Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday announced a month-long programme to expand his Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) party's network in over 45,000 villages in urban civic bodies in Maharashtra.
Rao made the announcement while addressing the party cadres' training programme in Nanded, where he asserted that the efforts taken by his party workers during this 30-day exercise may change the politics of Maharashtra.
This was his fourth rally in Maharashtra in four months - of which three were held in Nanded district alone. His first rally was held in February this year.
"We will go to over 45,000 villages in Maharashtra and in 5,000 municipal wards in civic bodies," Rao said at the training programme attended by party representatives from across 288 Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra.
He asked party workers to form nine committees at each place, comprising farmers, youth, women, backward classes, tribals, minorities, students and workers.
"From May 22 to June 22, go to five villages in a day. Spend two hours in each village. The efforts taken in these 30 days will change the politics of Maharashtra," Rao told BRS workers.
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He asked the party workers to eat with farmers and Dalits.
"Other parties are rich, we are a poor party...The party workers should remain simple and have food with farmers or Dalits in those villages," he said.
"India awaits new leadership. India is fed up with present leaders. Today we are focusing on Maharashtra. Tomorrow you will have to work in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh," he said.
The party workers trained in Maharashtra will go to other states in the country to expand the party's base, he said, adding, "Once the party work in Maharashtra begins, I will also go to the states in north India for a couple of weeks and work for the BRS there."
Highlighting that change was the way to achieve progress, Rao said, "In the recent Karnataka polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost and the Congress came to power. But nothing will change there either. Countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia changed themselves and moved ahead with their past experiences. They changed themselves. These countries, which were once behind us, have now gone ahead of us."
Nine years back, the situation in Telangana was worse than what it is in Maharashtra. If we deduct one year of demonetisation and one more year of the coronavirus pandemic, Telangana has achieved a lot in a period of seven years. Officials have remained the same, only will power brought about a change there. Every house has a water tap in Telangana. In cities, we gave each connection at just one rupee, he said.
But there is no will power in the political parties in Maharashtra, he alleged.
"The city of Solapur receives water once in 10 days, Akola in seven days, Aurangabad in eight days. If the parties here had the will power, they would have changed the situation by now. Even the national capital Delhi doesn't get ample water and electricity," the BRS chief said.
"I started working in Maharashtra two-three months back. The states of Telangana and Maharashtra share nearly a 1,000-km-long border. There are many relatives of people living on the other side of the border in both the states," he added.
Talking about farmers, he asked, "Will the pain of farmers end? I am confident the pain of farmers will end under BRS leadership."
Rao spoke of the 'Telangana model' for welfare of farmers.
"Before I became CM, farmers in Telangana were dying. Today the Telangana model is famous all over the country. Every home in Telangana has tap water," he said.
He said he came to know that Yavatmal district in Maharashtra witnesses one farmer suicide every day.
"Farmers in this country have fought a lot since long. In Maharashtra also many agitations took place under the leadership of late Sharad Joshi. Recently, farmers under the leadership of CPI(M) walked from Nashik to Mumbai to demand better price for onion crop. We don't ask people to agitate. They just need to vote for change now," Rao added.
He said the BRS is spending crores for buying offices in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur.
"The purchase of a site for the BRS office completed in Nagpur and it is underway in Aurangabad and other divisions of Maharashtra," he said.
Rao held the Congress and BJP governments in the last 75 years responsible for "failure" to use rain and river water in the country.
"There is 1.40 lakh TMC rain in India each year. Half of it evaporates, so 70,000 TMC usable water remain in our rivers. These are central government figures," he said.
"Of this, just 20,000 TMC is being used. The remaining 50,000 TMC goes to sea," the Telangana CM said.
Rao spoke of the inability by governments in the last 75 years of setting up mega dams.
"The Jayakwadi dam near Aurangabad has a capacity of 100 TMC. On the other hand, there is a 6,500 TMC dam in a small country like Zimbabwe," he added.
Rao said Telangana has surpassed Punjab in foodgrain production due to its pro-farmer policies.
He claimed that BRS is bringing about a change.
"Earlier when BRS held a rally in Nanded, the Maharashtra government announced Rs 6,000 aid for farmers. Now the Maharashtra government says it is thinking of abolishing the talathi system. Recently, some officers said that farmers should be given aid of 10,000 rupees based on the Telangana model. Why was this not done earlier?" Rao asked.
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