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Ruling party defiant amid protests in India’s Telangana

Ruling party defiant amid protests in India’s Telangana
Ruling party defiant amid protests in India’s Telangana

As student’s suicide raises tensions, TRS rejects criticism state government has failed in providing employment to jobless youths

Hyderabad: Telangana’s ruling TRS party on Tuesday hit back at criticism by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) that the state government had failed in providing employment to the jobless youths.

A Member of Parliament of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Balka Suman, and government whip P. Rajeshwara Reddy, told journalists that TJAC convener Kodandaram Reddy was trying to incite youths for the sake of his political interests.

The TRS leaders’ reaction came a day after the TJAC organised a “Struggle for Jobs” rally in Hyderabad, which was supported by two major political parties — the Congress and BJP.

Adding to the political woes of the TRS caused by Kodandaram’s stir was the incident of a student’s suicide on the campus of Osamnia University, which triggered violent protests over the weekend.

At the TJAC rally, addressed by Kodandaram as well as the famous balladeer Ghaddar, the speakers referred to the suicide to buttress their claim that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had betrayed youths, and was driving some to suicide, as no vacancies had been filled more than three years after the formation of Telangana state.

“Instead of taking measures to provide jobs to educated youths, the entire focus of the TRS government was getting commissions on land deals and from contractors”, said Kodandaram.

The scathing attack by Kodandaram on the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and the TRS government is significant because he was a close lieutenant to KCR during the struggle for Telangana state and was seen as a leading light of the movement as the Chairman of TJAC.

However he turned a critic after TRS came to power in the newly formed Telangana state in June 2014.

“The chief minister has become the most inaccessible leader and was not meeting his own ministers — he is not even visiting the secretariat,” he said.

“The government’s reluctance to create employment opportunities is the main reason for the suicides by the youth in Telangana. The government has no concern for the future of Telangana,” he added.

The rally was addressed by the leaders of all the major opposition parties and civic organisations, leaving the door open to possibilities that they may unite to fight the TRS in the coming months.

The rally coincided with a protest on the campus of Osamnia University where after the violent clashes, police arrested 22 students.

Alleging that the student E. Murali had committed suicide over the delay in issuing orders for the recruitments by the government, they demanded that his family should be paid a compensation of Rs5 million (Dh285,138) and a government job for his younger brother.

However the police said that Murali left a note behind saying he was ending his life as he was afraid that he will fail in examination.

The TRS appeared un moved by the new challenge from the TJAC and the unrest of students. “some people were making false statements over the suicide of the student to mislead the youth”, said government whip Rajeshwara Reddy. He demanded action against a TDP leader for bringing unsocial elements to Osmania University campus to provoke violence.

TRS MP Balka Suman said that TRS was fulfilling all the promises made at the time of the election.

“The government was in process of filling 120,000 vacancies in the state”, he said. “Let him do anything, Kodandaram will not be successful in harming the image of the Chief Minister KCR,” he said.