Hyderabad: The emergence of Telangana State as a role model for other States in implementation of unique welfare and developmental schemes was reaffirmed on Tuesday when a group of people, including elected representatives, from five Assembly constituencies in neighbouring Maharashtra sought merger of their villages with Telangana State if their government failed to implement similar schemes.
The group, hailing from the border district of Nanded and affiliated to various political parties, called on Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in his Assembly chambers. They said the Maharashtra government should implement schemes like Rythu Bandhu, 24×7 free power supply to the farm sector, Kalyana Laxmi and KCR Kits, among others, that are being implemented by the TRS government, failing which they should be allowed to merge with Telangana State. The group said people had also decided to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra on this plank, and if Chandrashekhar Rao gives them the nod, would contest on TRS tickets. They said they would also launch an agitation in support of their demands, and sought Chandrashekhar Rao’s support in this regard.
Leaders from Nalgaon, Bhokar, Degloor, Kinwat and Hathgaon Assembly segments in Nanded district, under the leadership of Babli sarpanch Babu Rao Ganapath Rao Kadam, said: “Our villages border Telangana State, but the situation in our villages and those in Telangana State, though they are in close proximity, are vastly different. People and farmers in Telangana State villages are very happy while we are in distress. Each farmer in Telangana State gets Rs 10,000 financial assistance per acre per year under Rythu Bandhu scheme, but out government has not implemented any scheme like this for our farmers,” they pointed out.
The Maharashtra leaders said that the poor in Telangana State are provided Rs 2,016 per month as pension while in Maharashtra, the amount was a meagre Rs 600. “Besides, farmers in Telangana State are getting 24 hours uninterrupted free and quality power. In our state we were promised 8-hours power supply but in reality, we are getting only 6 hours,” they said, adding that there matrimonial alliances between the people of Telangana State and Maharashtra was common.
The group also pointed out that schemes like Kalyana Laxmi, KCR Kits, and clothes distribution during festivals are of immense help to the womenfolk, which Maharashtra cannot boast of. “The roads are very good in Telangana State but they are in a pathetic state in Maharashtra,” they informed the Chief Minister.
“We are in dire straits when it comes to water for irrigation. There is no water in Babli village itself. We get some benefit from the backwaters of the Kaleshwaram project which is helping the Telangana government fill SRSP,” the leaders from Nanded explained.
They said that in the past, 40 villages in Dharmabad taluk had passed a resolution demanding that the villages be merged with Telangana State. Responding to the resolution, the Maharashtra government then declared a Rs 40 crore grant for these villages, with promise of release of Rs 12 crore immediately. “But to date, not even a single Rupee has been released,” the leaders said, adding: “Against this backdrop, we are demanding that the Maharashtra government implement welfare schemes implemented by the Telangana government. In case they are not in a position to do, we demand merger of our villages with Telangana State.”
The leaders also observed that Nanded during the Nizam’s rule, Nanded was part of Hyderabad State. “To date, our land records are verified based on Khasra Pahanis and also celebrate Bathukamma and Bonalu festivals in our villages even today. Since we have a long and historic relationship with people in Telangana, our demand for merger is rational,” the said, adding that soon, they will come with leaders from Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP and meet with Chandrshekhar Rao.
The Chief Minister, who gave a patient hearing, said that besides people from five Assembly segments from Nanded district, people from Bhiwandi, Sholapur, and Rajara were also seeking TRS tickets. He said a decision would be taken on this shortly. The Chief Minister said the demand for implementation of welfare schemes like the ones in Telangana State was rational and hoped the Maharashtra government would concede to their demand.