Sonia Gandhi appoints Shabbir Ali as Convener of TPCC Political Affairs Committee

Hyderabad: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday appointed former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir as the Convener of Political Affairs Committee of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.

AICC Telangana Incharge Manickam Tagore will be the Chairman of the PAC. Other members include TPCC President A. Revanth Reddy, CLP Leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, former PCC Presidents V. Hanumanth Rao, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Uttam Kumar Reddy, former CLP Leader K. Jana Reddy, MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, MLC T. Jeevan Reddy, former Union Ministers Renuka Chowdhary and P. Balram Naik, MLAs D. Sridhar Babu, Poddem Veeraiah, Anasuya (Seethakka) and Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy.

The other members will include all PCC Working Presidents, all Chairmen of Committees approved by AICC, AICC Secretaries from Telangana and Incharge AICC Secretaries. (INN)

Utilise Dawat-e-Iftar funds to feed the poor, Shabbir tells CM

Hyderabad: Former minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday demanded that the State Government utilise funds allocated for Dawat-e-Iftar to feed the poor people in view of Coronavirus crisis.

“The State Government, in its budget for 2020-21, has earmarked Rs. 66 Crore towards Dawat-e-Iftar and another Rs. 1.83 crore towards Iftar/Dinner hosted by the Chief Minister.

In view of ongoing crisis, there is no possibility of holding Iftar parties at mosques across the Telangana State and it is not likely that the government might distribute clothes among poor.

Therefore, we request you to kindly utilise the amounts earmarked for Dawat-e-Iftar and Iftar Dinner to distribute ration kits among all the poor people, irrespective of their religion or caste,” Shabbir Ali said in an open letter to Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao.

Shabbir Ali said that the previous Congress Government had introduced a novel scheme ‘Amma Hastham’ wherein a ration kit comprising of nine essential items used to be supplied among poor people.

The kit comprised of 1 kg toor dal, 1 litre palm oil, 1 kg whole meal atta, 1 kg wheat, half kg sugar, 1 kg salt, quarter kg chilli powder, half kg tamarind and 100 grams turmeric powder. “We request you to kindly supply similar kits among poor.

Further, it has been customary for the State Governments since decades to provide additional 1 kg of sugar during Deepawali, Ramzan and other festivals. Therefore, we request you to supply additional 1 kg of sugar at free of cost to all the White Ration Card holders,” he demanded.

Stating that the Congress party fully supports the State Government’s initiatives in combat against Coronavirus, he pointed out the lockdown has shattered the economy and snatched away the livelihood of lakhs of daily wage earners, employees of both organised and unorganised sectors and other weaker sections.

“The Government of Telangana had given 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 assistance to those having White Ration Cards. We regret to say that no assistance has been provided to other affected sections, including salaried and middle class. No compensation package has been announced for those who lost their jobs and those who are facing huge cuts in their salaries.

No relief, waiver or exemption has been given in payment of electricity, water and other utility bills. We request you to kindly consider announcing a comprehensive relief package covering all the affected sections of the society,” Shabbir Ali demanded. (INN)

Congress demands relief package for Lockdown-2

Hyderabad: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Monday demanded that the State Government immediately announce a relief package for the people affected due to lock down which now has been extended till April 30.

Shabbir Ali said that the State Government had announced a basic relief package for BPL families in the State during the first phase of lockdown from 22nd March to 14th April.

He said that the White Ration Card holders were promised free 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 per family to purchase groceries. Although the Chief Minister made the announcement on March 22, the distribution of rice began only after 1st April and not yet completed.

He said none of the 87.59 lakh beneficiaries got the promised Rs. 1500 in their accounts. Similarly, not all 3.5 lakh migrant workers in the State got the promised 10 kg rice and Rs. 500 cash. He demanded that the distribution of rice and cash among all beneficiaries be completed immediately.

“Since the State Government has decided to extend to lockdown till April 30, it should announce a separate relief package for the second phase. The State Government cannot expect the poor to survive on just 12 kg rice and Rs. 1500 for entire lockdown period of 39 days,” he said.

Shabbir Ali also demanded that other sections of society, including middle-class, salaried class, workers of unorganised sectors, non-White Ration Card holders, etc., should be given a suitable relief package.

With no economic activity for the last 23 days, majority of private and small firms did not pay salaries to their staff for the month of March and they might not pay anything for April. Therefore, in addition to White Ration Card holders, the State Government should announce a package for remaining sections.

The Congress leader also demanded that the electricity and water bills for the lockdown period should be waived off. (INN)

Shabbir exhorts Congress cadre to help the needy during lockdown

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir exhorted the Congress cadre to feed the hungry people and extend all possible help to the needy persons in their areas in view of lockdown due to Coronavirus.

Shabbir Ali was speaking to media persons after visiting Tolichowki area where Hyderabad Congress Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah, along with his team, has been preparing and supplying food, vegetables and Ration Kits of 15-16 essential items to over 3,000 people in surrounding areas ever since the lockdown on March 23.

“Sameer has been providing food to hungry people in many areas around Tolichowki without any discrimination continuously for the last 21 days.

To ensure social distancing, food is directly being delivered at people’s door steps. This is a great service to the humanity and others should emulate it,” he said.

He said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has directed the entire cadre to help the needy persons in their areas on war footing basis. “While it is essential to ensure total lockdown and maintain social distancing to prevent further spread of Coronavirus, it is the duty of every individual to help the fellow human beings without any discrimination. This is not only a war against a disease, but also a battle to protect the humanity,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said almost everyone, especially the poor and middle class, were badly hit due to lockdown. In the present circumstances, food has become the only necessity for a majority of people. Therefore, he exhorted Congress workers to help the people without any discrimination in whatever form they could.

He said AICC President Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi were supervising the relief operations being carried out by the Congress party leaders and workers across the country.

The Congress leader also condemned the BJP and a section of mainstream and social media for their attempts to give communal colour to Coronavirus epidemic. He said such attempts at the time of a pandemic were highly objectionable and aimed at diverting people’s attention from the failures of government.

He appealed to the people not to believe rumours and fake news to stay united and safe. When asked for reaction on a section of media calling the epidemic ‘Muslim Corona’, he advised the media to focus on positive things like the relief work being done by Sameer instead of giving publicity to matters that create hatred in the society.

TPCC Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail and TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin were also present. (INN)

Congress asks TS Govt to regulate prices and supply of surgical masks

Hyderabad: Former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Thursday demanded that the State Government take immediate measures to regulate the supply of surgical masks and hand sanitizers and control their prices.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement, said that the prices of surgical face masks and hand sanitizers have increased by more than 10 times ever since the first case of coronovirus was confirmed in Hyderabad last week.

The surgical mask which was being sold for Rs. 3-5 per piece is now being sold for Rs. 25-30 per mask. Similarly, the hand santizers are not being sold at MRP. “The increase in number of coronavirus cases/suspect has created a sense of panic among the common people.

As advised by the authorities, people want to take all precautions like wearing a mask and cleaning their hands with santizers. However, the precaution is turning out to be a burden on the common man due to sudden increase in prices,” he said.

Further, the Congress leader said that the increase in prices was due to huge gap between the demand and supply. “As every person wants to buy a mask for himself and his family, the shortage was bound to happen. The State Government should have taken all measures to ensure supply of surgical masks and sanitizers in adequate quantity.

Further, it should’ve ensured that there was no artificial shortage, hoarding or abnormal increase in their prices. But, as always, Health Minister Eatala Rajender held a few review meetings and gave statements making false claims,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the Health Minister had entered into denial mode when Telangana, especially Hyderabad, was badly hit with Dengue cases last year. Instead of taking preventive measures, he kept on denying about the existence of dengue despite the fact that thousands were affected and several of them died in private hospitals.

He advised the Health Minister not to adopt a similar approach this time. “State Government should ensure that surgical masks, sanitizers and other medicines and equipment are available in required quantities. Ideally, the State Government should supply surgical masks to students and teachers in schools and colleges, employees at free of cost.

It should also take stern action against pharmacies who are selling the surgical masks and hand sanitizers at extra prices,” he said.

The Congress leader appealed to the general public not to get panicked and take all preventive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (INN)

Congress sees threat to 4% Muslim reservation

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir expressed fear that the 4% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education, being implemented in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, might be taken away.

He was addressing the prize distribution function for students who participated in various competitions held on 4% Muslim quota in Classical Function Hall, Kamareddy on Friday.

“4% reservation in jobs and education has so far empowered nearly 20 lakh poor Muslims under BC-E category in both Telugu States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since 2004-05. Previous Congress regime had implemented the Muslim quota in 58 days after coming to power in 2004.

Even after losing power in 2014, Congress party has been fighting vigorously to protect the 4% Muslim quota, whose case is going on in the Supreme Court. However, the way BJP Government is functioning at the Centre and the manner in which TRS Govt is pursuing the hidden agenda against Muslims have increased fears over continuation of Muslim quota.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of all citizens to protect the quota which has helped over 2 million poor Muslims,” Shabbir Ali said in his speech.

Shabbir Ali reminded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao won the confidence of Muslim community by promising to implement 12% Muslim reservation within four months after coming to power. Even after six years, there are no signs of this promise getting implemented.

Instead, he said that the State Government did not reply to various queries sent by the Central Government regarding Telangana Reservation Bill. KCR is completely silent on the issue and no TRS leader is in a position to tell the exact status of the Bill.

“Muslims and STs have been openly cheated by the TRS Government on enhancement of quota and now PM Narendra Modi and CM KCR’s regimes might target the ongoing quota,” he said.

The Congress leader accused the TRS regime of targeting the minority institutions in Telangana State. He said more than 80% of minority colleges were shut down since TRS came to power. This was done by not releasing the Fee Reimbursement dues which pushed colleges into huge financial crisis resulting in their abrupt closure.

He said thousand of minority students were forced to discontinue their higher studies as KCR Govt shrunk the opportunities.

Wakf Board is in a pathetic state with the promised judicial powers not seeing the light of the day. Urdu Academy is still waiting for its Governing Body for the last six years although the Chairman was appointed six days before dissolution of Assembly in October 2018, he said.

Shabbir Ali accused KCR of targeting the institutions dealing with welfare of minorities in a systematic manner. He said funds for minorities’ welfare were reduced by nearly half and not even 50% of them have actually been spent.

“The only scheme, which is directly benefitting the poor Muslims in Telangana (and also in Andhra Pradesh) is 4% quota in jobs and education, was started by Congress Govt in 2004. But now that scheme too is under serious threat,” he warned.

Shabbir Ali said that the Congress party has decided to create awareness among the young generation regarding the benefits of 4% Muslim reservation.

Therefore, he said a massive campaign has been launched across Telangana State wherein school and college students are being supplied some study material on the struggle and importance of 4% Muslim quota and they are being encouraged to appear for essay writing, elocution, quiz and other competitions.

“We want to sensitize all poor Muslims about the advantages of having 4% reservation and therefore, they are being made aware of how and why this was given and why this should be protected,” he said.

He expressed happiness over the tremendous response this campaign got so far. He said more than 1200 school students took part in the competitions held in Hyderabad on February 15 and nearly 2,000 students participated in the competitions held in Kamareddy town on Friday. He said similar competitions and awareness programmes would be held in all district headquarters of Telangana.

An audio-visual presentation was also given on the struggle and achievements of 4% Muslim reservation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. (INN)

Shabbir asks Home Minister Mahmood Ali to tell birthdays of his parents

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned Home Minister Mahmood Ali‘s announcement that Telangana Government would implement National Population Register (NPR) in the new format.

Addressing a massive ‘Mushaira’ held against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NRC and NPR at Quli Qutub Shah Stadium on Monday night, Shabbir Ali reiterated the allegation that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was a BJP agent and his government was implementing CAA, NRC and NPR in Telangana.

He said that the TRS opposing the CAB in Parliament was only an eye-wash to mislead the people, especially the Muslims. Similarly, he said that proposed resolution in Assembly opposing the CAA would be another move to cheat the people. “If TRS was really opposed to CAA, then what is preventing KCR from making an open announcement that CAA, NRC and NPR would not be implemented in Telangana?” he asked.

Shabbir Ali strongly condemned Home Minister Mahmood Ali for announcing that NPR would be implemented in Telangana with six additional questions that require people to report the date and place of birth of their parents during the NPR survey.

He reminded that it was the Congress-led UPA Government which had launched the population register in 2010. It was simple form with 21 basic questions and no community or individual had any objection to it.

However, the BJP Government made it contentious by adding six new parameters which includes Aadhaar number of the resident, Voter ID, PAN, driving license number and mobile phone and date and place of birth of parents and the last place of residence. “Before asking people, first let KCR and Mahmood Ali tell the date of birth of their parents and furnish documents to prove it,” he said.

He said all Congress-ruled States have openly announced that they would not implement CAA, NRC and NPR. “Why KCR is not having guts to make a similar announcement in Telangana?” he asked.

The Congress leader also slammed MIM leader Waris Pathan for his controversial ’15 Crore Vs 100 Crore’ remark. He accused the MIM leaders of helping the BJP in implementation of communal agenda in the country. “With his controversial remarks, MIM leader has tried to sabotage the Shaheenbagh and other anti-CAA protests.

People belonging to all religions and communities were taking part in the anti-CAA protests. But Waris Pathan, at the instance of BJP and RSS, has try to give a wrong impression that anti-CAA agitation belongs to only one particular community,” he said adding that the country was not witnessing a ’15 Cr Vs 100 Cr’ fight, but it is a battle between communal BJP-MIM and rest of India to protect the Constitution and nation.

He warned against giving communal colour to ongoing anti-CAA protests and said women protesting at Shaheenbagh has set an example how peaceful protests should be held and how all communities should join hands to save the Constitution.

Shabbir Ali said that the BJP Goverment’s intention behind bringing CAA and NRC was to implement the ideology of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who supported Hitler and Nazis and wanted all minorities to be deprived of all rights.

He also slammed the TRS Government and Hyderabad City Police for denying permission to anti-CAA protests. He said more than 1,000 cases were booked against women for taking part in the protest.

However, he said permission for pro-CAA protests were being permitted without any conditions. He asked CM KCR and Police Commissioner to explain as to why permission was granted for Home Minister Amit Shah’s meeting at Lal Bahadur Stadium.

Congress MP A. Revanth Reddy, Siasat Urdu Daily’s Managing Editor Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav and other senior leaders participated in the protest Mushaira organized by Congress leaders Khaja Bilal, Mohd Ghouse and others.

Famous poet and Congress leader Imran Pratapgarhi and other poets participated in the Mushaira against CAA, NRC and NPR which witnessed the participation of thousands of people. (INN)

Jharkhand results have fully exposed MIM’s ‘Vote Katwa’ reality: Shabbir

Hyderabad: Former minster and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has stated that the results of Jharkhand Assembly elections have fully exposed the MIM’s true face and its proximity with the BJP.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Tuesday, said that the MIM had contested on 16 seats and could secure only 173,980 which is just 1.2% of total polled votes in the States. He said that the MIM contested the elections not to win any seat, but divide the secular votes and polarise voters so that it could help BJP candidates. He said that the MIM’s presence helped BJP win two seats where its vote share was higher than the winning margin. Citing instances, he said in Mandu Assembly constituency, MIM’s presence helped BJP candidate Jai Prakash Bhai Patel win the election by just 2,068 votes against as the MIM candidate secured 13,972 votes. Similarly, in Bishrampur seat, MIM secured just 6.14% votes and directly helped BJP win the seat by a margin of 4.52% in a multi-cornered contest.

The Congress leader said MIM’s presence helped the BJP in polarising the elections in remaining 14 seats. He said BJP has won on 6 out of 16 seats where MIM fielded its candidates. “We are thankful to voters of Jharkhand who not only defeated the communal BJP, but also rejected its secret ally MIM in 10 other seats,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance could have won more number of seats if MIM would not have polarised the elections. He reminded that the MIM had implemented a similar game plan in Maharashtra where it directly helped BJP-Shiv Sena win 19 seats. Fortunately, he said Shiv Sena has severed its ties with communal BJP and formed a secular government in alliance with Congress and NCP.

The former minister said that the MIM’s true face has been unmasked and it must stop cheating the Muslim community. “As a political party, MIM was free to contest from anywhere in the country. But MIM should have a clear and open agenda. It must stop acting like a ‘Vote Katwa’ (Divider of votes) to help the BJP,” he said.

Shabbir Ali challenged MIM to have an open alliance with TRS in Telangana for the forthcoming municipal elections. “TRS and MIM will never enter into a formal alliance. MIM will independently field candidates from wards with significant Muslim population. Its sole intention will be to divide votes to damage the Congress party and help TRS and BJP win elections,” he said.

However, Shabbir Ali said people have realised that MIM was the B-Team of BJP and they would reject it all future elections. (INN)

Shabbir Ali demands special Assembly session to reject CAA, NRC

Hyderabad: Former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Thursday demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao convene a special session of Legislative Assembly to pass a resolution rejecting Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizenship (NRC).

Addressing a meeting convened by Telangana State & Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee on CAA & NRC here, Shabbir Ali urged the organisations, who are part of JAC, to pressurise the Chief Minister to officially announce that he would not implement both CAA and NRC in Telangana State.

He pointed out that Chief Ministers of Congress and Left-parties ruled-States, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and others have already made similar announcements. He said although the TRS has been supporting BJP Government at the Centre since 2014, it voted against the CAA in the Parliament.

Therefore, he said the Chief Minister should immediately convene a special session and announce rejection of CAA and NRC.

Shabbir Ali said that the CAA was unconstitutional and it would be proved in the Supreme Court. He accused BJP Government of creating a communal divide in the name of granting citizenship to six minority groups from three neighbouring countries.

He said BJP has tried to kill the very spirit of the Constitution by linking citizenship with religion. He said CAA was inspired by the ideology of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who wrote a book ‘Hindutva’ in 1917 and published it in 1923.

However, he said the idea was rejected by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Moulana Azad and other Congress leaders and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar provided us a secular constitution. He alleged that the BJP was now trying to change the Constitution, clause-by-clause.

The Congress leader condemned the police brutality on students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University during anti-CAA protests. He said lakhs of students from India’s 23 premier universities came out in support of JMI and AMU students to condemn police atrocities.

+He said BJP’s ideology of giving citizenship on the basis of religion does not have many takers and anti-CAA protests have erupted across the country.

Shabbir Ali said that the Congress party, which has been fighting against the unconstitutional Act at the national level, would support all peaceful protests against the CAA and NRC. (INN)

Shabbir Ali blames KCR’s erratic approach for economic crisis in Telangana

Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for his late reaction to the economic crisis in Telangana State.

Shabbir Ali, in a media statement on Sunday, said it was shocking that the Chief Minister has realised about the effects of economic slowdown after end of eight months in the current financial year. “While the entire world was talking about economic slowdown, the Chief Minister was making false claims about zero impact.

Finally, in September this year, the State Government came up with a full fledged budget for 2019-20 while cutting down expenditure by over 30%. As against the Vote on Account budget of Rs. 182,017 crore presented on February 22 this year, the full budget was of Rs. 146,492 crore wherein the State Government reduced the annual expenditure by Rs. 35,525 crore,” he said while adding that the State Government now appears to be in no position to spend even Rs. 1.46 lakh crore.

Citing unaudited provisional figures of Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG), Shabbir Ali said that as against the estimated Tax Revenues of Rs. 1.14 lakh crore during the year 2019-20, the collections up to October was just Rs. 51,355 crore or just 45.41%.

This includes Rs. 6,404.97 Crore towards State’s Share of Union Taxes. Similarly, Non-Tax-Revenue was a mere 15.38% (Rs. 2,442 Cr) of original estimation (Rs. 15,875 Cr).

However, he said KCR Government was not going slow on borrowings from different resources thus pushing the State in a huge debt trap. He said from April-October this year, the State Government has borrowed Rs. 17,500 crore.

Shabbir Ali said that the Chief Minister has caused huge damage by wrongly calling Telangana a rich and revenue surplus State.

By doing so, he deprived the State from various Central funds. Further, huge loans of nearly Rs. 3 lakh crore were borrowed at high interest rates which turned Telangana into a debt-ridden State. He said that KCR was too late in reacting to the financial situation.

He said he must have directed TRS MPs to raise the issue since the beginning of Parliament session last month. However, KCR is writing a letter to Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman at the fag end of Parliament session.

The Congress leader advised KCR to take an all-party delegation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narender Modi on the issue. He said KCR must learn to act in a collective manner than taking individual decisions. “Is it not strange that the Chief Minister holds a review meeting on the financial situation and do not involve the State’s Finance Minister (Harish Rao). He doesn’t have trust in his own people,” he said.

Shabbir Ali welcomed the Chief Minister’s decision to reduce the expenditure for all the departments. “KCR should begin this by cutting down his own personal expenditure. He should stop travelling by chartered flights and helicopters till the financial situation improves.

The expenditure on Pragathi Bhavan should also be slashed and KCR must give up his lavish lifestyle to set an example,” he said. He also advised the Chief Minister not to appoint Chairpersons for the defunct corporations. He said the expenditure on salaries and perks of Chairman and members of some corporations like HACA would exceed the annual budget of those corporations.

“Congress party has been warning since beginning that BJP Government’s moves of demonitisation and GST were erratic and they would ruin the economy. However, KCR was the first Chief Minister to support those moves. Now KCR himself is blaming the faulty polices of the Centre for present difficult situation,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said KCR was now blaming the economic slowdown to delay the implementation of major poll promises. He said nearly 50% of farmers did not get the Rythu Bandhu amounts. The promised crop loan waiver up to Rs. 1 lakh was not yet fulfilled.

Jobless youth are still waiting for the promised allowance of Rs. 3,016 per month since December last year. The employees are waiting for Interim Relief (IR) and implementation of new PRC (Pay Revision Commission) scales. There are many financial commitments which KCR wants to prolong in the name of economic slowdown, he said. (INN)