Cong slams BRS over Rythu Bandhu issue, blames ‘gang of 4’

New Delhi:  Hours after the TRS blamed Congress for Election Commission order on the Rythu Bandhu Scheme, Congress hit back, saying that only the ‘gang of four’ ruling the state was responsible, and who in desperation to hang onto power ended up denying what was owed to farmers.

It also said that the Congress remains committed to fulfilling its guarantees to the farmers of Telangana — ‘Rythu Bharosa’.

In a post on X, Congress General Secretary (Communication) Jairam Ramesh said, “The Election Commission has held the Finance and Health and Family Welfare Minister, Harish Rao in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

“Nobody else is to be blamed other than the ‘Gang of four’ ruling Telangana, who in their desperation to hang onto power have ended up denying what is owed to farmers. The Congress remains committed to fulfilling its Guarantee to the farmers of Telangana – Rythu Bharosa,” he said.

Ramesh said Rs 15,000 per acre to farmers, Rs 15,000 per acre to tenant farmers, Rs 12,000 per year for agricultural labour.

“Not only that, we have promised up to Rs 2 lakh farm loan waiver to all farmers,” he said.

Congress General Secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal also said: “Due to the irresponsible and narrow self-serving approach of the BRS and Harish Rao, under the instructions of his boss KCR, the ECI has denied permission for the disbursement of the Rythu Bandhu instalments.

“The money is the right of the farmers. It is what they deserve for their year-long hard work. When this money is supposed to be released any time between October and January, it was the BRS’ desperation which compelled them to make such irresponsible statements,” he said.

“Yet another sin committed by the BRS, which will not be forgiven by the farmers of Telangana,” Venugopal added.

The remarks came after the EC on Monday stopped the disbursement of Rythu Bandhu Scheme by Telangana government for violating the model code of conduct and conditions laid down while granting ‘no objection’.

The poll panel in an official order said that it has been informed on November 26 that T. Harish Rao, Minister of Finance and Heath and Family Welfare, Government of Telangana has made statements regarding the disbursement of Rythu Bandhu Scheme by a particular time before the date of poll, which is widely reported in newspapers and local media on Sunday.

“The Commission has observed that Rao, who is also a contesting candidate sponsored by the BRS Party from Siddipet Assembly Constituency in ongoing Assembly elections for Telangana 2023, a star campaigner of the party and also the Finance Minister of Telangana, has not only violated the provisions of MCC but also the conditions laid down as above by publicising the release under the scheme, and thereby disturbed the level playing field in the on-going election process,” the Commission said.

“In the context as above of clear violation of Model Code of Conduct and conditions laid down while granting ‘no objection’, the Commission has directed that the permission granted vide its letter on November 25, 2023 for disbursement of Rabi season instalment under the ongoing Rythu Bandhu scheme during currency of MCC, shall stand withdrawn immediately and there shall be no disbursement under the Scheme till the Model Code of Conduct in the State of Telangana ceases to apply in all its form,” it said.

Polling for the 119-member Telangana Assembly is scheduled on November 30 and counting of votes will take place on December 3.


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