Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was at his combative best in the State Assembly on Saturday when he demolished allegations levelled by the Congress on irrigation projects and the State’s debt position point by point.
Congress Legislature Party leader M Bhatti Vikramarka waded into trouble during the debate on the State budget, when he made off-the-cuff remarks that the State government had failed to complete even one irrigation project, and that the State had piled up a debt of Rs 3 lakh crore.
A visibly peeved Chandrashekhar Rao took the opposition leader to task, intervening thrice during the 40-odd minute heated exchange between him and Vikramarka. “Get your facts right,” the Chief Minister said, even as he reeled out a series of facts on the status of both irrigation projects and the State’s debts.
“At a time when the entire nation, and even experts from across the globe were acknowledging the achievement of Telangana in completing Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme in a record time, the Congress leaders are deliberately turning a blind eye to the developments,” he said, as treasury benches thumped benches in acknowledgement.
Posers to Congress
Pointing out that Bhakta Ramadas project was completed in one year, the Chief Minister wondered if the opposition doesn’t consider Mission Bhagiratha, which was supplying 56 lakh households in the State with drinking water as a project. “With 27,000 lakes in the State filled to the brim because of rejuvenation under Mission Kakatiya, isn’t this a successful project?” he asked.
Turning the tables on the Congress, Chandrashekhar Rao said even in the case of Pranahitha-Chevella project which the Congress claimed was conceived during its rule, there was no agreement signed between the State and the Centre despite Congress being in power in both the places. “Where is the project? Did you build it in the air or in the sky?” the Chief Minister asked.
When Vikramarka claimed that Dummugudem Rajeevsagar and Indira Sagar projects were planned by the Congress party, Chandrashekhar Rao put the Congress leader on the mat stating that Indira Sagar headworks were submerged at Rudramakota as part of Polavaram project.
“Dummugudem was against the interest of Telangana, and it was a tailpond project which we had opposed then. With one stroke of the pen, we cancelled that project as it was not aimed at the welfare of Telangana people,” he said.
Training his guns on Bhatti Vikramarka for his remarks on the State debts, the Chief Minister challenged the Congress leader to prove his allegation of the State reeling under a Rs 3 crore debt. “If you can’t, take back your words,” Chandrashekhar Rao said, chiding Vikramarka for misleading the people of the State and the House.
Stating that Congress’ attitude of making baseless allegations had not changed in the last five years, Chandrashekhar Rao said that the TRS had stormed to power a second time with a two-thirds majority. “The Congress attributed the victory to manipulation of EVMs. Subsequently, TRS won all the 32 Zilla Parishads in ballot box elections. What does the Congress have to say about this?” the Chief Minister asked.