HYDERABAD: In an angry riposte to Rahul Gandhi’s comments against the TRS, caretaker IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said the AICC president had “told several lies” during his election meetings on Saturday.
Rama Rao asserted that Dr BR Abmedkar Pranahita Chevella had not been rechristened as alleged. “Rahul Gandhi alleged that the cost of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme is `1 lakh crore. This is another lie,” Rama Rao said. When Pranahita Chevella project was conceived by the YS Rajasekhara Reddy government, the cost was `17,000 crore. However, without executing any work, the project cost was increased to `38,200 in 2008. In 2010, the Congress government raised the cost to `40,300 crore yet again. Can we say the Congress increased the project’s cost to pocket the amount?” Rama Rao said.
He explained that the government had to pay `6 lakh to `12 lakh per acre to displaced farmers as compensation as per the Land Acquisition Act and that was one of the reasons why the expenditure shot up.
The IT and Industries Minister also refuted the allegation of the AICC president on the employment. “The State Finance department accorded permissions to fill up 1.09 lakh posts till today. Of which, notifications have been issued to 87,000 jobs so far. The recruitment of 32,000 posts has been completed.
When the State government decided to regularise the contract lecturers, it was the Congress which approached the courts. Rahul Gandhi should know this,” Rama Rao said. Rao recalled that it was the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who cancelled Mulki rules & rendered injustice to TS youths in employment.
The Minister also pooh-poohed giving Sadbhavana award to former Chief Minister K Rosaiah near Charminar by Rahul Gandhi. “Whenever, the Congress was in power, curfew was imposed in the city. Even during Rosaiah’s tenure, there was curfew in the city for four days,” Rama Rao recalled. Asked why TRS was reacting against Rahul Gandhi’s speeches, while keeping silent over BJP president Amit Shah’s comments, Rama Rao said, “The existence of BJP in Telangana is nil. The BJP is sure to forfeit its deposits in 100 Assembly seats in the ensuing elections. The Congress is main enemy to TRS”.
Meanwhile, TRS leader B Vinod Kumar said, “There is no truth in Rahul’s allegations that the BR Ambedkar Pranahitha-Chevella name has been changed. But it is not so. The project is still named after Ambedkar,” he said adding that TRS government did not make any changes to UPA government’s 2013 Land Acquisition Act.
The TRS MP said that farmers’ suicides were high in Congress-ruled States. The farmers’ suicides in TS in the past were also a result of misrule of Congress. He said that after K Chandrasekhar Rao assumed charge as Chief Minister, farmers’ suicides reduced drastically, he said. Rahul had no knowledge about corruption in irrigation projects.