The minister also criticised the ECI for extending the model code of conduct in the districts neighbouring Huzurabad constituency.

KTR addressing the media with his colleagues in Hitex
news Politics Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 17:52

Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister and TRS working president KT Rama Rao on Saturday, October 23 slammed the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which had issued orders to defer the implementation of the state government’s flagship scheme Dalita Bandhu in the poll-bound Huzurabad constituency. Dalita Bandhu is a self-empowerment and social upliftment scheme for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the state. Under the scheme, each Dalit family would be given Rs 10 lakh. 

The minister, while briefing the media about the party’s arrangement for the plenary meeting which is being scheduled on October 25 at Hitex in Hyderabad, said, “Definitely it appears that the ECI is crossing its jurisdiction. It appears that they are forgetting that they are a constitutional body. The Dalita Bandhu programme started long ago.” 

“How fair is it to stop an ongoing scheme just because a few complained,” he asked, referring to the BJP. The minister further questioned the logic of ECI implementing the model code of conduct in the neighbouring districts of Huzurabad too. “It is too surprising for us that the model code of conduct has been extended to the neighbouring districts too.”

Taking a dig at this, the minister said, “We have to see if the model code of conduct would be extended to the neighbouring states also. Will they say that we cannot campaign from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh or Chhattisgarh.” 

The ECI on October 18, deferred the implementation of the Dalita Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad until the completion of the bye-poll. The constituency is going to vote on October 30. The ECI also had decided to extend the model code of conduct to a few areas surrounding the Huzurabad constituency, which had been objected to by the TRS.

The TRS had planned for a public meeting with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Siddipet’s Penchikalpet on October 27, which is approximately 80 km away from Huzurabad. However, as the code is implemented in Siddipet too, the party is in a dilemma regarding the planned meeting.

The bye-poll was necessitated following former Health Minister Eatala Rajender’s resignation as an MLA and TRS member. Eatala Rajender was unceremoniously sacked from the cabinet on allegations of land encroachment in May this year. Following his resignation, the former minister joined the BJP and threw a direct challenge to KCR. Eatala is the BJP candidate while TRS has fielded G Srinivas Yadav. The poll campaign between the BJP and the TRS is continuing in an intense manner with scuffles between both the parties.

Meanwhile, two Public Interest Litigations have been filed before the Telangana High Court challenging the ECI’s orders to defer the implementation of the Dalita Bandhu scheme.

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