Centre asking Telangana to sell off TSRTC: KCR

KCR, who is on a crusade to expose the alleged inept policies of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre


HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), who is on a crusade to expose the alleged inept policies of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, on Monday chose the Telangana Legislative Assembly to continue his tirade.

He addressed the House during a short discussion on the Central Electricity Amendment Bill and the Centre's proposed reforms in the power sector. KCR sensationally accused the Centre of writing letters to the Telangana Government asking it to sell off the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

"The Gazette issued by the Centre, a couple of days ago, clearly states that electricity connections should not be granted without installing meters. But there is no mention of this in the Act. They say they haven't said this. In Srikakulam of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, farmers staged a dharna when meters were fixed to their connections. Our teams visited the place to get a grasp of the ground realities, with the realisation that a similar threat (fixing meters) could spell doom in Telangana. They (BJP) came up with sugar-coated words to win the elections in Uttar Pradesh. They boasted of giving electricity free of cost. Now, when they have fixed electricity meters, farmers in three to four districts threw their meters in a heap in front of electricity offices and protested on a massive scale. The protests are still going on," KCR said.

The Telangana Chief Minister also referred to BJP legislator Raghunandan Rao's assertion that their party (BJP) would not go for electricity meters. He wondered if there was any void between the BJP and its NDA government at the Centre. "Isn't the Union Government introducing the power meters system? Is there any gap between your party and the Central government? Is there a trust deficit among yourselves? Who is lying here? Your party or the Centre? The Gazette issued by the Centre clearly states its intentions. It's not just confined to the agriculture connections. The Centre has imposed its diktat that no other electricity connection in the country was supposed to be granted without a meter. When we oppose it, they are trying to bulldoze us. Only Raghunandan Rao should know how to justify this.They camouflaged it beautifully in the name of power sector reforms. These reforms are nothing but a ploy to exploit and fleece every consumer and the poor people of the country," KCR thundered.

KCR also took exception to the Centre throwing the FRBM bait to the state to lure them into buying off their assets. "The Centre is giving a bumper offer in the form of an additional half per cent FRBM to states that implement these reforms. I told them, this is unfair. Instead of giving states – which are fiscally strong – what is due to them, the Centre is asking states to sell off their assets using the Rs 1,000 crores FRBM incentive as a bait. The Union Finance Minister is sending letters asking us to sell off the RTC. The Centre appears to be pursuing this policy of forcing the states just because it is on a sell-off spree," the Telangana Chief Minister commented.

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