Hyderabad: All opposition parties on Wednesday demanded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao call for all party meeting to discuss the Coronavirus and lockdown situation in Telangana State.
Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, leaders of different opposition parties met at Exhibition Society Office, Nampally on Wednesday and discussed the current situation in the State. Telangana TDP President L. Ramana, TJS President Prof. M. Kodandaram, CPI State Secretary Chada Venkatreddy and other leaders attended the meeting.
They discussed various issues, especially the problems being faced by poor people, middle class, workers of unorganised sectors, migrant workers, etc., They prepared a long list of demands and gave several suggestions to the government.
The opposition parties also praised the services being rendered by medical staff, sanitation workers, police personnel and other departments who are actively working to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
They also appealed to the people to support and cooperate with the authorities during the lockdown.
Speaking to media persons later, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Coronavirus has caused vast devastation across the world and its implications could be more serious than the damage caused during first and second World Wards.
He said experts have feared that Coronavirus could cause more damage than the devastation caused during Spanish Flu of 1918. He said the ongoing nationwide lockdown was highly essential to control the spread of Coronavirus. He said all opposition parties have been supporting the lockdown and appealing the general public to stay indoors.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Chief Minister had announced on March 23 that free 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 per family would be given to White Ration Card holders across Telangana.
However, he said that the promised help did not reach all the beneficiaries even after 24 days. Further, he said that the Central Government had promised 5 kg rice for BPL families. He sought to know whether the rice promised by the Centre would be given separately or was it part of 12 kg rice being distributed by the State Government.
He said that the State Government already provides 6 kg rice @ Re. 1 per kg to BPL families and this time it is being provided free of cost. Further, additional 6 kg rice is being given to the poor and if they include 5 kg rice being provided by the Centre, then the State Government’s additional help would be only one kg rice or just Rs. 1 rupee person.
The TPCC Chief demanded that said that the previous Congress regimes used to provide Dal, oil, wheat, sugar, salt and other commodities under Amma Hashtham schemes. He demanded that similar package should be provided to the poor people.
He said people should be provided sugar, oil, Dal and other products along with rice. He said in addition to 87 lakh White Ration Card holders, free rice and cash should also be given nearly 10 lakh people whose applications for White Cards are pending.
He said that the Chief Minister had made tall claims of helping the migrant workers. Contradictory figures were given on the approximate number of migrant workers in the State. However, not all the migrant workers were provided the promised help.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also blamed the mismanagement by the Chief Minister for the current financial crisis in the State. Demanding that the State Government release a White Paper on the State’s economic situation, he said that the present crisis were the outcome of wrong policies of TRS Government for the last six years.
He said that the State Government should a clarification on issuing bonds of Rs. 1500 crore. On an average, he said that the State Government gets revenues of Rs. 8,000-10,000 crore every month. Of this, nearly Rs. 3,400 crore is spent on salaries and pensions.
Citing economic crisis the State Government has slashed the salaries of government employees and pensioners’ pay by half. He said the present crisis were primarily due to the wrong priorities and waste expenditure by the TRS Govt.
The TPCC Chief demanded that the State Government should focus on increasing the pace of testing Coronavirus suspects. Citing the example of South Korea, he said that the country was able to control the spread of Coronavirus due to mass testing.
However, he said that Telangana, with a population of nearly 4 crore, was having the capacity to test only 1,000 persons daily.
He asked as to why private laboratories were not being allowed to conduct COVID-19 tests. He said that the Supreme Court has clearly stated that test for Coronavirus should be free and the government should bear the entire cost.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Central Government has permitted the States to utilise the Mineral Funds. Therefore, he said that the Telangana Government should utilise those funds to upgrade the District Hospitals to treat the Coronavirus patients. He said that the Chief Minister had announced allocation of Rs. 30,000 for procurement of paddy and maize.
However, he said that there were no gunny bags at procurement centres which expose the negligent attitude of State Government and lack of seriousness. He said that the paddy and other produce might damage in case of unseasonal rains and the State Government has failed to even arrange gunny bags for procurement. He alleged that the Chief Minister and Finance Minister Harish Rao were giving irresponsible statements.
He demanded that the State Government make arrangements for export of Mango, Sweet lime and other fruits from Telangana to other States.
Earlier, Kodandaram said that the opposition parties were demanding that State Government strengthen Area Hospitals and upgrade 104 and 108 Ambulance services. He said ration should be supplied to all the need persons on humanitarian grounds.
He said that the BPL families should be provided an assistance of Rs. 5,000. He also condemned registration of case against Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao for offering tributes to the statue of Dr. Ambedkar at Tank Bund. Demanding withdrawal of case, he said Hanumantha Rao did not violate any norms and went to the place alone.
Telangana TDP President L. Ramana said that the daily wage earners, migrant workers and other sections were badly hit due to the lockdown and therefore, State Government should immediately come to their rescue. He demanded that the State Government immediately release a White Paper on State’s financial condition.
CPI State Secretary Chada Venkatreddy said that the opposition parties have demanded that State Government provide Rs. 5,000 financial assistance for migrant workers. (INN)