60 sarpanches in Telangana died by suicide due to fund crunch, claims TPCC

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president A Revanth Reddy on Monday alleged that 60 sarpanches in the state had died by suicide as the state government did not release funds that are due to the gram panchayats.

Speaking at a protest meet organised by the party to highlight the “plight” of sarpanches, Reddy charged the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao-led government of diverting Rs 35,000 crore funds belonging to panchayats in the state.

“Sarpanch is respected as the first citizen of the village. As many as 60 sarpanches have committed suicides (under pressure) in Telangana (due to non-release of funds by the state government),” Reddy alleged.

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Claiming that funds allotted by the 15th Finance Commission which were deposited in sarpanches’ accounts have been diverted by the state government, the Congress leader said some of the people’s representatives have spent their own money for the development of their respective villages by borrowing on interest.

As they are not getting the funds even after two or three years, some of them took the extreme step of ending their lives while some pledged ‘mangalsutras’ of their wives, he alleged.