Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday alleged that the Union government is trying to usurp the powers of the states. Speaking in the state Assembly, he slammed the Union government and remarked that both BJP and Congress are equally responsible for taking away the powers of states. He said as the leader of a regional party, he would fight with the Centre to safeguard the rights of the state and pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had recently written a letter to non-BJP governments including to him.
KCR said the Union government took away taxes collected by the State in the name of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "It recently tried to take away even the taxes on petrol and diesel by bringing them under the GST but relented as the BJP-ruled States opposed the move," he said referring to the GST Council meeting held in Lucknow recently.
Dismissing the claims of BJP leaders that the Union government was providing funds to Telangana, KCR said more funds were going from the state to the Centre and claimed that what the state was getting from the Centre was meager. He pointed out that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) named Telangana as one of the top four contributors to the GDP. He pointed out that the allocations were made as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.
"This is our right. The Centre is not doing any favour. Whoever is in power has to give these funds. They will come automatically," he said.
The Chief Minister was replying to a debate on urban and rural development programmes of the state. Referring to the centrally sponsored scheme, he said what the state gets under this is very less. He pointed out that central departments like urban development, rural development, education and health have no presence in the state and from building a school to a hospital everything has to be done by the state government.
"We are such a big democracy but even to make payments to labourers under MGNREGS the money has to come from Delhi," he said. He said the NITI Aayog had recommended to the Union government to give Rs 24,000 crore for Mission Bhagiratha scheme of the state to provide drinking water to every household. "The Centre did not give even 24 rupees," he remarked.
KCR also targeted the Union government for refusing to purchase food grains from Telangana. He said if the Centre did not relent from its stand on the issue, the state government will announce the alternatives for the next season.
KCR also criticized the Centre for ignoring his demand to allocate funds for development of Hyderabad, which is one of the five major metro cities that are considered the face of the country. He said he submitted several representations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was then urban development minister, but there was no response.
He recalled that he had requested the Centre to allocate Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 crore for Hyderabad's development every year. "Hyderabad is not just the city of Telangana or India. It is an international city," he said.
Earlier, this week during a discussion in the Assembly CM KCR has also come down heavily on the Union government on its hesitancy for not going for caste census.. While urging the Union government to undertake a caste census, he announced that the state Assembly will pass a resolution in this regard and send it to the Center. He opined that it is not possible to uplift any section in the absence of statistics.
KCR blamed the previous governments of Congress for flood like situation in Hyderabad saying they never improved the drainage system. He said his government has prepared a plan to improve the drainage system and this requires Rs 15,000 crore.
The chief minister asked Congress leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka if it was wrong to dream of seeing the old city of Hyderabad develop like Istanbul. "Yes, we dream and we try to make these dreams come true. What is wrong with it," he asked.
With IANS inputs