Finding fault with the Election Commission for stopping the disbursement of funds under the Rythu Bandhu scheme in Telangana, BRS Working President K T Rama Rao on Wednesday asked the poll panel how funds under PM Kisan were allowed to be released.
In an informal chat with mediapersons, where Rama Rao raised the issue, he said his party would win at least one more seat than it did in 2018, and dismissed the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies saying they were mainly aimed at Parliament elections rather than the Telangana assembly polls.
The minister, however, questioned why the central scheme PM Kisan was not halted, whereas the EC ordered the Telangana to pause Rythu Bandu disbursements.
”How come PM Kisan is permitted? How come Congress did not make a noise? This is an example that BJP and Congress are colluding with each other,” the minister alleged.
”Even the Election Commission did not stop (disbursement under PM Kisan). Why Rythu Bandhu was stopped? Why no protest against PM Kisan?,” Rama Rao asked.
Rythu Bandhu is the flagship programme of the BRS government, under which farmers are paid Rs 10,000 per acre as investment support in two installments annually — during the kharif and rabi seasons.
The Congress on November 26 requested the Chief Election Commissioner to restrict the BRS from metioning Rythu Bandhu disbursements in their poll campaign.
In a setback to the ruling BRS, the EC on November 27 withdrew permission given to the Telangana government for disbursements to farmers for rabi crops, pointing to state Finance Minister Hairsh Rao’s public announcement about the release of the financial aid.
“What is wrong in Harish Rao talking about it? If Harish Rao talks about it, they should have taken action against Harish Rao. Why should they stop the scheme? Why are they stopping the entire scheme (for 70 lakh farmers)?,” the BRS leader further questioned.