Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party would not allow shifting of Secretariat, Assembly and Council and protect the Bison Polo Ground and Gymkhana Ground under any circumstances.
Speaking to media persons after participating in the protest programme at Bison Polo Ground on Wednesday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government’s decision to shift Secretariat and Assembly buildings was not only anti-people, but anti-environment.
“Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao seems to hate open spaces in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. He came up with different proposals to turn several green lung spaces into concrete jungles. Congress party will never allow this to happen under any circumstances,” he said.
Threatening to launch a mass agitation on the issue, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that KCR was trying to behave like ‘Tughlaq’ who derived pleasure in causing economic upheaval by shifting his capital from Delhi to Daultabad and then back to Delhi.
He said that the present Secretariat complex has more than sufficient space after Andhra Pradesh Government moved all its employees and infrastructure to its interim Secretariat at Velagapudi near Vijayawada.
He said instead of wasting over Rs. 2,000 crore on new Secretariat, KCR should persuade his AP counterpart Chandrababu Naidu to formally hand over the blocks which are lying empty.
Uttam Kumar Reddy advised KCR to come out of the mindset of being a king. “Citing Vaasthu defects, he constructed a new palatial house for his accommodation at a cost of over Rs. 350 crore. Pragati Bhavan has virtually turned into the new Secretariat as the Chief Minister is holding cabinet and review meetings from the same premises.
KCR himself is not visiting the present Secretariat and therefore, why does he need a new Secretariat,” he asked. Further, he said many blocks in present Secretariat are new constructions.
They are not more than 10 years old and are in good condition. Crores of rupees were also spent on renovation of blocks allotted to both the Chief Ministers. Entire money spent on renovation would go waste, he said.
Similarly, he said Assembly building was in good shape and has a checkered history. There is no absolutely no need to shift the Assembly from present complex, he said.
The TPCC Chief said KCR has apparently realised that his days as Chief Minister of Telangana are numbered. “KCR knows very well that he will be ousted in next elections and TRS party will never come back to power.
Therefore, by constructing new buildings, like the kings in earlier days used to do, KCR wants to leave his own imprint on Hyderabad. This is ridiculous approach as India is a democratic country and not a kingdom. Every elected representative, including the Chief Minister, is accountable in using public money.
KCR has already misused hundreds of crores of public money to enjoy a luxurious life for himself and his family members. He cannot be allowed to continue with wasteful expenditure anymore,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said KCR has forgotten his promises of constructing double bed room houses for poor, three acres of land for Dalit families and one job for each household in the State. He said it would be insane to borrow thousands of crores of loans for welfare schemes while wasting public funds to fulfill unnecessary and whimsical desires of the Chief Minister.
The TPCC chief said that the Polo Ground is an invaluable asset and insignia of Hyderabad. No State in India can boast of having such large open spaces like Polo Ground or Gymkhana Ground in the heart of their capital city. Therefore, he said that the Congress party would do everything possible to protect them from getting extinct.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party was not against Telangana Government taking over the land from the Government of India and a bit of land can also be used for road expansion. However, he said it could not be used to raise a new Secretariat building.
Leaders of Opposition K. Jana Reddy (Assembly) and Shabbir Ali (Council), ex-PCC President V. Hanumantha Rao and other senior leaders also participated in the protest. (INN)