It’s raining freebies! Parties lock horns over Huzurabad bypoll

Aa gattununtaava naaganna Ee gattukostaavaAa dibbanuntaava naaganna Ee dibbakostaava... (literally – will you stay that side or come this side, dear) is a popular number from the 2018 Telugu flick Rangasthalam based on village-level politics.

Taking a cue from this, Finance Minister Harish Rao, who has shouldered the TRS responsibility for the byelection to Huzurabad Assembly constituency, is asking voters whether they want ₹6,000 per acre given under PM-KISAN of the BJP-led Central government with a host of restrictions or ₹10,000 per acre given by the TRS government under Rythu Bandhu without restrictions on extent, landholder’s employment/income and so on. He has been listing the ‘small gifts’ reportedly given by BJP or ‘huge benefits’ given by the State government such as highest social security pension given in the country, ₹1,00,016 given for the marriage of girls from poor families, KCR kits, double-bedroom houses and so on.

As the TRS and BJP are locked in an intense campaign for Huzurabad byelection, a meeting at Jammikunta in the constituency, on Sunday, witnessed an angry youth displaying his contempt for former Minister Eatala Rajender, who is likely to be fielded by the BJP.

He hurled a wall clock on the stage where ministers Harish Rao and Koppula Easwar were seated and tore to shreds an umbrella that was purported to have been distributed by Mr. Rajender to please voters in SC colonies. In an obvious reference to ₹10 lakh promised under Dalit Bandhu programme, he asked if the gifts given by Mr. Rajender were any match to the government initiative.

The son of Wyra MLA of TRS Ramulu Naik created a flutter on Sunday when he passed a diktat to local reporters of channels and newspapers to consult him before airing the news. Mr. Naik’s son Jeevanlal also declared that he was the boss of Singareni mandal and the local unit of TRS. He even called names to the reporters. The provocation for Jeevanlal to go berserk at a function in Wyra where reporters were also invited was controversial reports about his father recently.

The SC voters of Huzurabad were pleasantly surprised on Saturday when ₹10 lakh under Dalit Bandhu programme landed in their bank accounts.

A total of 16,800 out of an estimated 23,180 families got the money in one go. As much as ₹1,680 crore out of the targeted ₹2,000 crore was distributed.

No wonder even the 6,500 left over families will also get the money though the Opposition parties have reacted that the scheme will be forgotten by KCR as soon as the election gets over.

The government has appointed retired SC officers and well-thinking youngsters to facilitate grounding of the business units.

(B. Chandrashekhar and N. Rahul)

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