“BRS Left Telangana Bankrupt”: Congress Alleges Wasteful Spending, Corruption

'BRS Left Telangana Bankrupt': Congress Alleges Wasteful Spending, Corruption

The minister said subsidised gas cylinders will only be given to families below the poverty line.


Days after the Congress government took charge of India’s youngest state, a senior minister has alleged that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi – which ruled for 10 years – has left Telangana bankrupt and indulged in wasteful expenditure as well as corruption. 

In an exclusive interview with NDTV on Tuesday, Uttam Kumar Reddy, who was seen as a chief ministerial candidate and has been given charge of the Irrigation, Food and Civil Supplies portfolios, claimed that the K Chandrashekar Rao government has also left behind a heavy loan burden, which will lead to high interest payouts. 

After a review of the civil supplies department, Mr Reddy said it has an outstanding loan of Rs 56,000 crore, partly because the BRS government did not give the department the ration subsidy every year. 

“Just the interest on this, apart from the loan repayment, will be Rs 3,000 crore annually. The BRS government, which ruled the state for 10 years, bankrupted the state financially. They indulged in very wasteful and non-productive expenditure, as well as corruption,” the minister alleged.

Mr Reddy said a review of the irrigation payment revealed an outstanding payment of bills worth Rs 10,000 crore and that of the electricity department, which was conducted with Chief Minister Anamula Revanth Reddy, revealed loans to the tune of Rs 81,000 crore. 

“There has been wasteful expenditure in every sector and they (the BRS) have taken huge loans… They have left behind a financial mess and we will clean that up and take the state ahead,” the minister said.

Money For Guarantees?

One of the key planks behind the Congress’ success in Telangana has been the six guarantees that the party had promised in the run-up to the polls. The guarantees include Rs 2,500 per month for eligible women, free bus travel for women, 200 units of free electricity, gas cylinders for Rs 500, 24-hour power to farmers and Rs 4,000 monthly pension for eligible senior citizens. 

While the guarantees were approved by the chief minister hours after being sworn in on Thursday, a question that everyone has asked is how the party intends to find the money to fund the schemes if the state’s coffers are depleted. 

When this question was posed to Uttam Kumar Reddy, he said, “Look at Karnataka or Himachal Pradesh. Congress means credibility… The guarantees were given by our supreme leaders, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarujun Kharge. We are committed to implementing the guarantees within 100 days of the government’s formation. We have implemented two guarantees in two days and I have reviewed two more today. We will definitely fulfil our promise despite financial challenges.”

The minister said subsidised gas cylinders at Rs 500 will only be given to families below the poverty line and that the scheme will cost the government around Rs 3,000 crore every year. 

Irrigation Project Probe

On the sinking of the pillars of the Medigadda Barrage, part of the BRS’ flagship Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram Multi-Lift Irrigation Project, Mr Reddy said the government will order an investigation. 

“This is a reflection of the KCR government’s way of working. They had claimed it is the world’s best multi-purpose lift irrigation scheme. We have been saying there has been corruption in the project and that the construction was of poor quality and it had poor design. This was proved true when, a month before the elections, two pillars of the barrage sunk two metres into the ground and the water had to be drained,” Mr Reddy said.

“The barrage project is the core of the Kaleshwaram project. The faulty design was done by the state government. The chief minister and the cabinet will have to hold the people responsible accountable for the loss to the state and its people. We will order an investigation into the project and also review whether it is sustainable,” he said.

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