Terming the incidents “orchestrated and manufactured protests”,KTR alleged that it was done to defame the TRS government.

Women burn free Bathukamma sarees in Telangana Fuming KTR blames opposition
news News Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 09:12

Telangana Textiles and Handlooms Minister KT Rama Rao on Monday lashed out against women taking to the streets in protest, against free sarees that were being distributed by the state government for the Bathukamma festival.

The Telangana government announced free sarees for women below the poverty line, as part of a scheme to promote handlooms in the state, with a budget of Rs 200 crore.

In a protest in Jagtial district on Monday, nearly 200 km away from Hyderabad, women took to the streets, burned the sarees and played Bathukamma.

Bathukamma is a floral festival celebrated by women in Telangana, where they sing songs by clapping hands surrounding the decorated flowers. On Monday, women sang to mock the poor quality of the sarees. Similar protests were reported at Bhongir, Nalgonda as well.

Terming the incidents “orchestrated and manufactured protests” by Opposition parties, a fuming KTR alleged that it was done to defame the TRS government.

Speaking to media persons at the Secretariat in Hyderabad, KTR said “We are well aware how Opposition parties have been obstructing any development or welfare programmes taken up by TRS government for the last three years. They have not even left Bathukamma sarees now. They tried to create unnecessary controversy under the pretext of poor quality and burnt them at five or six distribution centres, which is not even 0.001 per cent of the total 26 lakh saris distributed on day one.”

He also said that this was “pathetic, disgusting and third grade politics,” that the Opposition was participating in. 

He added that the incidents happened mainly in constituencies held by Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs. 

KTR also said, “No woman will burn the saree. It is not our culture. If the women don't like the saree, they keep it aside and give it away to someone. In today's incidents, Congress student wing members and leaders of opposition parties grabbed the sarees from women beneficiaries and set them on fire. Jagtial police has also booked cases against them."

KTR also hit back at allegations that the state placed an order with textile firms in Surat, instead of approaching local weavers.

"Since the decision was taken only three months ago, and there was a shortage of time, we had to split the order between out weavers and the Surat-based firms," he said.

"From next year, we will place the complete order with our weavers," he added.  

Announcing the scheme, Chief Minister KCR had earlier said, “The plight of workers dependent on handloom and power loom sectors is pathetic. Due to lack of work, some workers have even committed suicide. Hence we are purchasing sarees from them, as it would provide employment to the workers.


Also read: Ugly fight breaks out over free sarees in Telangana: Women tear each other’s hair out in queue


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