Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that women remained neglected under the TRS regime during the last four years.
Addressing a press conference at Karimnagar on Thursday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said Telangana is apparently the only State in the country since independence whose cabinet has no representation of women. Conveying his best wishes on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the TPCC Chief said out of nearly 2 crore women in Telangana State, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao could not find one woman who could be inducted as a minister in his cabinet.
Later, addressing a massive public meeting in Husnabad constituency on the 8th Day of Congress Praja Chaitanya Bus Yatra, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that women have been ignored in all spheres of lives by TRS Government. He said earlier Congress regimes had implemented several measures for the welfare of women. He said there were six women ministers in previous Congress Government and efforts were made for the economic empowerment of women. He said women Self Help Groups were authorised to purchase paddy and were allotted ration shops. He said DWCRA groups were strengthened and they used to be given interest-free loans.
The TPCC Chief said that the Congress party has recently adopted ‘Wanaparthy Declaration’ with the promise of ensuring greater financial empowerment of women, especially the Self Help Groups in the State. He promised that each member of all SHGs would be given a monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 under Abhya Hashtam Scheme. This will be in addition to other pensions they are getting right now. He also promised to regularise the services of 4,200 contract staff working for Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP). He said that the salary of about 15,600 Village Organisation Assistant (VOAs) will be increased from present Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 10,000.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also announced that dues amounting to Rs. 2,000 crore pending from the government towards interest subsidy towards bank loans taken by women SHGs would be cleared. He said each SHG will be permitted to get a bank loan of Rs. 10 lakh for which the interest will be paid by the government. About 52 lakh women are associated with nearly 4.5 lakh SHGs in rural areas while 15 lakh women are members of 1.5 lakh SHGs in urban areas. Overall, the next Congress Government would take measures for economic empowerment of nearly 70 lakh members of SHGs in the State.
The TPCC chief said that a revolving fund of Rs. 1 lakh will be paid for each SHG in Telangana State to further financially empower the SHGs. He each member of a women SHG would be given free life insurance which would provide them a cover of Rs. 2.5 lakh for natural death and Rs. 5 lakh for accidental death. He said the amount for performing last rites will be increased from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000.
The TPCC Chief accused KCR of cheating the Muslims on STs on the issue of 12% reservation. After maintaining silence for over four years, TRS MPs are now creating ruckus in the Parliament in view of elections. He said TRS has no moral right to seek votes from Muslims or STs.
The meeting was also addressed by senior leaders including AICC Secretary R.C. Khuntia, S. Jaipal Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Ponnam Pabhakar, T. Jeevan Reddy, Nerella Sharada and others.
A cake was also cut before the beginning of meeting to mark the International Women’s Day.
Later in the evening, Uttam Kumar Reddy also addressed a grand public meeting at Huzurabad. This was the 16th meeting and last in the series of meetings held as part of first phase of Praja Chaitanya Bus Yatra.