The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of speaking two blatant lies — one that the name of Ambedkar was removed by TRS government from Pranahita–Chevella project and the other that the cost of Kaleswaram project went up from Rs. 36,000 crore to Rs. one lakh crore during the rule.
Reacting to Mr. Gandhi’s public speeches during his visit to the State on Saturday, TRS leader and minister in the caretaker government K.T. Rama Rao told a news conference later that the tag of Ambedkar to Pranahita-Chevella project was retained though the project itself was redesigned and confined to irrigate lands in Adilabad district.
As far as cost escalation of Kaleswaram project was concerned, Mr. Rao denied the cost shot up to Rs. one lakh crore as claimed by Mr. Gandhi but pegged at Rs. 80,190 crore as cleared by the Central Water Commission. The project was conceived by Congress government with a budget of Rs. 17,000 crore but it went up to Rs. 40,300 crore in the term of the same government.
Considering the hike in compensation for lands acquired, increase in storage capacity of reservoirs from 16 tmc ft to 160 tmc ft and the relief and attractive rehabilitation package for land oustees, it was natural that the cost went up to Rs. 80,190 crore.
The Minister also denied Mr. Gandhi’s claim that only 10,000 jobs were provided by TRS government as he said the Finance Department gave clearance for 1.09 lakh jobs, 87,000 jobs were notified and 32,000 jobs filled. The remaining jobs could not be filled due to court cases filed by Congress leaders.
He took strong exception to Mr. Gandhi saying that suicide by farmers went up in TRS rule while the fact was that the casualties went down from 1,400 in 2015 to 645 in 2016 as per the reply of Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam K. Rupala to a question in Parliament.
He said Mr. Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were equal rivals for TRS as the Congress and BJP that they represented respectively deceived Telangana. However, the Congress will be the main rival of the TRS in coming elections because the BJP lacked standing in the State.
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