In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress had won 114 seats, BJP 109 seats and seven seats had gone to others.
Alleging that the Congress is against farmers and hence would curtail the round-the-clock free electricity scheme if voted to power, the BRS has called for a two day-long agitation across Telangana.
The BRS was prompted to make this allegation following a statement by Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy that eight hours of free electricity to the farmers should be sufficient to irrigate their land.
BRS working president KT Rama Rao said tampering with the free power supply scheme was an “evil idea”. Currently, the BRS Government provides 24-hour free electricity to farmers in the state though there are complaints on the ground about frequent power cuts.
In a meeting organised by the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), Reddy had said, “In Telangana 95 per cent of the farmers have landholdings of less than three acre. One-hour power supply would be enough to irrigate an acre of land. Three hours of power supply would be sufficient for three acres of land. Eight hours of free power supply should be sufficient for farmers.”
The Telangana Congress chief was responding to a query over government schemes like the Rythu Bandhu which is an incentive scheme and free electricity to farmers introduced by the current BRS government.
Reddy further stated that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was cheating people by his claims of free 24 hours electricity to farmers and called for rational discussion on the scheme.
As a video clip of the statement went viral the BRS seized the opportunity to denounce the Congress for taking an anti-farmer stand. KT Rama Rao issued a statement denouncing Reddy’s stand and called for a two-day long statewide protests across Telangana against the Congress.
He also gave a call to BRS leaders and workers to burn effigies of the PCC chief in every village. He said, “Congress has a history of harassing farmers by not providing electricity to farmers in the past. Once again, it exposed its anti-farmer approach. This should be opposed by the Telangana peasantry and the people of Telangana.”
Reacting to the BRS tirade against it, the Congress accused it of distorting the statement of Revanth Reddy. In a statement, Madhu Yaskhi Goud said, “KCR’s family has a role in the corruption related to power purchase. He is cheating farmers in the name of supplying 24 hours of electricity. It was Congress which gave free electricity to farmers.”
Congress workers have been asked to agitate at power substations and in front of houses of BRS MLAs against frequent power cuts. BRS often touts its free electricity scheme and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is fond of reminding people of how farmers died of snake bites while going to switch on their motors to irrigate their fields at night during the Congress regime.