The high-octane poll campaign in Telangana entered its last leg as the state set to vote in the assembly election on November 30. The ruling BRS, Congress and BJP were training their all guns against each other in an attempt to win the election. Meanwhile, a state government policy - the Rythu Bandhu scheme - is at the center of the poll campaign after the Election Commission on Monday withdrew permission given to the Telangana government for disbursements of financial aid to farmers for rabi crops under the scheme. The poll panel took action after a state minister violated the provisions of the model code by making a public announcement about it.
What is Rythu Bandhu scheme?
According to the state government website, in order to ensure that the farmers do not fall again in to the debt trap, a scheme called the “Agriculture Investment Support Scheme” (“Rythu Bandhu”) was started IN the year 2018-19, Kharif season onwards to take care of initial investment needs of every farmer. A budget of Rs 12,000 crores has been provided for the financial year 2018-19 by the Government of Telangana, the website read.
Financial support to farmers
"Relieving the Farmers from debt burden and not allowing them to fall in the debt trap again, the Rythu Bandhu Scheme was proposed by the Government of Telangana for providing Investment Support Agriculture and Horticulture crops by way of grant of Rs. 5,000/- per acre per farmer each season for purchase of inputs like Seeds, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Labour and other investments in the field operations of Farmer’s choice for the crop season," it added. The BRS government has disbursed Rs 72,000 crore benefitting 65 lakh farmers in the past 10 seasons.
Politics on Rythu Bandhu Scheme
After a setback by the poll body, the BRS slammed the Congress for lodging a complaint with the Election Commission requesting it to stop the state government's proposal to make payment to the beneficiaries under the "Rythu Bandhu" scheme.
BRS MLC K Kavitha on Monday said dirty politics of Congress has once again surfaced adding the scheme is not an election promise and an ongoing one.
"Dirty politics of Congress has once again surfaced. They are delaying the payment of Rythu Bandhu, which is an ongoing payment. It is not an election promise. It is not a new programme that is made for the elections," she said.