Hyderabad, Oct 26 (IANS) Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K. T. Rama Rao has come under sharp criticism on social media after municipal authorities took no action against ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for installing huge banners, cutout, banners and flexes in Hyderabad for the party plenary in violation of rules.
From political rivals to social activists and common citizens questioned the “double standards” of the TRS government over the issue. Many pointed out how the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) dealt firmly with violators in the past by imposing penalties and did not spare even leaders of the ruling party and celebrities like veteran actor Mohan Babu.
The ruling party had turned the entire city “pink” by putting up TRS flags, banners, posters, flexes, and huge cutouts of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and other party leaders on several major roads and traffic intersections.
At a few points, especially on the roads leading towards Hitex Exhibition Centre in Madhapur, the venue of the plenary, special stages were erected to welcome the delegates.
The stages, where some artists were performing folk dances amid loud music, were affecting the free flow of traffic at few points like KBR Park. However, the municipal authorities and traffic police were silent spectators to the violations.
Though the cutouts and banners were put up 3-4 days before the plenary, the GHMC’s Enforcement Vigilance and Disaster Management wing took no action to remove them. Many critics point out that the Central Enforcement Cell of EVDM was earlier acting even on complaints made online about cutouts and banners.
Interestingly, four days before the plenary CEC’s official Twitter handle posted that generation of e-challans has been put on hold for indefinite time due to server maintenance and upgradation of software. Many citizens took to Twitter to slam the authorities for their silence to the “blatant violations” of all rules by the TRS.
Many posted old video clips from the speeches made by K.T. Rama Rao against defacement of public property.
KTR, as the minister is popularly known, had spoken against political parties and leaders putting up flexes, banners and posters on many occasions in the past. They recalled that KTR had last year imposed a fine on his own party leader for violation in Yellandu town.
P. Srinivas, who calls himself a social activist, tagged KTR, Hyderabad Mayor Gadwal Vijayalxmi, top municipal officials and Hyderabad traffic police drawing their attention to violations by the TRS in Hyderabad.
“Where are you all hiding,” asked former IPS officer and BSP leader R. S. Praveen Kumar while tagging the minister KTR, EVDM Director and GMHC Commissioner. “Will you book the perpetrator of this violation of citizens’ rights at KBR? If someone is run over by a speeding vehicle for want of pavement, will you bring back the life???,” he asked while posting a picture of the chief minister’s huge cutout at KBR Park.
Last year during his visit to Yellandu, KTR had publicly announced that he was imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh on municipal chairperson of Yellandu, Dammalapati Venkateswara Rao, for setting up flexes.
“I had told them not to put up flexes but they still did and DVR (Dammalapati Venkateswara Rao) did not stop them. Should I not fine them? These flexes are of no use,” KTR had told the crowd.
“Is there any use for flexes except that politicians can see their own face? No one is a leader just for putting up flexes. They are leaders if they win a place in people’s hearts,” he had said amid loud cheers by people.
KTR had also explained to people the health hazard posed by the plastic used for flexes and other decorative materials. “This plastic causes cancer. It’s biodegradable. It’s like a ghost that will continue to haunt us,” he had said.
Netizens posted the video clips of KTR’s same speech on Tuesday to question his silence on large-scale violations of rules for the TRS plenary.
More than 16,000 delegates from across the state attended the plenary on Monday.