Coronavirus infections among TRS senior leaders and the mysterious disappearance of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has raised questions over the extent of an outbreak that has become a flashpoint in the spread of the virus in the state.
The Telangana government which claims to be transparent has been anything but transparent. What happened to KCR? Why is the Telangana government, health minister Eetala Rajender silent on the growing noises of the Opposition parties about KCR’s mysterious disappearance?
The Twitter active K T Rama Rao, IT minister and KCR’s son, who is known for transparency too is silent on his father and CM’s health condition. Why is Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar silent? Why is the Special Chief Secretary (Health, Medical and Family Welfare) silent?
The Chief Minister’s disappearance comes in the wake of a growing number of his colleagues tested positive for the infection, including Home Minister Mahamood Ali and three legislators. The KCR government drew flak on the most crucial aspect in handling this pandemic — testing.
State Congress leaders Uttam Kumar Reddy and Jeevan Reddy had raised doubts over the health of the Chief Minister and accused KCR of “hiding” in his farm house at a time the state was going through severe financial and health crisis due to the pandemic.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee working president and Malkajgiri MLA Revanth Reddy took to his Twitter handle demanding that the health ministry release a bulletin on the health condition of KCR. State BJP and CPI leaders too sought to know the reason behind the mysterious disappearance of the Chief Minister after announcing the PV Narasimha Rao centenary celebrations at a function at PV Ghat on the Necklace Road on June 28. However, KCR had not been active in public programmes or daily press briefings.
A petitioner moved the Telangana High Court seeking to know the reasons behind the disappearance of KCR. The petitioner, Naveen alias Teenmar Mallanna, had filed a Mandamus writ petition in the Telangana High Court seeking the whereabouts of the Chief Minister. The petitioner sought to know through the court the health condition of the CM
Instead of giving a clarification on KCR’s health condition. The TRS ministers and MLAs are resorting to counter-attacks on the Opposition parties.
“Why are the Opposition parties worried about KCR? What is the loss for the Opposition parties if the chief minister is not in action? Did the administration come to halt with the absence of the Chief Minister? Have the welfare schemes stopped with his absence? Some useless opposition leaders are unnecessarily raising a non-issue,” Tourism and cinematography minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav Animal Husbandry slammed.
His Cabinet colleague Srinivas Goud too deflected from the core issue – where is KCR? “How does it matter to anyone where KCR is? Did we stop any programme or welfare scheme? KCR’s heart is robust. No one should have worries over his health. His farm house is pretty much in Telangana and not in Amaravati. He is discharging his duties from the Telangana soil only,” he said while brushing aside doubts over KCR’s health condition.
It is not just KCR’s health, the Telangana government did not exhibit transparency on several fronts in dealing with the pandemic. Right from the beginning, the government had tried to hide the real Covid data. The gaps in governance became too apparent. Patients in critical conditions have complained of lack of ventilators, oxygen, adequate beds in government hospitals. The exploding Covid situation in Telangana has exposed everything that is wrong with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. That Telangana initially mismanaged COVID-19 outbreak seems clear. The government had failed in pandemic preparedness from low testing to not expanding the health infrastructure.
The KCR government’s hollow claims of pandemic preparedness by promising a robust health infrastructure were thoroughly exposed. KCR had assured that his government was ready to tackle even one lakh infection cases. The High Court had pulled up the Telangana government for shortage of PPE kits, N95 masks to frontline warriors. Telangana Governor Dr Tamilsai Soundarajan had persistently been saying that the state government should immediately step up testing and adopt newer strategies to counter the spread of the coronavirus.