In his first speech after taking oath as Telangana’s first chief minister, K Chandrasekhara Rao promised a corruption-free government with top priority to the welfare of economically and socially weaker sections. Speaking at a Telangana Formation Day function on Parade Grounds, KCR made a slew of promises for various sections.
“I congratulate the people of Telangana for this is their victory. I feel humbled by the sacrifices Telangana martyrs made and efforts people made to realise our dream,” he said.
Reaching out to government employees whose support he needs, KCR said, “I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation for government employees. As promised, government employees will be given a Special Telangana Increment soon… Employees would get salaries at par with those of central government staff. We will also implement the Pay Revision Commission recommendations and give health cards to all employees.”
About weaker sections, he said, “For Dalits, BCs, SCs, STs and minorities… my government will spend Rs 1 lakh crore in the next five years. Of this, Rs 50,000 crore is exclusively for Dalits’ welfare. Each family from the weaker sections will be given a house built on a minimum 120 sq yards, with two bedrooms, a hall and kitchen and proper toilet facilities. I will ensure this is delivered; that is why I have kept the portfolio of weaker sections’ welfare with me.”
KCR, accompanied by chief secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma and DGP Anurag Sharma, arrived at the grounds after the swearing-in and unfurled the national flag. He was given a guard of honour and inspected the parade led by IPS officer N Prakash Reddy.
KCR went to the Secretariat at 12:15 pm and stepped out of his Toyota Prado at the Nalla Pochamma temple, a few a metres from the ‘C’ block that has the CMO on the sixth floor. KCR, accompanied by leaders of Telangana Secretariat Employees Association, offered prayers before he was given a reception with rose petals. The employees’ association presented a letter and a cheque for one day’s salary, amounting to over Rs 15 crore, to the CM’s Relief Fund.
KCR considers 6 his lucky number and therefore took charge at 12:57 pm, whose digits add up to 15 and in turn to 6. Priests performed a puja at the entrance and then took him to his chambers where, amid Vedic chants, he signed the first papers as chief minister.
“The first file the CM signed pertains to the Telangana government’s official logo,’’ an official said. Thereafter, KCR signed on files clearing payment of ex-gratia to the families of those who died for the cause of Telangana.
At 2 pm, he held his first cabinet meeting, an unofficial one. “It has been decided to call for an Assembly session from June 9 and elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker,’’ said Home Minister Nayani Narasaimha Reddy.
THE ARCH RIVALS
While KCR was taking oath, his arch rival N Chandrababu Naidu was unfurling a TDP flag with the Telangana map on it at NTR Bhavan, the TDP headquarters. Naidu joined his party’s Telangana leaders, who include 14 MLAs and an MP, in celebrating Telangana Formation Day. Naidu congratulated KCR and his ministers and said, “The TRS government should fulfil the promises it has made to the people of Telangana who have high expectations. The TDP will launch an agitation if the TRS fails to keep its commitments.”
Naidu, who will be sworn in as Andhra CM on June 8, has invited PM Narendra Modi, the CMs of at least 18 states, and leaders of several parties.
YSRCP president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy too participated in Telangana celebrations at the party headquarters in Hyderabad, organised by the YSRCP’s Telangana ad-hoc committee. He too congratulated KCR and the people of Telangana.