HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding objections from students and opposition parties, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday asserted that his government will takeover surplus land of the Osmania University to build houses for the poor and added for good measure that ‘universities do not need thousands of acres.’
“This is not the era of Maharajas (to give away vast tracts of land). Every inch in urban areas has to be utilised properly,’’ he observed and alleged that previous governments had given away hundreds of acres to race courses, golf clubs and others but not the poor. KCR, who visited Boudha Nagar and parts of Secunderabad on Tuesday, the fourth day of the ongoing Swachh Hyderabad campaign, sought to turn the tables on the opposition, claiming that “they do not want the poor to prosper.”
In an oblique reference to the protests being staged by the Osmania University students, the Chief Minister said, “Some people are burning my effigies after I announced takeover of OU land. Politicians are supporting them and trying to thwart my plans to construct houses for the poor.’’ He went on to say that universities do not need thousands of acres and recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had agreed with his view. “When Modi sought 500 acres for setting up an agricultural university, I said 50 acres was enough and he too agreed,’’ he said.
KCR’s firm stance prompted students to take out a rally at the OU campus. Claiming that the government decision ‘disturbs’ the peaceful environs of the university, they vowed to intensify their stir if KCR goes ahead with his plans. It is an attempt to garner votes in GHMC elections, they alleged and called for a bandh Wednesday, raising a question mark over the ongoing PG exams.