The political parties in Telangana and the people of the State were no closer to finding out about the possibility of early elections to the State Assembly with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao keeping his cards close to his chest on this issue on Sunday.
At a mammoth public meeting, the Pragathi Nivedana Sabha organised by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) at Kongara Kalan village, the Chief Minister, however, in an oblique reference to Assembly elections, referred to the supply of drinking water to every household under the Mission Bhagiratha programme by Deepavali, about six months ahead of the elections.“I said I will never ask for votes until I give every home clean drinking water. There is no other Chief Minister in the country who has had the courage to take such a vow. No one has done this in Indian political history,” he reminded the gathering.
The Chief Minister, refusing to make any specific announcements, said “the media has been reporting that new schemes will be announced at Sunday’s meeting. Just because I am the Chief Minister, I should not say anything I want because I should also be able to implement what I say. It would be unethical for me as the Chief Minster to make such promises.”
Chandrashekhar Rao then explained: “We will soon have a manifesto committee that will be headed by K Keshava Rao that will list out what TRS will do when it returns to power. The election manifesto will be placed before the people soon.”
Referring to media reports and speculation about the TRS government calling for early elections, the Chief Minister said “the Council of Ministers has left the decision to me. I will only say one thing. I will do only what is good for the people of Telangana. In the days to come, we will take decisions. We will inform all of you on any decision we take.”Chandrashekhar Rao also launched a blistering attack on the Congress asking people if they wanted leaders who are slaves to their masters in New Delhi or wished to be in control of their own lives and destinies.
“For some people and parties, their stated aim is to bring KCR down from power. Is this a goal to have? The goal of a political party should be to build better lives for the people of the State. If we get fooled by such people, we will suffer,” he declared.
Any decisions we take in Telangana, we take after consultations among ourselves, in our State. Some parties claim they are workers of an ‘empire run from Delhi’. Ask yourselves, who should decide about Telangana? Our lives? Where should this power lie,” he said.
With the rulers roosting in Delhi, even Assembly tickets are decided there and the leaders from here have to literally wait outside the doors of their masters in Delhi. Ghulamuluga undama? Gulabiluga undama (Shall we be slaves? Or shall we bloom like fresh roses)?” Chandrashekhar Rao asked.
He said there was a lesson to be learnt from Tamil Nadu where people have their own political parties that ensure self-respect of the people of that State. “We should be like that too. The power to take decisions should be with us. And we in the TRS have shown how well we can take care of our people after your massive support placed in us in the government in Telangana,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.
The Chief Minster also took strong aim at “some groups of people, who for their selfish ends were filing cases against projects taken up by the government.
He said the people of Telangana do not have to look far to see what the TRS government has done for them. “The development ushered in by the TRS government is there in your homes, in your villages for you to see. You experience power supply. You see the full village tanks and how water is reaching your fields. You have experienced how the government is working to financially empower farmers and revive traditional professions,” he said.
“If I list out every scheme and programme the TRS government has implemented, it will take all night,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.
He called on the people to stand by the TRS and assured of even better days for them in the future and promised that the TRS government will continue working hard for improving the income of the State and share the wealth with the people.
Chandrashekhar Rao further said though the government was already implementing a slew of welfare measures, there was a need to increase pensions and steps to address the needs of the unemployed youth.
He also asked people to remember one very important issue, that of reservations for locals in employment opportunities. “Gone are the days when outsiders took our jobs. I went and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and literally had to forcefully convince him to agree to providing 95 per cent reservations for Telangana’s youth in jobs. And that is how I got the Presidential approval for this proposal,” he said.
Chandrashekhar Rao then asked the people to think whether this would have been possible “if KCR was not the Chief Minister. If TRS was not in power, do you think this 95 per cent reservation in jobs for locals would have been possible?” he asked amidst loud cheers from the massive crowd.