Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy has expressed deep concern over conflicting, but unconfirmed reports in mainstream and social media regarding the health condition of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, Narayana Reddy said that the Chief Minister was missing in action for the last 11 days and it was a matter of serious concern. He said that CM KCR neither addressed a press conference nor held any review meeting at Pragathi Bhavan since June 29th and there are unconfirmed and unverified reports that he was in quarantine at his farm house in Erravelli. But no one really knows his whereabouts. “We are also concerned about him and his health and pray to God that he stays in good health,” he said.
However, the Congress leader has also expressed apprehension that the Chief Minister might be enacting the ‘missing’ drama to gain people’s sympathy. “It is a State or a Kingdom? Are we in a democracy or anarchy? While a king can go underground at his will, an elected Chief Minister in a democracy needs to remain among his people,” he said adding that people were unable to understand KCR’s actions as he is behaving like a ‘Tughlaq’.
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“Why is such a drama needed? Are you creating any inquisitiveness or any special interest in you? Do you think this particular kind of publicity stunt will bring you up?” he asked while adding that CM KCR was wrong if he was thinking on those lines.
Narayana Reddy said that people would be concerned if their Chief Minister was among them for a long period, especially at a time when the entire population is engaged in a fierce battle against a deadly pandemic. He said while poor people were not getting to medical care at government hospitals, middle and upper middle class people were spending lakhs of rupees to pay medical bills in private hospitals. Despite undergoing traumatic experiences, not everyone is getting the proper treatment.
The Congress leader alleged that the government hospitals were declaring the Covid-19 deaths and they were being shown as deaths due to cardiac failures. He said that the Coronavirus infection was causing shortage of oxygen in blood supply which was leading to heart attacks. However, the doctors in government hospitals were apparently given directions that they should not declare such deaths as those caused due to Covid-19. He urged the National and State Human Rights Commission to take note of these practices and take action.
Narayana Reddy also slammed the pace with which the old Secretariat building was demolished. “Why are you in a hurry? We’re all facing a deadly pandemic across the globe. There is a huge shortage of medical facilities and infrastructure. It is feared that the infection might affect lakhs of people across Telangana in the coming days. Why do you want to waste public money on something else than spending the same to save people’s lives?” he asked, adding that the Chief Minister should’ve waited till the arrival of Covid-19 vaccine.
The Congress leader said that neighbouring Andhra Pradesh has conducted more than 11 lakh Covid-19 tests while the Telangana Government tested a little over 1.25 lakh people so far. He said why CM KCR wants to treat Telangana as his ‘jagir’ (personal fiefdom) and avoid spending to test Covid-19 suspects. He alleged that the Chief Minister was constructing the new Secretariat building only to get commission as his source of commission from other projects have stopped now for a while.
He said KCR did not visit the Secretariat even for six times in the last six years. He said that the Secretariat had a built up area of nearly 8 lakh sft. He said D, H, J and L blocks were recently constructed and they were in extremely good conditions. He said at least 4 lakh sft of built up space could have been easily converted into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital.
Narayana Reddy said that the TRS leaders were trying to make commissions on the corpses of Covid-19 patients. He alleged that the statistics of Covid-19 deaths and cases being provided by the government were not real while the actual numbers are much higher. The situation might worsen further if no immediate action is taken, he said.
He also slammed Minister Harish Rao for his criticism of the Congress leaders. “Why Harish Rao is trying to link the Congress leaders with Andhra subject? Do you think our ancestors were not born here and only you have the birth right to speak about Telangana. Don’t try to turn things personal,” he demanded and asked Harish Rao to be cautious while speaking about Congress party and its leaders. He said people, including Congress leaders, have a good opinion about Harish Rao and he should not spoil his image by indulging in cheap talk and polarisation tactics.
He also warned the ministers against using an intimidating tone against the Congress leaders. He said most of the ministers never participated in Telangana agitation and did nothing for the State. He said that the Congress party granted statehood for Telangana and no other party could match this contribution.
The Congress leader asked as to why no minister had the courage to come out in public to clarify about the Chief Minister’s whereabouts and his health. He said that Home Minister Mahmood Ali was hopeless as he himself has no entry in the Pragathi Bhavan. He said that DGP Mahender Reddy too was silent on the issue while he could’ve made a clarification on the issue. “The DGP apparently thinks that his only job is to detain the Congress leaders whenever they are planning some protest. He doesn’t feel that it was his job to give clarity to the people on reports relating to the alleged missing of the Chief Minister.” he said.
Narayana Reddy said that Minister K. Tarakarama Rao should’ve clarified to the people regarding his father’s health. He said either a big drama was being enacted to divert people’s attention from the failures of TRS Govt or something really serious is happening somewhere which TRS leaders are trying to hide.
The Congress leader reiterated that the State Government followed the WHO norm of ‘Trace, Test & Treat’ to combat Covid-19 situation.
Earlier, Narayana Reddy paid rich tributes to former Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy on his birth anniversary. He said Dr. YSR’s services to the people, especially the poor and downtrodden, would be remembered forever. He prayed that YSR’s soul rest in peace and wished that his family live a long, prosperous and happy life.