BRS appealed to the commission to reconsider its decision and allow the state government to release the financial aid to farmers. While holding chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and finance minister T Harish Rao responsible for the EC’s action, Congress appealed to the commission to allow Rythu Bandhu disbursement.
‘Farmer aid from Dec 3’
Reacting sharply at a public meeting in Chevella, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said Congress party’s conspiracies will work only till December 3 when the election results will be out. He said his BRS would disburse Rythu Bandhu amount from December 6 after taking over.
KCR said Rythu Bandhu is an ongoing scheme and farmers have been getting the benefit for the last five-and-a-half years. “The EC gave one day (November 28) for disbursement of the amount but the Congress leaders went to Delhi and complained again on the scheme,” the CM said.
A delegation led by Rajya Sabha MP K Keshava Rao and party legal advisor Soma Bharat, who submitted a representation to Telangana chief electoral officer Vikas Raj, said Harish Rao did not violate the model code of conduct. They said he merely thanked the EC for allowing disbursement of the amount. “Harish’s statement is nothing but an expression of gratitude for the EC’s decision,” party leaders said.
BRS hits out at Cong
BRS working president KT Rama Rao hit out at Congress for filing a complaint to stop disbursement of Rythu Bandhu amount. KTR said Congress, even before coming to power, was making sure that Rythu Bandhu amount should not reach the farmers. “If people vote for Congress, it will scrap the Rythu Bandhu scheme completely,” he warned.
In the evening, Harish Rao held a press conference and lambasted the Congress, saying it had once again proved its ‘anti-farmer’ stance by stalling Rythu Bandhu disbursal. “When the party was in power, it did not give power, water for irrigation and fertilisers to farmers and now being in opposition it stalled the scheme,” he said.
Meanwhile, AICC leaders Jairam Ramesh and KC Venugopal, TPCC chief A Revanth Reddy and Nalgonda MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy said the party remains committed to fulfilling Rythu Bharosa guarantee to the farmers.
Congress hits back
Revanth appealed to farmers to throw out the ‘irresponsible’ BRS government and said the minister’s careless statement had resulted in the EC halting the disbursal. “Harish’s comments in violation of the model code of conduct at the behest of KCR led to the EC temporarily halting Rythu Bandhu implementation. Farmers should be aware of this truth. But the farmers need not worry as it is the responsibility of Congress to deposit ₹15,000 per acre from next month, as against ₹10,000 they are getting under the BRS government,” Revanth said.
Revanth expressed his ire over BRS trying to mislead the farmers by making viral on social media a fake letter to the EC in his name. TPCC working president Mahesh Kumar Goud complained to the cyber police, seeking an inquiry into the fake letter.
In a post on X, Jairam Ramesh said: “The Election Commission has held finance minister Harish Rao in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Nobody else is to be blamed other than the ‘Gang of 4’ ruling Telangana, who in their desperation to hang onto power have ended up denying what is owed to farmers. The Congress remains committed to fulfilling its guarantee to the farmers and tenant farmers of ₹15,000 per acre under Rythu Bharosa, up to ₹2 lakh crop loan waiver to all farmers.”