former Chief Minister KCR warns of protest over withering crops

 Telangana | Written by : IANS Updated: Sat, Apr 06, 2024, 11:52 AM

Hyderabad, April  (IANS) Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) President and former Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday warned of protests if the Congress government in Telangana fails to come to the rescue of farmers whose crops have dried up due to non-release of water.

The Leader of the Opposition also warned that after water flow in the Godavari river crosses 20,000 cusecs, he, along with the farmers, will undertake a march to release the water.

He warned that if the state government fails to repair the Medigadda barrage (a part of the Kaleshwaram project) and provide immediate relief to farmers, he and 50,000 farmers will march to Medigadda.

His challenge came after inspecting dried-up crops in parts of the united Karimnagar district and interacting with the affected farmers. He emphasised that following the Lok Sabha elections, his party and the farmers will launch a massive agitation against the state government's criminal negligence in repairing the Medigadda barrage, leading to agricultural distress.

KCR, as Rao is commonly known, accused the Congress government of intentionally neglecting the barrage repairs for political gains, and warned of a building farmer agitation due to the government's failure to fulfil promises, leading to distress and suicides among farmers.

He reiterated that the farmers were suffering due to the policies of the government and crops have dried up in almost all villages. Claiming that crops over 15-20 lakh acres were affected, he demanded the government immediately come to the rescue of affected farmers by paying Rs 25,000 per acre.

Reiterating his claim that 209 farmers died by suicide since Congress came to power in the state, he demanded that the government pay compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to their families.

KCR said the Congress leaders had challenged him to send a list of deceased farmers within 48 hours but the list was sent to the Chief Secretary within four hours. He alleged that the present situation in the state's agriculture sector was due to the inefficiency of the Congress government as the "administration, including the Chief Minister, lacks understanding of water and project management".

He highlighted the benefits brought by the Kaleshwaram project to the Karimnagar district but expressed concern over recent crop losses due to water mismanagement and criticised the Congress for failing to fulfil electoral promises, attributing drought-like conditions to their governance.

KCR said the crops dried up due to the government's failure and the farmers’ borewell motors got burnt due to lack of quality power.

The BRS chief warned the government that his party would not keep quiet if it continued to neglect farmers and weavers and urged the Congress to focus on governance instead of political stunts and fulfil electoral promises. He criticised Congress leader K.K. Mahendra Reddy's insensitive remarks on weavers after he suggested they sell condoms and papads if they lacked work.

KCR condemned the government for failing to provide drinking water despite substantial investments in projects like Mission Bhagiratha by his government and demanded free water supply to all citizens dependent on water tankers.

He dismissed the BJP's prospects in Telangana, citing their poor performance in previous elections and losing more than half of the Assembly segments.