Dalits constitute 17% of the states’ population. Keeping an eye on 2023 election KCR the present Chief Minister of Telangana is getting ready to plunge into it. It is known that Dalits favour Congress, and the Chief Minister fears that with the appointment of Revanth Reddy as the PCC chief, he will loose the Dalit votes. But the Dalit vote bank is extremely important for him and he can’t neglect it. Therefore, with various schemes and sops he is trying to woo them. For the empowerment of Dalits, he has launched a scheme called Dalit Bandhu. Under this scheme Rupees 10 lakhs would be credited to the bank account of every family directly.
But Congress was quick to slam the Chief Minister. The party ridiculed him saying that KCR suddenly wanted to act as a messiah of Dalits when they charged that the Chief Minister, through out before being elected as the CM and even as the CM neglected their interests and never kept the promises he had made on several occasions.
To prove their point the party says that the funds allocated for the Dalits were diverted and spent on irrigation projects and not used for their welfare activities. Again they that SC Finance Corporation received 9 lakes applications but only one lakh applications were cleared, and the rest were kept pending.
Against this back drop of his past performance Congress charges that the latest Dalit Bandhu scheme is nothing but a hoax. In another move BJP has inducted Eatala Rajender into the party. He is the ousted minister of the KCR cabinet. He is a BC and is accepted as a leader in the Dalit community. He had also proved himself as a strong leader, and this is the reason why KCR is worried about Dalit vote bank and outreaching himself to woo them.
Apart from Rajender, BJP has also taken into its fold two more leaders. One BC leader Dharmapuri Arvind and Bandi Sanjay both are able to throw challenges at KCR.
But a senior political analyst terms KCR’s ‘Dalit Bhandhu’ as a master stroke. The vote bank may be shifted to KCR’s favour, if 10 lakh is really credited to every bank account. Hence, the rival parties can not take it lightly.
It is quite evident that the Chief Minister wants to mend his past mistakes of not keeping his earlier promises. The analyst points out that, “KCR has a habit of coming out with schemes just before election for various communities. But such a big scheme like Dalit Bandhu should be given due consideration.”
In his effort to woo the Dalits he has launched the scheme very tactfully. He cannot be criticized by anybody because it is a welfare scheme. His scheme is based on a clear survey that 13 lakhs families have to be paid the amount which comes to 17% of the state population.
The govt teams are at work collecting all the pertinent particulars of Dalit families. KCR had taken the decision last June in an all party meeting.
The opposition leaders consider him as a leader who promises but never keeps it. During 2014 election he had promised to appoint a Dalit as the CM on the condition of his party TRS winning the election. Again when the agitation was going on for a separate Telangana, he promised to allot 3 acres of land to every Dalit family, but out of a total claimants of 3.3 lakhs a mere 6000 were benefited.
It is not a healthy political practice to provide sops to any category of people before election. People judge a govt on the basis on its performance. Therefore, care should be taken for all communities whether it is BC, SC , ST or Gen class. Any govt should focus on comprehensive development of the state.