Congress demands a special relief package for rain victims in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former Chairman of Hyderabad Congress Minorities Department Sameer Waliullah on Tuesday demanded a special relief package for those affected due to heavy rains in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement, said that several colonies and residential areas got inundated due to heavy rains in the last three weeks. He said several areas, especially those located near Musi River, were submerged fully or partially. Thousands of residents living in ‘kacha’ (temporary) houses suffered damage to the structures. Except for extending a little help to the families who were shifted to relief camps, the Telangana Government did not announce any financial assistance to the other affected people, he said.

The Congress leader said that the State Government should conduct a special drive to assess the rain-related damages in all 150 municipal divisions. He said that the GHMC should also start a helpline to guide people on claiming damages from insurance companies on vehicles and other insured products.

Sameer Waliullah pointed out that hundreds of fruit and vegetable vendors suffered losses to the tune of lakh of rupees due to heavy rains. While many vendors suffered huge damages after their fruits got washed away, fruits and vegetables worth several lakhs were rotted due to continuous rains. Further, he said several other vendors were unable to venture out due to continuous rains. He said that the State Government should count these vendors as rain victims and provide them with some financial assistance.

The Congress leader also expressed concern over the rising number of cases of malaria, dengue and other viral diseases. He said that the GHMC was yet to take anti-larval operations in a majority of areas. He demanded that the GHMC start a daily bulletin to update the people on the number of people affected with malaria, dengue, viral fever, etc., to create awareness among people in taking preventive measures.Sameer Waliullah also said that the GHMC should ideally convene a special general body meeting to discuss the rain-related damages in its jurisdiction and also to explore ways to prevent the possible spread of water-borne diseases in the city. (INN)

Congress releases booklet on party’s contribution in minorities’ welfare

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Monday launched a booklet on the contribution of the previous Congress Government in the welfare of minorities in undivided Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana).

The booklet, compiled by former minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, was released by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP A. Revanth Reddy at a programme organised by Shabbir Ali at his residence in Jubilee Hills on Monday. Nearly 200 Congress leaders and workers from Kamareddy district who enrolled more than 500 members in the Congress party’s digital membership drive in Kamareddy, Yellareddy, Jukkal and Banswada constituencies, were also felicitated on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Revanth Reddy said that it was the previous Congress Govt which implemented 4% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education in 2004-05. He said the 4% reservation has benefitted nearly 20 lakh Muslims in both the Telugus States in the last 17 years. He praised the role played by Shabbir Ali in introducing the 4% Muslim reservation. As the then minister in the cabinet of Dr. Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, Shabbir Ali ensured that the Congress party fulfills the promise made by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the 2004 election manifesto. He said that the Congress party implemented several programmes to ensure socio-economic, educational and economic empowerment of minorities.

Shabbir Ali, in his speech, said that the booklet has been compiled to create awareness among the minorities on what Congress party did for them when it was in power. He recalled that the Congress Govt created the country’s first Minorities Welfare Department in 1993-94 and he had the privilege of being India’s first Minister for Minorities Welfare. Further, he said separate budget allocation for the minorities’ welfare was made in 1993-94 in the budget speech of then Finance Minister Dr. K. Rosaiah. Infact, he said the process to give reservation to Muslims was initiated in 1994 when Dr. Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy was the Chief Minister. However, this process was stopped after Congress lost elections in 1994. He said that the Congress party made a promise of giving 5% reservation in the 2004 manifesto and it was implemented in just 58 days after coming to power.

Shabbir Ali said that only Congress party could guarantee empowerment of minorities. He said that the growth of minorities was stopped whenever the Congress party lost elections. He said that the minorities’ welfare took a backseat during the TDP and TRS rule. He said Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had promised to implement 12% Muslim reservation within four months after coming to power. He said the promise remained unfulfilled even after seven years and CM KCR has now stopped talking about it. Similarly, he said the Fee Reimbursement and scholarships for minorities have been stopped by the TRS Govt. He said not a single minority youth was given a loan by the TRS Govt in the last seven-and-a-half years.

The Congress leader said that the booklet contains detailed information on various schemes implemented by the Congress party for the empowerment of minorities. It also presents a broader picture of battle for 4% Muslim reservation which is still going on in the Supreme Court. He announced that the booklet would be distributed across the Telangana State to enlighten the common people about the Congress party’s welfare schemes which benefited over two million poor minorities.TPCC Working President Anjan Kumar Yadav, AICC Secretary A. Sampath Kumar and other senior leaders were present on the occasion. (INN)

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)

Congress to chalk out a fresh strategy to attract minority communities

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah on Monday informed that a fresh strategy was being chalked out to re-connect the party with the minority communities in Hyderabad.

“The problems of Muslims, Christians and other minority communities in Telangana have multiplied under the TRS regime. These communities, including Muslims, constitute nearly 15% of the total population in Telangana. They are facing huge discrimination and utter neglect since 2014. We will soon begin the process to compile the list of major problems concerning minorities and devise a strategy to seek their redressal,” Sameer Waliullah said in a media statement.

Sameer Waliullah said that Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President A. Revanth Reddy, while addressing the Eid Milap function held on 31st July has pointed several issues concerning Muslims and other minorities in Telangana, especially Hyderabad. “The problems of minorities are not religion-specific, but region-specific. Housing, employment, education, civic amenities, safety, health, public transportation, drinking water, roads, etc., are among the major issues concerning the minorities of Hyderabad who constitutes nearly 50% of the total population. Since TRS Govt did not address these issues in the last seven years, the Congress party will evolve a strategy to raise these issues in an effective manner so as to seek their resolution from the government,” he said.

The Congress leader said that huge promises were made with the people of Greater Hyderabad in the GHMC elections held in 2016 and 2020. Citing instances, he said lakhs of applications were collected from the poor people by the TRS and MIM parties promising 2BHK houses after 2016 polls. However, all those applications were thrown in the dust bin once the elections were over. Similarly, thousands of people who suffered losses due to heavy rains were promised Rs. 10,000 compensation. Although the amount was too less compared to the actual losses, this amount too was not paid after the elections.

Sameer Waliullah said that almost 80% of nearly 18 lakh jobless youth who had registered themselves with the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) hail from Hyderabad and at least 40% of them belong to Muslim and other minority communities. Lakhs of people lost their jobs and other sources of employment during the lockdown period. Therefore, unemployment is the major issue concerning minorities, he said.He said that the Hyderabad Congress Minorities Dept would prepare a strategy to conduct subject-wise protest meetings to create awareness among the people while building pressure upon the TRS Government to solve those problems. “In his speech at Eid Milap function, TPCC President Revanth Reddy has given a broad direction on how the Congress leaders should approach the people to re-connect them with the Congress party. We will follow his direction and ensure that the party regains its hold among minorities of Telangana, especially in Hyderabad,” he said. (INN)

Congress demands insurance cover for journalists covering COVID-19

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy on Thursday demanded that the State Government provide an insurance cover to all journalists who are reporting during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Narayana Reddy, in a media statement, said that the Haryana Government has announced an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh each for journalists who are reporting the Coronavirus pandemic. He said that the West Bengal Government too had extended the insurance scheme to Accredited journalists reporting COVID-19.

“Telangana Government should announce a similar package for journalists in our State. Hundreds of reporters, camera persons, photographers and those working at desks and in news studios have been risking their health and lives every day to keep the common people updated on latest happenings related to Coronavirus.

Many journalists were infected with the deadly Coronavirus in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The State Government should recognise their contribution in the ongoing battle against Coronavirus by providing them an insurance cover,” he demanded.

Further, the Congress leader demanded that the State Government announce a special package for journalists as most them have been financial problems due to non-payment or huge cuts in salaries due to lockdown. “Media personnel have been playing an exemplary role as frontline warriors in combat against COVID-19 despite the fact that they were not being paid what they used to get in normal times.

Therefore, the State Government should come to their rescue by announcing a special financial package,” he demanded.

Narayana Reddy also urged both the Central and State Governments to direct the managements of media houses not to lay off the staff due to Coronavirus crisis. (INN)

Congress demands Covid-19 tests for all vulnerable groups

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy demanded that the State Government conduct rapid and random tests for all vulnerable groups, especially those more than 60 years of age.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Monday, Narayana Reddy said that the Telangana Government was not following the norms set by World Health Organisation (WHO) of “Trace, Test and Treat” to combat the Coronavirus in the State.

Quoting figures furnished by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao in his press conference held on Sunday, he said that so far only 14,962 samples have been tested across the State. “KCR, while addressing a press conference on March 27, had stated that 25,937 have been quarantined in Telangana and they would be completing the 14-day quarantine period by April 7.

In Sunday’s press conference, he informed that 1,818 persons are still quarantined. Therefore, of nearly 27,755 suspects, only 14,962 samples (or 53%) have been tested which is too low,” he said.

Narayana Reddy asked as to why the State Government did not conduct Covid-19 tests even all identified suspects. “As per CM’s statement, nine government testing facilities have a capacity of 1560 per day. Why the capacity was not fully utilised? We’re having lockdown since March 22.

On an average, only 432 samples were tested per day for the last 28 days. We could’ve tested 100% of suspects in just 17 days if we would’ve utilised all government labs,” he said.

Further, the Congress leader strongly condemned the KCR Government for not allowing nine private laboratories like Apollo Hospitals, Vijaya Diagnostics, etc., to conduct COVID-19 although they have been permitted by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). He said that the State Government did not frame the local guidelines to allow private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests.

He said that the Supreme Court, in its recent order, clearly stated that the COVID-19 tests should be conduct free of cost and State Government should bear the entire cost. “Is KCR afraid of additional financial burden if more tests are conducted?” he asked.

Narayana Reddy said that the Coronavirus crisis emerged only a few days after the presentation of budget for 2020-21 in which KCR Government made tall claims on State’s financial situation. However, just one week after the lockdown, CM KCR indirectly declared bankruptcy and announced 50% cut in salaries and pensions.

“CM KCR must specify the reasons why his government was not allowing tests at a large scale. Either his government does not have money to conduct more tests or he is afraid that the number of cases might increase if all suspects or vulnerable groups undergo test,” he said.

He advised that the State Government should bear the cost for COVID-19 test for poor and middle-class and those who could afford it, would pay for the tests on their own. Demanding that all ICMR’s approved labs be permitted to conduct tests, he said that the Congress party might approach the court in this regard.

The Congress leader clarified that his party was not indulging in politics. “We are only giving constructive suggestions to the government in the interest of common people. TRS, in its manifesto for 2014 elections, had promised one Super Speciality Hospital in each district headquarter.

Having failed to establish a single hospital in the last six-and-a-half years, KCR is trying to highlight conversion of Gachibowli Stadium into a hospital as an achievement. He is openly cheating the common people,” he said.

Narayana Reddy said that the entire population of Telangana has been religiously honouring the lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Thousands of people in 292 Containment Zones are not venturing out of their doorsteps. Every citizen is displaying total commitment to beat the Coronavirus. Common people have been giving several sacrifices in combat against COVID-19. CM KCR, who claims to have read over 80,000 books, should apply his wisdom and follow the 3-T norm of ‘Trace, Test and Treat’ to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus,” he said.

“Why we can’t test entire population in 292 Containment Zones? Is KCR waiting for some strong symptoms among suspects to conduct tests? Is it not advisable to test someone for the disease before his/her condition deteriorates further?” he asked. (INN)

Congress asks TS Govt to increase testing for Coronavirus

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State Government should increase the number of tests for Coronavirus in the State.

Addressing video-conference with senior leaders on Friday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the number of tests currently being done was too low.

He said tests should be done at a largescale to identify the affected people and treat me. He said lockdown was not the only solution to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. He said largescale testing should be done to ensure that the virus does not spread from the infected people to others.

The video-conference was attended by AICC Telangana Incharge General Secretary RC Kuntia, CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka, MPs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and A. Revanth Reddy, MLAs D. Sridhar Babu, Jagga Reddy, P. Veeraiah, TPCC Working Presidents Ponnam Prabhakar and Kusum Kumar, AICC Secretaries Vamshichand Reddy, Sampath Kumar, Srinivasan Krishnan, ex-PCC President V. Hanumantha Rao and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarsinha, former CLP leader Jana Reddy, Task Force Committee chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy, National Vice President of Kisan Morcha M. Kodanda Reddy, AICC Spokesperson Dasoju Sravan, S. Niranjan and others.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party has been giving constructive suggestions to the government. However, the ruling TRS party leaders were trying to take political advantage.

He said cases were being registered against the Congress party leaders to prevent them from distributing food and other essential items among needy persons.

Demanding immediate withdrawal of cases, he said the public representatives should be allowed to meet people to instill confidence among them.

He alleged that TRS ministers and leaders were moving around at various places, including Red Zone areas, in utter violation of norms without ensuring Social Distancing. He said there were large number of complaints of non-supply of food and other essential items by the general public.

CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka condemned the registration of case against Bhadrachalam MLA P. Veeraiah. He said that the State Government was providing food and other essentials among the poor people and it was registering cases against Congress leaders when they tried to reach out to he needy persons.

Several leaders expressed their views during the video-conference.

The Congress leaders demanded that the State Government adopt a humanitarian approach to solve the crisis. They also asked the government to maintain transparency in financial matters. They said people without ration cards should also be provided required help.

As demanded by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the MGNREGA workers should be paid advance payments for 21 days. They also discussed the issue of purchase of agriculture products and said that the process has not yet begun in many villages.

They said the economic crisis and unemployment caused due to lockdown should also be addressed by the government. They said small and medium businesses should be provided help so as to ensure that the unemployment problem does not rise.

They said of nearly 8 lakkh migrant workers in Telangana, the governnment was providing assistance only to nearly 3 lakh workers. Therefore, a majority of migrant workers were still left without any assistance. They also condemned the registration of case against former MP V. Hanumantha Rao and demanded its withdrawal.

Further, they said nearly 13 lakh White Ration Card holders were yet to get the promised financial assistance from the government. They pointed out that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had insisted on conducting more number of tests in the country.

Stating that the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has procured one lakh Rapid Testing Kits, they said Telangana should also import same kits from South Korea.

They Congress leaders alleged that the State Government was not maintaining transparency in financial affairs. The Chief Minister had announced that Rs. 30,000 crore would be earmarked for procurement of agricultural products while only Rs. 20,000 crore is said to be sufficient for the purpose.

They appreciated the help being provided by several Congress leaders and workers across the State to poor and needy persons and said that the High Command must encourage them further. (INN)

Over 1 lakh meals distributed among poor during lockdown: Sameer

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Congress Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah on Tuesday informed that more than one lakh meals have been distributed among poor people in Tolichowki and other areas since the lockdown in Telangana on March 22.

“On the night of March 22 (Janata Curfew) we realised that the attendants of patients at Niloufer and other hospitals had no food throughout the day due to total closure. Since no food outlets were open, we decided to cook as much food as we could on immediate basis.

We prepared about 300 food packets and distributed them to the patients’ attendants late in the night. As the lockdown was extended till March 30, we thought of taking up distribution of food at a large scale from the next day onwards.

Since then we are distributing food among 3,000 people living in slum areas like Hakimpet, Golconda and other localities around Tolichowki,” informed Sameer Waliullah.

The Congress leader said steps were taken to ensure social distancing. Instead of assembling people at one place to collect food, the packets were delivered at people’s doorsteps every day. “Initially, we did everything unplanned and things were taken up randomly.

But after two-three days, we organized everything. Procurement of rice, oil and other items to prepare food was streamlined.

It was ensured that cooking is done in a hygienic condition. Sensible youth were deployed for preparing food packets and the distribution was organized in such a manner that people living in the last corner of a street were supplied the food packets,” he informed.

In addition to the cooked food, Sameer Waliullah said vegetables and ration kits were distributed among thousands of families. “There were some families who had rice, but no money to buy vegetables. Therefore, we supplied them vegetables at frequent intervals.

Similarly, there were some poor families who were hesitant to take food packets everyday or they were located at far off places where it was not possible for us deliver food on all days. Therefore, we supplied them ration kits comprising of rice, oil, chilli, salt and other essential commodities which could help them survive for a week,” he said.

Although the entire expenses for this operation were borne by Sameer Waliullah on individual basis, his work was praised by the entire Congress party.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy visited the place last week and reviewed all the arrangements.

Similarly, former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir visited Tolichowki and praised Sameer Waliullah. He also asked other Congress leaders to emulate Sameer and serve the poor and needy.

Sameer Waliullah’s work also received appreciation from Congress High Command in Delhi. He got a call from Rahul Gandhi’s office appreciating the service he has been rendering to the poor.

AICC Secretary & ex-MLA Vamshichand Reddy and AICC Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan also visited Tolichowki today and appreciated the initiave. Vamshichand Reddy had spent several hours witnessing the entire operation and praised the entire team for their dedication and service to the poor in this hour of crisis.

The Congress leader announced that serving of free meal to the poor families would continue till the end of lockdown period on May 3. (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)