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The Union government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had made several promises to provide funds and set up institutions for the betterment of India’s youngest state, Telangana. It has been nine years since the state was formed. The state is now heading for its third Legislative Assembly election on November 30 but several of these promises have not been fulfilled. This is despite protests by civic groups and the state government led by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
TNM looks at four promises made by the Union government led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which are yet to be realised and the status of these projects.
Tribal University in Mulugu district:
The Union Cabinet on October 4, 2023 stated that it will amend the Central Tribal University Act for the establishment of Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana’s Mulugu, a district dominated by Scheduled Tribe populace. The promise has been made several times, even in a recent public meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2023.
After the bifurcation of United Andhra Pradesh, under the 13th Schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, the Government of India is supposed to “establish a Tribal University each in the State of Andhra Pradesh and in the State of Telangana.” While Andhra Pradesh got its university, Telangana hasn’t so far. Several protests were staged by Scheduled Tribe (ST) groups, especially in Adilabad district, accusing the Union government of negligence.
The Union Cabinet on October 4, 2023 decided to amend the Central Tribal University Act for the establishment of Sammakka Sarakka University. “The new university will not only increase access and improve the quality of higher education in the State but also promote avenues of higher education by providing instructional and research facilities in tribal art, culture and traditional knowledge systems for the benefit of the tribal population in the State. This new university will also create additional capacity and will strive to remove regional imbalances,” the Union Education Ministry said in a statement on October 5, 2023.
However, the promise is still viewed with scepticism as it has been a long pending one.
Turmeric Board in Nizamabad:
In March 2023, yellow coloured boards appeared in Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency mocking BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri, who had made the promise during 2018 elections. “Turmeric board. This the board that our honourable MP has brought,” said the billboards.
October 1, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Telangana’s Mahabubnagar district that the Union government will establish a National Turmeric Board in Telangana. Establishment of the Turmeric Board for the welfare of Turmeric farmers in Telangana was a promise made by BJP leaders post the state’s formation. Farmers had staged protests for years against the Union government's delay in setting up the board. Telangana farmers in Nizamabad district in 2021 had burnt copies of the BJP poll manifesto for Tamil Nadu Assembly polls following BJP's promise of setting up a Turmeric Board there.
Telangana is the second largest producer of Turmeric after its neighbouring state of Maharashtra and the Board is expected to help the growth of turmeric farming and turmeric products in the country. While the announcement has come from the Union government, farm rights activists and Opposition leaders have expressed scepticism considering the BJP’s track record.
Kazipet coach factory in Hanumakonda district:
Successive Telangana governments have been blaming the Union government for its failure to set up a rail coach factory at Kazipet in Hanumakonda district. The promise of setting up the factory was first made in 1980 under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However since then, various Union governments have backtracked on the promise. The promise was also made in the 13th schedule, Section 93 of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act following the establishment of Telangana state but the BJP, which has been heading the Union government since, too has failed to deliver
The BJP assured Telangana’s residents that the factory would be set up and also added the promise in their manifesto ahead of Telangana elections in 2014. However, a decade later, the promise remains unfulfilled.
In July 2023, BRS working president KT Rama Rao (KTR) criticised PM Modi and asked him to apologise to Telangana voters for failing to fulfil the commitments to the people in the state under the Bifurcation Act. “PM Modi denied a rail coach factory to Telangana but established one costing Rs 21,000 crore in Gujarat,” he had said.
With Telangana, Mizoram, MP, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan on the ballot, TNM and Newslaundry have teamed up to bring you the most comprehensive reporting and analysis. to power our election coverage.
Re-opening cement plant in Adilabad district:
In October 2023, ahead of a visit by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, several posters appeared in Adilabad asking for the reopening of the cement factory, under the Cement Corporation of India, which stopped operations in 1996 and was shut down in 2008. “Reopen Cement Corporation of India (CCI), Amit Shah ji, respond immediately,” the posters read.
Disgruntled employees of the company also tried to stop the convoy of Amit Shah, who had made the promise of reopening the factory in 2018 while addressing a poll rally. However in May 2022, the CCI issued an online electronic bid through Electronic Tendering System (ETS) invited for the appointment of valuers for the assessment of the assets required for the disposal of the plant, machinery with the plant’s structure, store and scrap and dismantling quarters of the township of Adilabad’s branch. The decision to do away with the Adilabad CCI unit’s assets brought about strong protests from the ruling BRS.
Several pleas to reopen the factory have fallen on deaf ears. KTR had written to the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries in May 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in January of the same year had made a similar demand.