KCR spends Rs 3cr public money on crown for Durga temple

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If it is God, nobody will question.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday, presented a 11.7kg gold crown that was worth over Rs 3 crores to Goddess Bhadrakali at Warangal, on the occasion of Durga Navratri.

KCR, as the chief minister is commonly known as, is reported to have commissioned the entire cost of the crown from the state government’s coffers.

This offering was just one part of KCR’s promise during the Telangana agitation, to make offerings to the gods if statehood was granted

In April this year, the chief minister offered gold ornaments worth Rs 5 crore, also from the state exchequer to Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala.

However, the biggest controversy broke out in December 2015 when the chief minister conducted a ‘Ayutha Chandi Maha Yagam,’ to please the gods.

The yagam took place at his 120-acre farmhouse at Erravalli village in Telangana’s Medak district, even as the state was reeling through a severe agrarian crisis, with farmers killing themselves just three kms away.

Despite 1,800 farmers killing themselves in Telangana since it was formed in June 2014, KCR is reported to have spent an undisclosed amount of several crore rupees for the event.

However, the TRS claimed that no government money was misused and the entire program was done with personal funds and donations by well-wishers.

In September, even as KCR released the funds for the gold crown, the Centre stopped all money from the National Health Mission (NHM) to Telangana after it was reported that the state had not utilized the funds and also not submitted a utilization certificate.

The Indian Express reported:

Including last year’s pending amount of Rs 143 crore, the state health system is currently deficient by approximately Rs 300 crore by conservative estimates, which also includes money not released by Centre and the corresponding state share that should have been pumped into the system.

Last month also saw reports that the system in the finance department that was to disburse funds for student scholarships and fee waiver and social security pensions for the poor had been ignored and cited ‘lack of funds’ in response to requests.

Last week, the Telangana Congress attacked the TRS government for allegedly not releasing Rs 4,000 crore as part of the loan waiver scheme to farmers.

“Farmers expecting that the government will pay, have not paid the banks; now the banks are not lending to farmers in rural areas in Telangana. So, the farmers are at the mercy of private money lenders who charge as high 36 to 48% interest per annum, and it is a precarious situation…It has affected 37 lakh farmers whose ‘pattadar’ passbooks are with the banks. Three lakh women farmers had mortgaged their gold with the banks,” Telangana PCC President N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged.

 

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