(M S Shanker)
From day 1, since the separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) took over the reins winning a comfortable majority in 2014 assembly polls under K Chandrasekhar Rao’s (KCRs) leadership, the extravaganza of governance knows no bounds.
People’s interests have been the least concern of KCR and the TRS.
The extravaganza of KCR at the cost of the tax payer in presenting gifts to deity’s also must cause concern to the people of Telangana.
In particular overlooking the more burning issues like non-release of fee reimbursement to students and also not honoring its electoral promise to the farmers of ‘crop loan waiver’.
Let me briefly recount the gifts to deities when KCR keeps demanding grants from the Central government and seeking loans from Banks in the name promoting development.
One, KCR presented Rs 3 crore crown to the presiding deity Bhadrakali in a temple in Warangal district.
Two, the state government sanctioned Rs. 5.59 crores to meet the expenditure for gold offerings to five temples, which included a golden saligrama haaram and five-petala kante for Sri Venkateswara Swamy at Tirumala and Goddess Padmavathi Ammaru of Tiruchanoor in Tirupati respectively.
Three, KCR gifted 15 gms gold nose-stud to goddess Kanakadurga in Vijayawada and golden moustaches to Veerabhadra Swamy in Kuravi.
Such ‘gifts’ were offered as part of fulfillment of KCR’s vows. Apparently, Rao had vowed to make these gifts if separate Telangana state was created.
The five-day ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam’ at a cost of Rs.6 crores performed by KCR in December 2015 had drawn strong criticism from the opposition BJP and CPI(M) which accused him of misusing government machinery and wasting public money. However, Rao has dismissed the charge, claiming that no government money was being spent for the ‘yagam’ (ritual).
KCR had a chadar presented at the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti dargah in Ajmer along with a nazarana of Rs 2.51 lakh.
The latest is KCR proposal to perform the Maha Ayutha Chandi Yagam at a whopping cost of Rs.15 crores. And, then KCR claims Telangana to be a cash-strapped state due to bifurcation.
Next, the “flip-flops or U-turns” over the issue of moving the Secretariat to the Government TB and Chest Hospital Chest Diseases Hospital in Erragadda. It was based on shifting the chest hospital to the unused TB Sanatorium at Ananthagiri Hills, Vikarabad.
KCR, a strong believer in vaastu, has already made several modifications to the chief minister’s camp office and the state secretariat, and had the IAS Officers’ Association building razed for reconstruction for not meeting vaastu requirements.
KCR had also made a strong demand to the Defense Ministry to handover the Bison Polo grounds to relocate the proposed new Secretariat with utter disregard to the existing traffic snarls in the area and also the flight safety zone of Begumpet Airport.
The latest is the proposal to construct new Secretariat buildings with one block for the chief minster and eight blocks each opposite to the chief minister’s block. The new Secretariat buildings will resemble like North and South blocks of the Central Secretariat in Delhi.
However, the CM is yet to take a final call and finalise the proposals for designs of the buildings.
According to sources, there are two options before the government. First, to vacate the entire Secretariat departments and move the offices out of it and construct new buildings.
When the AP government is all set to move its offices to Amravati sooner than later, is there a necessity to construct new buildings or mdify existing buildings to suit the whims and fancies of KCR at a phenomenal cost to the tax payer.
One wonders how can he justify fulfilling his personal vows made to various Gods, if separate statehood is carved out of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh? Who gained more benefits from the new state creation? Is he and his family not personal beneficiaries, than people of Telangana per se?
Had KCR fulfilled promises made during the separate struggle of making a Dalit as first chief minister of new state, none would have raised these questions and called him names? Similarly, had he restrained himself from making his family members – son, daughter and nephew – as cabinet ministers and MP, and instead helped the kith and kin of those who laid down their lives either committing suicides or fallen to police bullets, none would have dared to point accusing fingers at him today?
Disenchantment is growing among people and if KCR refuses to change his style of administration, he and his party may have to face the wrath of the same people who voted him in upcoming 2019 polls. That’s for sure!
Whom is KCR trying to fool? Surely, people of Telangana will see through the game being played by KCR and teach him and the TRS a befitting lesson in 2019.