Federal Front Mission continues: KCR to meet Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Delhi

HIGHLIGHTS

–KCR performed special prayers at Andhra Pradesh’s Rajasyamala temple

–He will meet Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata

–He is also scheduled to meet Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav in Delhi

 

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS President K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday began his mission to cobble up a Federal Front with a visit to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to worship at a temple and seek blessings of a priest.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, along with his family members left Hyderabad in a special aircraft. After landing at Visakhapatnam Airport, they drove to Sharada Peetham.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and his family members performed special prayers at Rajasyamala Temple. They later took the blessings of Swami Swarupanandendra.

KCR will leave for Bhubaneswar in the evening and call on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

After a night halt in the Odisha capital, KCR will visit the Konark Temple and Jagannadha Temple on Monday and later leave for Kolkata, where he will call on his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee.

After a meeting with Ms Banerjee, the Telangana Chief Minister will visit Kalimata Temple. Subsequently, he will leave for New Delhi, where he will have separate meetings with former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav.

During his two-three day stay in the national capital, the TRS chief will make a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will have meetings with some central ministers and discuss state related issues.

KCR, who led TRS to a landslide victory in Assembly elections in December, has announced that he will focus on national politics to work for cobbling up an alternative to both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

After the electoral victory on December 11, he had stated that a consortium of regional parties may emerge soon.

The TRS chief, who plans to visit various states, has hired the special aircraft for one month.

 

 

 

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KTR takes charge as TRS Working President , to handle party affairs in Telangana State

A special office will reportedly be set up for KTR at the party headquarters, so it will be easier for him to function out of there.

 

Senior Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader KT Rama Rao officially took over the reins of the party from his father and state Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday. It was announced last Friday that KTR, as he is more popularly known, was appointed as the party Working President. KTR assumed charge at 11:55 am at an event held in Hyderabad at Telangana Bhavan, the party’s headquarters.

Since early on Monday, several TRS supporters arrived at Telangana Bhavan with flags and banners to catch a glimpse of the leader, as a rally was undertaken with KTR on top of a party campaign vehicle. After entering the TRS headquarters, KTR garlanded the Telangana talli (mother) statue in the premises before heading to the office.

The ‘auspicious time’ was decided by senior party leaders as KTR is not known to be deeply superstitious like his father. However, he agreed to go with the decision.

Senior leaders, including T Harish Rao and almost all incumbent ministers in the previous government, were present at the venue. Traffic restrictions were also in place as TRS supporters took over the road in front of the office that is situated opposite KBR Park.

According to reports, a special office will be set up for KTR at the party headquarters, so it will be easier for him to function out of there.

Last week, TRS President and CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has decided to focus on national politics, entrusted the key responsibility to his son, who is seen as number two in the party and the government. The CM has entrusted the responsibility of taking forward the party in accordance with his plan to KTR, the most trusted person in the party, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office had said.

While the statement claimed that KCR would be preoccupied with governance activities like expediting construction of irrigation projects and also implementing electoral promises in letter and spirit, it is also seen as a clear shift by the Telangana Chief Minister to work on the ‘Federal Front’ that he has been talking about.

“As of now, KCR wants to concentrate more on Delhi, but they are likely to follow in the footsteps of how Akali Dal transferred power from Prakash Singh Badal to his son Sukhbir. KTR is first being given the party to learn political organising and gain experience on that front, before being given a senior leadership position in the government, like a Deputy CM. But there is still time for that,” a party insider had told TNM earlier.

KTR, the only son of KCR, was re-elected to the Assembly from the Sircilla constituency. KTR was Minister for Industry and Information Technology in the previous cabinet. He is likely to be inducted in the new cabinet next week.

It also remains to be seen what post KCR’s nephew, Harish Rao, who is the competitor to KTR, will get in the newly-formed Telangana government. Harish, considered as a leader with a mass base, has been associated with the TRS since it was floated by KCR in 2001. KTR had quit his job in the US to return and join the Telangana movement before the 2009 elections.

Harish, who was earlier reported to be unhappy with KCR’s plans to promote his son as his heir apparent, congratulated KTR on being entrusted with the key responsibility and hoped that he would further strengthen the party.

Harish, who served as a minister in KCR’s previous cabinet and is likely to be inducted in the new cabinet next week, told reporters that he and KTR worked together in the recent elections and they would continue to do so.

Reports suggest that though Harish Rao won with a thumping majority from Siddipet, there is a possibility that he would contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and be given a larger role in the Centre.

 

 

 

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K C R appoints son KTR as TRS working president

Making clear his intentions to concentrate on national politics, Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party President and Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao, Friday appointed his son K Taraka Rama Rao as the TRS Party Working President (Executive President). This elevation is being seen as the first step by KCR to anoint his son as CM at a later stage while he takes a bigger role in national politics.

With a landslide victory, there is no opposition in the party to KCR’s decision to elevate his son. However, it is a shock to his nephew T Harish Rao, a popular leader within TRS as well as in the state, who won from Siddipet with a margin of over 1.10 lakh votes. Harish Rao is the trouble-shooter with organisational skills in the party but with KCR’s popularity at an all-time high, he may have no choice but to accept his cousin’s elevation. KTR did not hold any position in the party in the existing setup

K T Rama Rao, 42, was Minister for IT, Panchayati Raj, and Municipal Administration and Urban Development in KCR’s first Cabinet. He was re-elected from Sircilla with a margin of 89,909 votes. Suave and tech-savvy, KTR is very popular among youth, and even before he was officially elevated today as working president, he was already accepted as second-in-command by most TRS leaders. He is credited with initiating and establishing T-hub, the incubator for business start-ups in Hyderabad.

KTR is also likely to be made a minister in KCR’s second term. As working president, KTR will also take care of the day-to-day party affairs, organisational matters, and make efforts to expand the party. “He has a good temperament and is very popular in the TRS. He is smart and intelligent. He has honed his skills over the years and is a rising star in the party. I think his elevation as working president is good of the party,’’ TRS leader K Keshava Rao said.

Responsibilities among others, enrolment of party membership, constructing party offices in districts and develop the party as the strongest one, have been entrusted to KTR. CM KCR is of the opinion to develop TRS as the largest party in the country. KTR who has been successfully and efficiently handling and performing the roles and responsibilities of both party and government, has been entrusted with the new role of working president by KCR. CM Rao strongly believes and is confident that the working style, the commitment, the direction and leadership qualities of KTR will help in leading the TRS party efficiently and effectively by him in the days to come.

On Tuesday, KCR has said that he would be soon forming a non-Congress, non-BJP national party with a consortium of regional parties.

KCR said he has decided to concentrate more time on national politics to bring a qualitative change in his political activity on a countrywide level. KCR took this decision of appointing KTR as working president, with a view to entrust the responsibility of party affairs to a most trusted and efficient person, since he would be preoccupied with the governance activities like expediting construction of irrigation projects and also to implement the electoral promises in letter and spirit, a statement said.

With the strong belief that TRS party alone saves Telangana, people overwhelmingly supported the party and elected it with a landslide victory in the recent elections, the statement said. In view of KCR’s decision to play a pivotal role in national politics and take forward the welfare and development programs in the state, the workload on him would be increased. Against this background, KCR has entrusted the responsibility of taking forward the party in accordance with his plan, to KTR, the most trusted person in party.

 

 

 

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Telangana Elections LIVE : As polling nears end in 119 constituencies, Telangana recorded a Final Voter Turnout Of 73.2 %

As polling nears end in 119 constituencies, Telangana recorded a Final Voter Turnout Of 73.2 %.

–After Jwala Gutta, IPS Officer’s Name Missing;

–Manish Sisodia Slams EC

56.17% Turnout Till 3 PM; Sania Mirza Casts Vote In Hyderabad

PV Sindhu after casting her vote In Hyderabad

48.1 per cent voter turnout till 1 PM in Telangana.

8.97% Voter Turnout Till 9 AM

As many as 1,821 candidates including a transgender are in the fray in the election.

For the first time, Election Commission is using Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Telangana.

224 video-surveillance teams and 133 video-viewing teams have been pressed into service.

Polling will start at 7 am and end at 5 pm, while in 13 constituencies which were classified as Left Wing Extremist-affected, polling ends one hour before (4 pm).

The TRS, seeking a second term in office, is going alone, as also the BJP.

The Congress has stitched together “Prajakutami” (People’s Front) along with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and the CPI to take on the ruling TRS, led by caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR).

The assembly polls in Telangana were originally scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections next year, but the House was dissolved on September 6 as per a recommendation by the state cabinet.

Security was beefed up at bordering areas which were identified as Left Wing Extremist-affected regions.

One lakh police personnel including 25,000 central paramilitary forces and 20,000 from other states are engaged in poll duties.

Campaigning by political parties came to an end at 5 pm Wednesday.

Over 2.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the State, which has a total of 32,815 polling stations across.

More than 1.50 lakh polling officials including reserve staff are in the process of giving final touches Thursday to make the election to the 119-member House a smooth affair.

After a high-voltage campaign that saw war of words among contending parties, voting for the Assembly elections in Telangana will begin on Friday with the Congress-led alliance challenging the ruling TRS, and the BJP seeking to make it a triangular contest.

 

India’s youngest state, Telangana, goes to polls on Friday, 7 December, to constitute its second Legislative Assembly. The single-phase polling will see voting in all 119 constituencies.

The main contenders for this election remain to be the KCR-led TRS, which was in power for the last four years, and the Congress-led ‘Mahakutami’ (or ‘Grand Alliance’), which included the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) among many others.

  • Telangana is going to polls nearly seven months earlier as the TRS government dissolved the Assembly before its term ended
  • The Congress is considered the main Opposition in the state and is leading a grand alliance called ‘Mahakutami or Prajakutami’
  • TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao will remain the caretaker chief minister till the new government is formed

What You Must Know About Telangana Polls 2018

What Do the Pre-poll Surveys Say?

The Aaj Tak-India Today survey predicts a massive victory for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), with 43 percent voters predicted to cast their ballot for the KCR party. The Congress, on the other hand, is expected to garner 18 percent of vote share.

Interestingly, 11 percent of those surveyed wanted KCR to be the next prime minister, while 44 percent voted for PM Narendra Modi and 39 percent for Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Another survey conducted by VDP Associates, claims that the TRS is all set to win at least 80 seats, while the Congress is expected to win around 20 seats. The survey predicts that the BJP will win seven seats, with the AIMIM getting eight.

The Main Contenders in Battlefield Telangana

The main contenders for this election remain to be the KCR-led TRS, which was in power for the last four years, and the Congress-led ‘Mahakutami’ (or ‘Grand Alliance’), which included the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) among many others.

The BJP, although not a main contender, is expected to swing some percentage of vote share its way. In all, there are now as many as nine political parties vying for power in the state.

Early Polls in Telangana

A united Andhra Pradesh has voted for both state Assembly and the Lok Sabha at the same time — from 1999 till 2014. However, since August 2018, media reports suggested that KCR was getting ‘battle-ready’ to dissolve the Assembly and go to polls in winter 2018, along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

KCR dissolved the Telangana Assembly on 6 September, his supposed ‘lucky’ date.

Hours after dissolving the Assembly, he released a list of 105 candidates who will fight the elections from Husnabad, the very place he launched his 2014 campaign.

 

 

 

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‘Take this BJP pamphlet, but vote for TRS’: Telangana election campaigns just another work opportunity for rally-goers

The money spent by political parties for the Telangana Assembly elections can be palpated in the alcoholic breaths of several flag-bearing men at the political rallies in and around Hyderabad. The money offered at the rallies — around Rs 300 per rally — is over Rs 100 more than Telangana’s rate under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and close to the daily wage in many parts of the state. For the labouring poor, who are generally employed temporarily and often work under MNREGS, the elections are just another job, a source of income, except that most of the money spent is unaccounted for.

The State Election Commission of Telangana seized over Rs 112 crore — Rs 90 crore in cash — till this week. The figure touched Rs 104 crore after income tax officials found Rs 51 lakh in cash at the farmhouse of S Shridhar Reddy, brother-in-law of Narender Reddy, a candidate of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) contesting from the Kodangal constituency.

A notebook the I-T department found in the farmhouse reveals the magnitude and methods in which money is being spent on the elections in Telangana. “Pages 1, 2 and 3 (of a diary) have notes from 27 November when a search took place. The total of all the entries comes to around Rs 1.2 crore,” I-T sleuths told the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer in a letter. The notebook also reveals that money was being spent on political campaigns, or “to get political favours by distributing money to various leaders”.

I-T sleuths also found that several pages of the notebook were regularly torn in an attempt to cover their tracks. A loose page found in the farmhouse contained details of wine distributed across 26 gram panchayats.

Furthermore, scores of enthusiastic men cheering at political rallies in Hyderabad are often inebriated. I can vouch for this from the two political events I attended in Hyderabad on 2 and 3 December — a mega TRS rally held at Parade Grounds that Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao attended and a roadshow by the “Prajakutami”, the alliance of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI), attended by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

A TRS rally for the Telangana elections at Parade Grounds, Hyderabad. Image Courtesy: Rahul M

“Look at them!” a traffic police signaled to me as I took photos of school vans that were being used for the TRS election rally. “Not the vans, the people inside them.” I could see a few young men lying inside a school van. The traffic police said that they were too drunk to get out of their vehicles.

Alcohol is a theme that perhaps unites people at many election rallies across Telangana. “We were given flags and brought here. Most men have gone to work, which is why there are several women here,” a drunk labourer said, holding onto me for support. A few attendees at the rally said they would be paid around Rs 300 after the event.

While the drunks at KCR’s rally enjoyed themselves dancing to the TRS’ songs and munching on snacks, those at Naidu’s rally were either waiting to leave or cheering the Andhra chief minister merely to pass the time. “Mujhe Telugu nahi aata (I don’t know Telugu),” said a young man who kept cheering for Naidu as he made jabs at KCR. After Naidu left, groups of women waited for vehicles arranged for them.

An auto driver, working as a TRS activist, asked a few women why they were attending the alliance’s rally. “The earnings of a husband and wife are different,” a woman replied, “but I will obviously vote for the car (TRS).”

While the TDP, BJP and Congress are seen as outsiders in Telangana, KCR is seen as one of them. TRS has even successfully appropriated various Andhra songs to his party’s advantage. At the rally, the audience danced to an altered version of a popular Telugu song from the movie Rangasthalam, which unfolds in the context of coastal Andhra of the 1980s. The lyrics of the TRS version of “Aa Gattu Kosthava Ranganna Eegattu Kostava” (will you stay on that side of the bank, oh Ranganna, will you come to this side) asks the electorate for whom they will vote — the good represented by KCR and his policies and the evil represented by the Prajakutami and BJP.

Furthermore, the Congress is likely to have an advantage in districts such as Nalgonda, where it had traditionally held power. The votes of landless labourers and tenant farmers could add to the Prajakutami vote share in many areas since these sections have not been able to avail any benefits of KCR’s “Rythu Bandhu” farmers’ investment support scheme.

“I have only half an acre,” said Ramulamma, a street vendor at Choutuppal in Nalgonda district. “Only the haves are getting fatter.”

A flower seller at the same junction in Choutuppal can’t decide for whom to vote. “They haven’t done much work in our area. But my mother gets pension regularly.”

In areas where the contest is close between the TRS and Prajakutami, the pink party might get an upper hand because of the welfare schemes it has implemented. In constituencies where BJP candidates are contesting, the goodwill the TRS has harvested through welfare schemes might help them win. Also, the BJP seems to have an unspoken arrangement with the TRS in many places.

“Take this,” a woman said, handing me a BJP pamphlet. “But vote for car (TRS).” She lives in Nalgonda town and gets paid around Rs 200 to distribute pamphlets.

S Latha, another women employed by the BJP to distribute pamphlets said, “We can run our lives only by doing labour work. How can we not go?”

For these women, election campaigns are just another opportunity for employment.

Scores of enthusiastic men cheering at political rallies in Hyderabad are often inebriated. Image Courtesy: Rahul M

Although the unemployed help political campaigns, or attend rallies for money, they see a deeper meaning in the election process. They hold trust in the democratic process and will most likely leave for their respective constituencies on the day of the election or the day before.

However, not everyone attending these rallies necessarily see the elections as a meaningful process. The teenagers who attended the TRS rally were, perhaps, the most disinterested. One of them even had his headphones on. Many of them recently graduated from school. The two I spoke to weren’t interested to vote for any party even if they were given a chance.

“They are all the same,” said a teenager who would be eligible to vote in four years. He said he and his friends were attending the rally because it was a Sunday and there was no college to attend. “We are 20 of us. And your leader brought us here. We will get money after the meeting. ”

 

 

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Telangana gyaan: Why is pink the colour of the TRS?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Friday’s election in Telangana is one of a series of 5 recent state polls
  • They’re widely seen as a semi-final before the Lok Sabha election
  • Results of the assembly polls will be out on December 11

How many shades of pink are there? You could do a Google image search and marvel at the little panels that pop up.

Or, you could simply head to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS) Twitter page.

Scarves, caps, vehicles and even a mic resembling a cone of strawberry ice cream — it’s all a little overwhelming. But why is the party of K Chandrashekhar Rao, the caretaker chief minister, smitten with the colour of flamingoes and romance?

It represents peace and love. That’s what Vinod Kumar, a TRS MP, has been quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

And this, he added, is why the TRS chose it in 2001, when Chandrashkhar Rao began the movement for a separate state (separate from Andhra Pradesh, that is).

 

 

Chandrashekhar Rao, 64, often simply known as “KCR”, faces an assembly on Friday, December 5. The results of an India Today survey contain good news for the TRS: 48 per cent of respondents backed the current government, up from 44 per cent last month.

Standing in Rao’s way is an alliance between the Congress and three other parties: The Telugu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi. The BJP is also contesting the election, in all 119 seats.

Will Hyderabad’s streets be awash in pink on counting day? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. (December 11: Mark your calendars.)

But one thing’s for sure: India’s political parties are quickly running out of colours. Think about it: Saffron? BJP. Red? CPI-M. Green? JD-S and AIMIM. Blue? BSP. Yellow? TDP.

At this rate, we may soon have to look beyond the visible spectrum of light!

Telangana Polls 2018: MP Kavitha says K Chandrashekhar Rao alone will suffice to bring TRS back to power

Kavitha also expressed confidence that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) will win 100 seats in the 119-member house in the assembly elections scheduled on December 7.

 

Asserting that the existence of the TRS hinges on the “popularity” of its chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, his daughter and MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha said on November 25 that only he alone can bring the ruling party to power again in Telangana and rubbished suggestions it had a “covert” understanding with the BJP.

Kavitha, 40, also expressed confidence that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) will win 100 seats in the 119-member house in the assembly elections scheduled on December 7.

“My leader is my party. His vision is Telangana development. They cannot be separated and looked at in isolation,” Kavitha told PTI in an exclusive interview.

“It is KCR’s vision which got Telangana state. It is KCR’s vision which put Telangana on a development path. That visionary leader is our strength. He is the one who will win us back in the government.”

Rejecting suggestions that her party had a “covert” understanding with the BJP, Kavitha accused the Congress of spreading such rumours to get minority votes.

Asked if her brother K T Rama Rao, caretaker IT and Industries Minister, will be the next chief minister, Kavitha said: “TRS will come to power and all of us in the party including my brother would see KCR as chief minister. We want KCR to lead the government.”

K Chandrashekhar Rao is popularly known as KCR

The comments come in the backdrop of widely believed power tussle between KCR’s son and his nephew T Harish Rao, a popular leader from Siddipet district and also a caretaker irrigation minister.

Kavitha, a Lok Sabha MP from Nizamabad, said there is no power tussle between these two leaders and even if it exists the prospects of TRS will not be affected.

“TRS is certainly going to win 100 seats. Even repeating of all sitting MLAs will not affect as they have been given tickets after vetting their performance,” she said.

She also said that post state elections, KCR will “certainly be playing a very big role in national politics.”

The newly formed state has 17 Lok Sabha seats.

Rubbishing allegations that the TRS was promoting dynasty politics, Kavitha said, “When political parties do not have any serious issues, then they try to bring non-issues. They try to make an issue out of non-issue.”

She mentioned that her family members were deeply involved in the Telangana movement. “Later, we were individually and independently elected by people of Telangana. We are not sitting on nominated chairs but elected by the people. So, these allegations do not make any sense. It is a non-issue.”

Dismissing any threat from the Congress-led Mahakutami, Kavitha said, “TDP is practically not present on the ground. Congress till date was a primary organisation but it is very distant for us. Rest two parties have zero cadre. How do you expect these parties suddenly becoming super power?”

The Mahakutami is a grand alliance comprising Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).

Asked about candidates facing backlash from people over the party’s unkept promises of the 2014 election manifesto, Kavitha highlighted several promises been implemented including the KG-to-PG education scheme, irrigation projects, pension, scholarships among others.

“There is no backlash from the people. There is backlash from political parties. TRS is the only party which has fulfilled almost each and every promises made in the 2014 polls,” she said, and claimed the TRS government also cleared the Rs 11,000 crore debt of the Congress government.

“Opposition may say we have failed (to fulfill promises). We have not failed, we have begun work in all schemes. The schemes which cannot be stalled, the opposition says they are not working. …The work is in progress in various programmes.”

As far as 12 per cent job quota for religious minorities and scheduled tribes is concerned, Kavitha said, “We have passed a resolution in the assembly and it will be sent to the central government for approval.

“If the Centre approves, we will implement. If they reject, then we will appeal in the Supreme Court and get it done just like the Tamil Nadu model,” she said.

Attacking the Centre for “neither approving nor rejecting” the state’s proposal, Kavitha said: “The reponsiblity now lies on the BJP. We have done our job. We fought in Parliament for minority and ST reservation. The BJP government did not budge. It is on them (BJP) and not on TRS.”

She, however, said the TRS will keep the promise. “Whichever government comes back to power at Centre, we will continue to fight and make sure we get the reservation.”

Rebuking Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s allegations on rise in farmers suicides under the TRS rule, Kavitha said, “Farmers suicides were not the result of the TRS rule in Telangana. It is the result of misrule of Congress and TDP. …After the TRS came to power, I can challenge and tell you that the rate of farmers suicides is on the decline.”

The schemes to provide irrigation and incentives to farmers under Rytha Bandhu programme will help farmers come out of debt trap. “Once the debt trap is broken, there won’t be difficulties for farmers and suicides rate will automatically come down.”

Hitting out at the NDA government , Kavitha said, “We have not got a high court despite asking for it in the last four and half years. The new state was ignored by the Centre which did not give enough grants. The kind of help NDA has given to its allies, certainly not given to Telangana.

 

 

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