid chants of “jai jai Modi”. Nadda sprinkled his campaign with heavy doses of national security and barbs against KCR to strike a chord with the public. “The car lost its steam, the hand is paralysed, it is time for the lotus to bloom. We will unitedly work towards winning the elections to bring vikas to Telangana,” he stated.

Nadda alleged that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is not concerned about the problems of Backward Caste (BC) communities or the poor.

The state BJP has roped in several important national party leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to intensify its campaign against the ruling TRS after the pink party lost Dubbaka bypolls. With the deployment of national BJP leaders, the GHMC elections assumed national hue. It remains to be seen if the participation of the national BJP leaders in civic poll campaign will work in favor of the saffron party or if TRS will continue to retain its supremacy in the GHMC polls.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

PM-CM, who will get the attention?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Hyderabad on Saturday to review coronavirus vaccine development work at Bharat Biotech facility.

Modi will be arriving at Hakimpet Air Force station in an IAF flight from Pune at around 3.45 pm, and will directly go to Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley. He will return to the Air Force base and will fly back to New Delhi at around 5.45 pm.

Modi’s visit comes ahead of the GHMC elections. Both the ruling TRS and BJP have locked horns with party leaders unleashing a war of words. The BJP is raking up national issues and invoking “Jinnah” and calling for “surgical strikes” on Hyderabad in its speeches. The saffron party is deploying national leaders like J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and several central ministers in its campaign.

The GHMC elections have assumed national hue with both the party leaders intensifying their campaign and unleashing rhetoric. While the BJP is making serious inroads into Telangana fresh from Dubbaka bypoll victory, the pink party is making all attempts to thwart the progress of the saffron party.

While PM is scheduled to visit Hyderabad at 3.45 pm, Chief Minister will be holding a massive meeting at L B Stadium at around the same time raising eyebrows among political observers. The CM meeting is likely to last for two hours and end at around 5.45 pm, around the time the PM will fly back to New Delhi.

A huge turnout is expected for the public meeting. The Chief Minister is likely to talk about future development plans for Hyderabad. Political observers say this is not a coincidence, but a well-planned strategy. The CM’s meeting at 3.45 pm is an attempt to deflect the attention of the public away from the PM’s visit to Hyderabad. By organizing a massive public meeting, KCR wants to steal the show and overshadow the attention PM’s visit is likely to get.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Disruptive forces plotting to get GHMC polls postponed: KCR

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Hours after Union Minister Smriti Irani launched a broadside against the TRS government, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao asserted that maintaining law and order is the top priority of his government.

At a high-level meeting on law and order, the Chief Minister alleged that anti-national forces are making efforts to disrupt the GHMC elections with an ulterior motive to get the polls postponed. He said the state police have been given a free hand to thwart any attempt to disturb the communal harmony in the state and asserted that his government will not let a peaceful atmosphere be disturbed by the inimical elements. Further, the Chief Minister said that the police intelligence wings have complete information on the forces that making serious efforts to create disturbances in the state and that their devious plot will be dealt with an iron hand.

“No one will be spared. We will not let anyone disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the state. I have given a free hand to the police to deal with the situation sternly. Attempts are being made to disturb the peace in the state with a motive to get the elections postponed. We won’t the disruptive forces succeed in their conspiracy,” the Chief Minister said.

The stakes seem to be high for the GHMC election with the TRS government making all efforts to thwart the BJP’s attempts to make inroads into Telangana. Fresh from victory in Dubbaka bypolls, the BJP has upped its ante and hoping to make a dent in the TRS vote bank. As the GHMC elections near, the risk of violence appears to be growing. The atmosphere has been vitiated by the political rhetoric unleashed by both the ruling TRS and the BJP.

Earlier, in the day, Smirit Irani tore into the TRS camp blaming the unholy alliance between the ruling party and Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM for the illegal stay of Rohingyas in Hyderabad. The Union Minister alleged that the AIMIM party leaders got illegal immigrants enlisted in the voters’ list and that the TRS government had failed to initiate any action against them.

“The law and order is a state subject. If the TRS government writes to the Union government about deportation Rohingyas, we will take action. Thousands of Rohingyas had succeeded in getting listed as voters while the TRS government has turned a blind eye. Both the TRS and AIMIM are using the Rohingyas for political gains which is shameful. The Telangana government has to take immediate steps for the deportation of Rohingyas,” Smiti Irani said while addressing a press conference in Hyderabad.

The Union Minister claimed that more than 75,000 Rohingya refugees are residing in Hyderabad while enjoying full support from AIMIM and the ruling TRS. “Our party’s stand and the stand of the union government has been consistent against illegal immigration. We need to protect the rights of every Indian citizen and it is our onerous responsibility to ensure that the taxpayers’ money goes to the deserving Indians,” she said.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

KCR-KTR shower love and affection on Andhra voters

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Increased competition in the GHMC elections seems to have humbled the TRS party a bit. KCR, who is known for his hate comments against Andhras, has also softened like never before. His son KTR too is going a step further to talk sympathetically about the cause of Andhra Pradesh.

Coming just right after the overwhelming floods, the GHMC elections have indeed become a timely chance for the BJP to increase its pressure on the ruling party. The BJP leaders are also emboldened after the recent sensational victory in Dubbaka byelection.

Naturally, there are ample chances for the BJP to attract the Seemandhra voters in Hyderabad. However, the way injustice is being done to Andhra Pradesh is still a matter of concern. The Central funds are not coming for AP projects. Major projects like Polavaram and Amaravati are badly hit.

As such, KCR seems to have reversed his stand and started wooing Andhra voters in a subtle way. He has offered lots of sops for Tollywood which is mostly dominated by Andhras. On the other hand, KTR has talked about how AP Capital has been neglected by the Modi Government. Apparently, the father-son duo are all out to counter the BJP move to woo Andhra vote bank.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

KCR announces free water supply, GST reimbursement to small budget movies

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Ahead of the GHMC elections, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced a slew of sops to a cross-section of the society, including the cinema industry.

In a first in the country, the Telangana government announced that water will be supplied free to households in Hyderabad from next December. The Chief Minister announced that no water tariff will be levied on the household consumers from next December 1.

Releasing the election manifesto for the GHMC elections at the party headquarters in Telangana Bhavan, Chandrasekhar Rao said, “Our government will supply free water from December to households that consume less than 20,000 litres a month. We will also supply free power supply to laundries, salons, and dhobi ghats across the State from December.

In a big relief to the entertainment industry, the Chief Minister announced that the government will reimburse the State GST for small budget films up to Rs 10 crore. He also announced that theatres can increase the number of shows per day and make ticket pricing flexible in view of the losses incurred by the industry. Further, the Telangana government has also decided to waive off the minimum demand charge of HD and LT categories of industries, cinema theatres, and commercial firms for the six month period of lockdown. The Telangana government also waived off motor vehicle tax that is likely to benefit 3.37 lakh vehicle owners.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

KCR’s promise for Tollywood

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The Telugu film industry is badly impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lakhs of daily wage workers are left jobless and the film theatres are closed for seven months. The industry bigwigs of Telugu cinema met Telangana Chief Minister KCR to discuss about the Telangana government supporting the film industry in this tough times. KCR assured that the government would stand by the industry like always. He said that Telangana government would offer special discounts and exceptions for Tollywood.

Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Narayandas Narang, KL Damodara Prasad, C Kalyan, Sudhkar Reddy and Niranjan Reddy met KCR in Pragathi Bhavan this morning. KCR assured that the GHMC election manifesto would have special benefits for Telugu film industry. KCR made sure that the Telangana government would offer their best for Tollywood in this tough times. Telugu film industry will meet once again in the residence of Chiranjeevi and will discuss about the steps to be implemented for the welfare of Telugu cinema.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Did Bandi Sanjay write to EC on flood relief? KCR thinks so

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Ahead of the GHMC elections, a war of words ensued between Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao and BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar.

With the State Election Commission directing the Telangana government to halt the flood relief and rehabilitation works, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao squarely blamed the BJP for the EC’s action. Rao accused BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar of writing a letter to the SEC to stop the flood relief work.

He said thousands of flood-affected people are yet to receive financial aid from the government. By complaining to the SEC, the BJP has not only hampered the relief work but hurt the poor people.

KCR said the government received more than 1.60 applications through Mee Seva centers for the Rs 10,000 per household relief aid.

Reacting sharply to KCR’s comments, Bandi Sanjay Kumar rubbished the Chief Minister’s allegations. Bandi Sanjay challenged the CM to make such statements in the Bhagyalaxmi temple in Charminar.

The BJP claimed that he has not written any letter to the SEC to stop the flood relief work. He called the TRS-MIM equation an unholy alliance. He said the ruling TRS party and its ally Majlis E Ittehadul Muslameen (AIMIM) appeared to be jittery over the rising presence and prospects of the saffron party across the state.

“It looks like the TRS has no formidable candidates to field in the GHMC elections, and therefore entered into an alliance with the MIM. The people of Dubbaka have taught a solid lesson to TRS. Now things have reached such a stage wherein TRS and AIMIM are unable to retain their own vote bank and their own respective leaders and cadre are not trusting them,” Bandi Sanjay said.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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