Telangana: EC stops KCR's saree distribution scheme

The government of Telangana has already placed orders for sarees from power loom centres in Sircilla district to provide employment to the weavers. The district authorities have already procured 40 lakh sarees and have sent them to other districts for distribution.

In a major jolt to the ruling TRS, the Election commission has refused permission for distribution of free sarees to women under Bathukamma Saree scheme. Over a crore sarees worth Rs 280 crore were supposed to be distributed among women in the state on October 12.

The commission in its communiqué to the Chief Electoral Officer  (CEO) Rajat Kumar on Wednesday has said that the commission has not permitted distribution of sarees on the occasion.

The CEO had earlier sought clarification on the implementation of the scheme that was started a year ago. The state unit of the Congress petitioned the EC against the distribution of sarees by TRS leaders all over the state.

The government of Telangana has already placed orders for sarees from power loom centres in Sircilla district to provide employment to the weavers. The district authorities have already procured 40 lakh sarees and have sent them to other districts for distribution.

“Around 16,000 weavers here worked on over 20,000 power looms to weave these sarees. They earn around Rs 18,000 per month due to the scheme,” an official from Sircilla told media persons. They said that the weavers will continue working and wait for further orders as there is a possibility of EC allowing distribution of these sarees through the Public Distribution System.

Rytu Bandhu cheques

With the EC saying no to saree distribution, the TRS government is now worried about its flagship programme “Rythu Bandhu”.

The scheme involves a cash transfer of Rs 4000 per acre per season to more than 50 lakh farmers in the state. 

The CEO has referred the scheme to the EC for further advice. “Any scheme that involves individual benefit can be construed as an influence,” Rajat Kumar said at a press conference. However, Kumar said that the EC will have a fresh look into schemes which are already in force.  

Meanwhile, caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, while addressing an election campaign at Nizamabad, declared that the pensions given to different sections of society will be a substantially increased after the TRS comes back to power. “The amount will be mentioned in the party manifesto," he said.

The remuneration of Rythu Samakhya (farmer federation) members will also be hiked,” KCR said, adding that he is also keen on continuing with the “Kanti Velugu” free eye testing and distribution of glasses scheme in the state.

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Telangana: EC stops KCR's saree distribution scheme

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