Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday accused the BRS government in Telangana of comprehensive failure on the issues of inflation and unemployment.
He told a news conference in Hyderabad that rampant unemployment has killed the spirit of youth of Telangana and their parents and extinguished their dreams
Noting that the KCR-led government had promised Rs 3,016 unemployment allowance for the educated unemployed registered with the Telangana State Public Service Commission, he said: “That registered number today is 22 lakh but not one of them has received the unemployment allowance promised in 2018.”
Chidambaram remarked that the facts and figures on other issues are also equally depressing.
“The BRS government’s mismanagement of the economy has led to the outstanding debt reaching Rs 3.66 lakh crore in 2022-23. Since 2015, the state’s debt burden has increased by a whopping 404 per cent.”
He said that as a result, the per capita debt in March 2023 mounted to Rs 96,316 and consequently flow of funds to various welfare schemes has been stalled or severely affected.
He mentioned that in the 2023-24 budget, allocation for education was 7.6 per cent of the total budget expenditure while the national average is 14.8 per cent. Similarly, the allocation for healthcare was 5 per cent, which is less than the national average of 6.3 per cent.
Asked if Congress comes to power in Telangana, will it be able to implement the six guarantees, Chidambaram remarked that he hopes Congress leaders in Telangana have done their homework.
“The six guarantees have to be implemented over a period of 5 years. I am sure Telangana leaders have applied their mind and balanced their books. I have not looked at the numbers but I am sure when there is an opportunity to look at the numbers, we will also help them to make sure there are enough revenues to meet commitments made and to implement six guarantees. It can be done. I am sure they have applied their mind. We will help them implement the six guarantees.
“I am sure, I am absolutely sure Telangana leaders have done their homework after the government is formed, we also will help them find the revenues to meet the expenditure,” he added.
To another query, he said that Congress is capable of throwing up competent leaders who can run a good and efficient government.
Aked about a dozen leaders from Congress party staking claim for the Chief Minister’s post, he said that if there are 12 people who are capable of being Chief Minister, this shows that this is a democratic party with talent.
“Such a party will throw up many leaders. If you are a one man party and don’t allow anyone else to exhibit his or her talent, you will be like BRS. I take it as a compliment that Congress has 12 capable leaders.”
“Congress has been a flag-bearer of secularism in this country. We have made huge sacrifices to uphold secularism. We are the most secular party and we will not allow any communal violence under our government,” he said, asked about apprehension being expressed in some quarters that if Congress comes to power, there will be communal violence in the state.
“A voter is a voter in this country. Why should we not ask everybody to cast his or her vote? We don’t appeal to any community. We appeal to people. If a section of people feel that Congress is the best defender and protector, what is wrong with that,” he asked in reply to another question.
Asked about the Congress party’s relationship with the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), he said: “I don’t know if we had an excellent relationship with MIM. That’s news to me. His father sometimes supported us and sometimes opposed us,” he said referring to present MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and his late father and former MP Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.