Role model KCR: BJP’s coalition govt in Maharashtra emulates Rythu Bandhu

The Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra emulated Telangana’s critically acclaimed direct farmer investment support scheme in its first-ever budget

Rythu Bandhu

HYDERABAD: The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) unwittingly ended up scoring some brownie points over its rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which keeps portraying the Telangana Government’s schemes, especially the Rythu Bandhu, in poor light. In what could be a case exposing the saffron party’s hypocrisy and double standards, the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra emulated Telangana’s critically acclaimed direct farmer investment support scheme in its first-ever budget presented on Friday.

The Eknath Shinde government announced an annual investment support of Rs 6,000 to the farmers of Maharashtra under the new scheme christened ‘Namo Shetkari Maha Samman Nidhi’. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, who presented the budget, announced an allocation of Rs 6,900 crores for the farmer-assistance scheme, expected to create significant benefit to the farming community.

The scheme is similar to that of Rythu Bandhu, which is part of the basket of most successful welfare initiatives being implemented in Telangana by the K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) government. The announcement of a similar measure in neighbouring Maharashtra by the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition government ironically comes at a time when the saffron party’s Telangana leaders keep criticising the scheme on a daily basis.

The political hypocrisy of the BJP, opting to implement the same scheme that it opposes in Telangana, was not lost within the BRS circles. A follower of Party’s Working President and IT Minister K T Rama Rao, was quick to point this out in one of his latest tweets.

Using a popular one-liner from a recent Tollywood film (Atluntadi Manathoni), the KTR follower, on his Twitter handle kmr_ktr, credited the BJP’s Maharashtra government’s decision to the overwhelming success of the BRS’ recent public meeting in Nanded and the pressure it exerted on its political rivals.

Tagging a news report in this regard, he further said: “Today, it is Maharashtra. Tomorrow, the entire country will walk in the footsteps of KCR.”

The Rythu Bandhu scheme being implemented in Telangana offers a financial help of ₹10,000 per year for two crops (yasangi or rabi and vanakalam or kharif) to each farmer . There is no cap on the number of acres, and most of the farmers are small and marginal. The total farming land is 1.43 crore acres and 58.33 lakh farmers are being benefitted from the scheme.

The scheme, the first-ever direct farmer investment support scheme in India, was launched by KCR on May 10, 2018.

Only recently, the State Government has released Rs 7,600 crores in multiple installments with the money directly deposited in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The disbursal of funds began on December 28, 2022, towards crop investment assistance for the yasangi harvest (rabi) season.

Before Maharashtra, the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh too formulated a similar farmer-welfare scheme soon after YS Jaganmohan Reddy became the Chief Minister. It introduced Jagananna Rythu Bharosa. As part of the scheme, an annual financial assistance of Rs 13,500 is being deposited in three installments into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The scheme is being implemented in association with Pradhan Mantri Kisaan Sammaan Nidhi scheme. In the Rythu Bharosa scheme, the state government is contributing Rs 7,500 while the remaining Rs 6,000 is borne by the Centre.

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