After KCR’s land allocation spree, others may demand similar sops
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is a man given to large gestures. First, he splashed out on an expensive fortified residence for himself based on vaastu. As if to spread some New Year cheer, he has now undertaken a land allotment spree to various communities. This is obviously to win their support. He has given away 6.1 acres of land at Gopanpally in Hyderabad’s suburbs to the Brahmin community for construction of a resource centre and a hostel facility for Brahmin students pursuing higher education. Alongside, he has given 10 acres of land at Budwel near Rajendranagar to the Raja Bahadur Venkatrama Reddy Educational Society for setting up a hostel for Reddy students, an old age home and a residential school. The land would cost Rs 1 per acre against the prevailing rate of Rs 4 crore per acre according to government estimates though the market value would be at least five times that.
It is worrying that these allotments are based on caste and religion which then would make these unconstitutional. Significantly, the government had said it would distribute three acres of land to every eligible Dalit but little has been done on this. The Telangana government ought to be looking at the serious drought situation, which has triggered an upsurge in farmers’ suicides. The court has intervened in this but to little effect. The plan to construct two lakh homes to combat the housing shortage for the weaker sections too has not gone beyond the pilot stage.
This is not to suggest that all is doom and gloom in the state. But the chief minister should not be seen to be pandering to any particular community. Neither the Brahmins nor the Reddys are considered economically or socially backward in any sense of the term. The free education programme which the KCR government had mooted would have made a difference to the poor across communities and castes. But this has not got off the drawing board yet.
This latest move opens the floodgates for other castes and communities to demand similar sops. The party has been in power for two years and while the leadership has excelled in its political strategies, it has left a lot to be desired on delivering on development issues.
The state has many inbuilt advantages having been part of the former Andhra Pradesh. These should be the focus, not creating new fronts for divisiveness. A good beginning has been made in the IT sector and job creation rather than freebies should be the way ahead for the fledgling state.