The BRS Government in Telangana has stepped back from the draft municipal master plans earmarking industrial zones in two districts – Kamareddy and Jagtial following protests by farmers. With Assembly elections due this year and the general elections in 2024 the BRS which is keen to project a farmer-friendly image of the government seemed to have thought it was prudent to withdraw the proposal rather than incur farmers’ wrath.
With the Opposition Congress and BJP supporting the farmers in the two districts, their municipal councils withdrew the draft master plans.
The secretary for municipal administration department Arvind Kumar too announced, “(I) Had detailed review with the Collector, Kamareddy today. There is a need to engage with the farmers and landowners especially in erstwhile gram panchayats now merged with Kamareddy and the draft plan is put on hold indefinitely until the process is done through consensus.”
Earlier, the Kamareddy municipal council chaired by Nittu Jahnavi passed a resolution cancelling the master plan. She blamed the firm which had prepared the draft master plan saying they had introduced changes in the draft and charged the Opposition of misleading the farmers and assured that the BRS would stand by the farmers.
In the first week of January suicide of a farmer whose land was included in the draft master plan triggered massive protests as the farmers marched towards the collectorate. With BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar joining the farmers’ protests the BRS no longer wanted to back the draft plan and allow the Opposition to benefit from the protests.
In Jagtial, an emergency municipal council meeting was held today where it was decided to cancel the industrial zone draft master plan.
Later BRS MLA Sanjay Kumar, who bore the brunt of the ire of the protesting farmers in the past few days, blamed the Centre saying that they were asked to revise master plans according to the guidelines set up by the Centre.
He accused the Congress leaders of provoking the farmers. The BRS supremo and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that their slogan will be, “Ab ki bar kisan sarkar” while projecting a farmer friendly image of the party which has launched schemes like Ryathu Bandhu and irrigation projects to benefit the farmers.