Nanded: Telangana Chief Minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday alleged ”wars” between states over water were being encouraged and targeted the Centre on the import of coal and the Adani Group ”scam” as he gave a call for installing a ”Kisan Sarkar” in the first rally of BRS outside the southern state.
Rao promised to revolutionise water policy for the country if elected to power and implement welfare schemes for farmers and Dalits. He said the current trend of privatisation in the power sector will be reversed and women’s representation of up to 33 per cent will be mandatory in the state Assemblies and Councils.
Taking a dig at the BJP-led NDA government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative at the public meeting at Nanded in Maharashtra, Rao, who spoke in Hindi, said it has become a ‘Joke in India’ as there are China bazaars in every street (in the country).
Amid talks of an alternative front to challenge the BJP in the 2024 elections, Rao hinted at taking ”like-minded people” along when he addressed a presser.
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Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of farmers’ suicides in the country and the time has come for peasants to take the reins, he said.
”That’s why BRS’s slogan is ‘Abki ki baar, kisan sarkar’ (This time around, a government for the farmers). If we unite, it is not impossible. In our country, farmers constitute more than 42 per cent and if the number of farm labourers is also added to that it will be more than 50 per cent which is sufficient to form the government,” Rao told the rally where leaders belonging to various political parties joined BRS. Rao, popularly known as KCR, welcomed the leaders by offering them pink scarves.
Earlier in the day, he visited the famous Nanded gurdwara. Rao said if BRS comes to power, the Telangana government’s flagship Dalit welfare scheme ‘Dalit Bandhu’ (grant of Rs 10 lakh to each household) would be implemented across the country with 25 lakh households per year and also Telangana’s ‘Rythu Bandhu’ (for the welfare of farmers) will be implemented throughout the country.
”India is a country of intellectuals and not fools. When the Emergency was imposed in the country (in 1975), during that time on a call given by ‘Loknayak’ Jayaprakash Narayan, (socialist leader of the anti-Emergency movement), the entire country got united and rejected the great leaders of that time. Today, the time has come. 75 years is a long period. Farmers should also be able to write and make rules. You have to make ‘kisan sarkar’,” he said.
There are several rivers like Krishna and Godavari flowing in Maharashtra. Even then, why is there a water shortage in Maharashtra, he questioned.
”Why there is a scarcity of water in Maharashtra? Who is responsible for it? Think over it. Congress ruled the country for 54 years and BJP ruled for 16 years. These two parties are ‘kasooravaar’ (guilty). I want farmers’ suicides to stop. If a farmers’ government is formed then the water problem for drinking and irrigation will be solved,” Rao said.
He said even after 75 years of the country’s independence and after so many governments, Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers at the helm, the country continues to face drinking water issues, irrigation woes and power shortages. He said within the next 10 days, the BRS’ party vehicles will go to every village in all 288 Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra to form farmers’ committees.
”We will visit the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Shivneri, take blessings and pledge to make a farmers’ government. The process to make farmers’ committees in entire Maharashtra will begin,” he said.
Speaking at a media briefing after the rally, Rao said the BRS aims to change the water policy and bring in a new mechanism for water supply in the country.
”Why are water wars between states being encouraged when there is adequate water to irrigate every acre of land in India?” he asked.
He demanded Adani Group’s ”scam” be discussed in a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) and targeted the Centre over the import of coal and its ”love” for Adani.
The import of coal is akin to ”cheating” the country, and the BRS will change this scenario after coming to power, he said.
”It is my request to the Prime Minister that Adani Group is involved in such a big scam and it should be discussed in a joint parliamentary committee. Almost Rs 10 lakh crore has been evaporated,” he alleged.
”Everyone knows he (Adani) is your friend. In just two years, he became the world’s second richest person. If you are honest, set up a joint parliamentary committee. It is my demand,” Rao said.
Speaking on the coal scenario, he said India has enough reserves of coal that would last for the next 120 years but the Union government is forcing states to procure imported coal, which is only supplied by the Adani group.
”What is happening in Adani (Group) in the power sector? False books, false valuation….and now the whole banking system is endangered. The BRS is announcing its policy decision that when it will come to power post-2024 general elections, we will reverse the current privatisation trend in the power sector. ”Only 10% of the total power sector will be privatised and the rest will be brought back under the public sector,” he said.
Queried on the Centre changing names of streets, institutions and cities, Rao said, “It is just a drama. The work which society needs is not being done. The BRS will not indulge in such tricks. After getting elected to power with like-minded people, the BRS will make women’s representation mandatory to 33% in state assemblies and councils.”