KCR’s assurances on the hike in ST quota, Girijan Bandhu are fake: Uttam

Hyderabad: Congress MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has cautioned the Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities against the ‘fake assurances’ being given by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on enhancing their quota in job and education from the present 6% to 10%. Further, he said KCR’s announcement of the ‘Girijan Bandhu’ scheme to give Rs. 10 lakh assistance to deserving ST families was just another mirage.

“Congress party has been demanding an increase in ST quota to 10% since 2014. I made several representations to the Chief Minister in the last eight years suggesting that the State Government issue a GO to enhance the ST quota in jobs and education from the present 6% to 10%. I also raised the issue in Parliament several times and also made a representation to President of India Draupadi Murmu on the 22nd of August this year. However, neither CM KCR reacted to my suggestion nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the demand for a hike in ST quota. Now, in view of changing political circumstances, KCR had announced that he would issue a GO for enhancing the ST quota. But I seriously doubt his intentions, he will delay the GO till the issue of notification for Munugode by-elections and postpone it citing the Model Code of Conduct. This is a usual trick which KCR always plays to lure voters in a by-election,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said in a media statement on Sunday.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said if CM KCR was sincere towards STs, he should issue the GO immediately without waiting for a day. “Why does he need to wait for a week to issue a simple GO? It can be done within an hour if the Chief Minister is serious. However, KCR timed the announcement in such a way that he could delay it further on the pretext of Model Code of Conduct for Munugode by-polls,” he said.

The Congress MP said that the State Government should have enhanced the ST quota to 10% by issuing a GO in June-July 2014 itself. “ST community lost thousands of government jobs and lakhs of seats in government colleges in the last eight years due to delay in enhancing the quota to 10%. TRS Govt, especially CM KCR is responsible for this loss. How KCR proposes to compensate for this loss to the ST communities?” he asked while suggesting that the State Govt should implement the enhanced ST quota of 10% with retrospective effect from 2014.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that BJP Govt was anti-Tribal and it would never approve a hike in ST quota to 10%. “The Modi Govt is trying hard to end existing reservations across India. It is boosting the privatisation of all sectors and PSUs only to end the present reservation system which is benefiting the poor SC, ST and BC communities. Therefore, it will be just a waste of time to expect the BJP Govt to respond positively to the proposals for the hike in quotas for STs, SCs and other communities,” he said.

The Congress MP said that the issue of ‘Podu’ lands were created by the TRS Govt. He said that the previous Congress Govt had given rights to the STs who are cultivating those lands for many decades. He said it was the TRS Govt which snatched the podu lands from Tribals on the pretext of Haritha Haram and other reasons. He said giving ownership rights to Tribals on podu lands was not a favour being done by KCR to STs, but the surrender of his government before thousands of STs who are struggling for their rights. He demanded that the State Govt immediately withdraw all the cases registered against Tribals during the ‘Podu’ land agitation in Telangana.

“As against the promise of giving Rs. 10 lakh assistance to nearly 17 lakh poor Dalit families in Telangana under the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme, KCR Govt did not help even 5,000 families. TRS Govt will similarly treat the STs. A few hundred families, especially of those TRS workers, would be picked as beneficiaries under the proposed ‘Girijan Bandhu’ scheme and hype would be created as if all ST families got Rs. 10 lakh each. This is just another mirage created by KCR. During the Huzurabad by-elections, KCR cheated people in the name of ‘Dalit Bandhu’ and in Munugode by-polls he wants to cheat in the name of ‘Girijan Bandhu’,” he alleged.

Uttam Kumar Reddy asked CM KCR to specify when the poor ST families would be given the promised three acres of land. Further, he said that the TRS Govt must give a deadline for the creation of infrastructure for the Lambada Tandas converted into new gram panchayats.