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PTI | Updated :September 03, 2018,05:17 IST

Appeals for support at mammoth Pragathi Nivedana Sabha

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was on Sunday non-committal on calling for early election to the Assembly, but said he would announce a decision at the right time soon.

Addressing a huge ‘Pragathi Nivedana Sabha’ (progress report rally) at the Kongara Kalam here, he asked party supporters to trust him to take a decision in the best interests of the State. He said his Council of Ministers, parliamentary and legislature wings of the TRS, besides its State executive, had authorised him to take the decision as he deemed fit and appealed to people for continued support.

Scotching media speculation on announcement of new schemes, Mr. Rao said: “It is unethical on my part to be making any fresh announcements now.” He added that welfare schemes would be included in the election manifesto to be drafted by a committee headed by parliamentary party leader K. Keshava Rao.

A Cabinet meeting held earlier in the day and chaired by the Chief Minister ducked the question of early election. However, soon after the meeting, Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi, in a circular, informed the Special Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries that the next meeting of the Cabinet would be held “very shortly.” The officials concerned were requested to send the proposals for the consideration of the Cabinet on or before 3 p.m. on September 4.

Mr. Rao referred to people’s voice as reflected in social media posts wanting his return to power and said it was a result of the government striving for the development of the State right from its initial days. The government finalised 47 programmes in the maiden meeting of the Cabinet and implemented them within a month. “It requires courage to go to people saying I will not seek your votes nor contest elections if I cannot give you purified water.” This was the promise that he made to people and he stuck to it, he said.

The TRS president was particularly critical of the Congress claiming that the party’s affairs would be dictated by the “Delhi empire” though he did not directly name the party. The TRS was particular that the matters of Telangana were not dictated by the “Delhi empire” and the party was firm that it would not allow the State to become subservient to powers in Delhi. “We should follow the Tamil Nadu model where the Tamils alone decide the model of governance,” he said. The government was committed to take steps to further enhance revenue and resource generation to ensure that the growth momentum continued and the benefits were distributed among the people.

He said the government made significant strides in the past four-and-a-half years. But there was more to achieve. The mission for which Telangana secured its statehood would be completed only after the goal of green Telangana where poverty eradication was complete and ample opportunities were provided to unemployed youth. The growth achieved in the past few years should be maintained and there should be no scope for curtailing it.

About 2,000 villages in the State have already got the water and the remaining 1,300 villages will get it in a week. Though the government had another six months for the expiry of its term, it was well on course to complete the project — Mission Bhagiratha — before Diwali.

People in large number gathered at the venue utilising all the available means of transport and arrival of the convoys of vehicles continued well after the commencement of the Chief Minister’s address. A majority of the people who descended on the venue from the morning waited patiently till Mr. Rao completed his close to 50 minute address.

Appealing to the people not to become slaves of Delhi parties, he urged them to emulate Tamil Nadu for self-respect. Promising to take the State forward on the path of development, the Chief Minister sought the continued support of the people. “You have to decide whether decisions relating to Telangana should be taken by us here or should we become slaves of Delhi parties,” Mr. Rao told the huge crowd, which had been congregating since early morning. Hundreds of buses, vans and tractor trolleys ferried people carrying the party’s pink flag and wearing pink scarves to the sprawling venue in Ranga Reddy district.

Mr. Rao admitted that there were high expectations among the people that an announcement on elections announcement would be made at the through the Pragati Nivedana Sabha and that the government would announce a slew of new schemes. Scotching media speculation on the However, he said it was not proper for the media to speculate about the launch of new schemes, Mr Rao said such schemes would be incorporated into the party’s manifesto. A committee headed by party secretary general K. Keshava Rao would be entrusted with the preparation of the manifesto, he added.

Following the Cabinet meeting, Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi in a circular earlier in the day soon after a cabinet meting informed the special chief secretaries, principal secretaries and secretaries including those in the general administration department that the next meeting of the State Cabinet would be held “very shortly”. In a circular, the officials concerned were requested to send proposals approved in circulation for consideration of the Cabinet on or before 3 p.m. on September 4.

People in large number gathered at the venue utilising all the available means of transport and arrival of the convoys of vehicles continued well after the commencement of the Chief Minister’s address. A majority of the people who descended on the venue from the morning waited patiently till Mr. Rao completed his close to 50 minute address.

The TRS president was particularly critical of the Congress, claiming that the party's affairs would be dictated by the “Delhi empire” though he did not directly name the party.

The TRS was particular that the matters of Telangana were not dictated by the “Delhi empire” and the party was firm that it would not allow the State to become subservient to powers in Delhi. “We should follow the Tamil Nadu model where Tamils only decide the model of governance,” he said. The government was committed to take steps to further enhance revenue and resource generation to ensure that the growth momentum continued and the benefits were distributed among the people.

He said the government made significant strides in the past four and a half years. But there was more to achieve. The mission for which Telangana secured its statehood would be completed only after the goal of a green Telangana where poverty eradication was complete and ample opportunities were provided to unemployed youth, the Chief Minister said. The growth achieved in the past few years should be maintained and there should be no scope for curtailing it, he added.

“Being the Chief Minister, it is not ethical on my part to comment about the new schemes from this platform. The party’s manifesto will unveil our plans for the future,” he said. Mr. Rao outlined the spree of welfare schemes - 465 schemes in four and a half years - launched by his government including 76 schemes that did not find mention in the party’s manifesto of the last elections. “How did the Centre accept our proposal for providing 95 per cent reservation to locals in the government employment, but for the committed pursuit of the Government in that direction?” he asked.