Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Tuesday challenged Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for an open debate on the issue of minorities‘ welfare.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Shabbir described KCR as the ‘most ignorant CM’. “KCR is neither aware of the history nor he desires to learn anything.
He only talks and talks only non-sense,” he said while referring to the Chief Minister’s latest speech in the Assembly on minorities’ welfare wherein he claimed that TRS Government was doing better than the previous Congress Governments for the welfare of minorities.
“The first Minorities Welfare Department in the country was established in 1993 by the then Congress Government led by (Late) Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy and I was the first Minorities Welfare Minister in the country. For the first time in history of independent India, the budget for Minorities Welfare was introduced in 1993-94 with an allocation of Rs. 3 Crore which eventually increased to over Rs. 1,000 crore in 2013-14.
While the TDP Govt increased the budget to Rs. 33 crore during its rule from 1994-2004, Congress increased it every year and made it Rs. 1,000 crore till 2013-2014. This became a role model and many States followed us in establishing Minorities Welfare ministries. The Congress-led UPA Govt at the Centre established Union Ministry for Minority Affairs in 2006,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said it was ridiculous on the part of the Chief Minister to compare budget allocations in figures. He said that the annual budget of united Andhra Pradesh under Chief Minister Bhramananda Reddy was just Rs. 10,000 crore. Today the combined budget of Telangana and AP is nearly Rs. 4 lakh crore.
This figure will certainly increase in the next 10 years due to inflation and rising GDP. “It is shameful and also ridiculous that CM KCR is comparing spending done Congress Govt from 2004-2014 and TRS Govt from 2014-2019. KCR must realise that his government is nowhere close to what Congress Governments did for minorities’ welfare,” he said.
“Congress Govt initiated the process of giving reservation to Muslims in August 1994. He said G.O. Ms. No. 30 was issued on August 30, 1994 to provide reservation for Muslims and Kapus. This was not implemented by TDP Govt. But when Congress party returned to power in May 2004, within 58 days after assuming office, it implemented 5% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education.
Due to legal problems, the percentage was reduced to 4%. Today, poor Muslims are enjoying 4% share in government jobs, education and also in local bodies given by the Congress Government,” he said.
Shabbir Ali reminded that KCR, on April 19, 2014, had promised to implement 12% reservation for Muslims within 4 months after coming to power. He said the promised remained unfulfilled even after six years. “Congress Govt started six new medical colleges for minorities.
But TRS Govt did not start even one college. Instead, more than 80% of minority colleges in Telangana have closed down after TRS came to power. Congress Govt introduced Residential Schools and Colleges for minorities, Financial help in marriage of poor Muslim girls, self employment schemes, Bank-linked subsidised loan schemes, etc., KCR copied those schemes and only increased the numbers without giving any facilities,” he said.
“We honestly implemented all the schemes and fulfilled all the promises. But KCR the common people, especially the minorities,” he said.
Shabbir Ali challenged KCR for an open debate on the issue of minorities’ welfare. “I’m willing to come anywhere, including Pragathi Bhavan, for the debate. If KCR is afraid of facing me directly, he can depute his son KTR or Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar for the debate,” he said. He said the debate can be held immediately after the end of budget session. “If KCR doesn’t respond, then he said that the Congress party would give a detailed presentation on how Muslims of Telangana were betrayed by TRS Government,” he said.
TRS Govt slashed over 60% budget for Health Sector: Shabbir
“I would like to express sympathies over the death of CM’s pet dog. It seems to have upset him so much that he got a case of negligence registered against the veterinary doctor. We would’ve appreciated his love towards animals if he would’ve reacted to Dengue deaths in the similar manner,” Shabbir Ail said.
The Congress leader said it was highly regrettable that the Chief Minister did not make a mention of spread of viral diseases in more than 3-hour long speech in Assembly.
He alleged that the Chief Minister appears to have no value for human lives. He said it was the negligence of TRS Govt that deteriorated the conditions in health sector leading to spread of epidemic diseases in Telangana.
Shabbir Ali said that the State Govt initially failed to control the spread of diseases. After a series of deaths due to Dengue, Health Minister Etala Rajender entered into denial mode. Now the State Govt is trying to suppress information. He said the Health Minister even claimed that there were no dengue cases at all.
“The Health Minister, on September 13, said that Dengue positive cases should be declared only after following necessary blood test protocols and through the District Medical and Health Officers. Etala Rajender is a Bachelor of Science (BSc) graduate from Osmania University and not a professional doctor. H might be a pass out of “TRS Medical College”, but he is still Mr. Etala and not Dr. Etala Rajender,” he said.
Furnishing official statistics of Directorate of General Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India under National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Shabbir Ali said that Telangana ranked among top States in cases of Dengue, Malaria and other diseases.
In 2015, Telangana ranked 16 among 31 States in number of Dengue cases. The rank was 13 in 2016 and 9th in 2017 and 2018. This year (2019) till May, Telangana ranked 7th with 756 cases. “With Dengue cases crossing 4,500 in the last 3-4 months, there is no doubt that Telangana is on top in the country,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said while Telangana was on top in diseases, it was on bottom five States on spending on public health, as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In 2014-15, with spending of only of 4.10% of total budget on health, Telangana ranked 28th out of 31 States.
The spending was 3% in 2015-16; 5.1% in 2016-17 and 4.1% in 2017-18 and the ranking slipped to 30 in 2015-16; 17 in 2016-17 and 29 in 2017-18. After slashing 60% of budget on health in 2019-20, Telangana will be on bottom of all States.
He said as against Rs. 3,940.16 crore allocated in 2018-19, this year, it has been reduced by over 60% to Rs. 2,368.21 Crore. He pointed out that 100% funds were slashed for as many as 34 crucial schemes or HoDs.
They include Life Saving Medicine and disposables, Advanced Radiology Services, Research Fund for Medical Colleges, Maintenance of equipment in Teaching Hospitals and Improvement of General Upkeep of Colleges and Hospitals, Epidemic Control Schemes, Upgradation of PHCs, Purchase of Hospital Diagnostic Equipments, Purchase of Diagnostic Equipments, etc.,
Similarly, there has a cut by 50-96% for 45 other major schemes. They include Drug Manufacturing (74%), 102 Services (70.73%); Life Saving Medicine and disposables for NIMS (75%); Assistance to NIMS for treatment of BPL families not covered under Aarogyasri (90%) and Free Mortuary Hearses Van Services (80%).
“How can a government slash budget by 100% for Life Saving Medicines?” he asked while adding that the cut in medical budget clearly shows that TRS Government has no value for human live, especially those of poor people.
Shabbir Ali demanded that the State Government hold a day-long session of Assembly only to discuss issues pertaining to public health. (INN)