Hyderabad: Suspense over early Telangana elections continued on Sunday with chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao saying the matter will be taken up and announced at an “appropriate platform" in the coming days. There has been much speculation over the possibility of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) calling snap polls to harvest the benefits from a farm support scheme. Rao was widely expected to make an announcement at Sunday’s Pragathi Nivedana Sabha on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The TRS government’s five year-tenure ends in May 2019.

“I have spoken to my ministers, MLAs and MPs and they asked me to take a decision what is best for Telangana and its people," Rao said, addressing thousands of people who had turned up.

Recalling his early days as the chief minister after Telangana was formed in 2014, Rao said that the new government had faced many problems. “Farmers had lost livelihoods, people were migrating and lakes were drying up. It was a complicated situation," stated Rao. He claimed the Telangana government now provides farmers uninterrupted electricity and that the state is witnessing “reverse migration", with people returning to the state.

Reiterating his commitment towards the minorities, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes, Rao said the Telangana government has started many programmes for all of them. “Minorities are living in poverty, so we started programmes for them. The centre’s minority budget is 4,000 crore and ours for minority development is 2,000 crore. This proves we are committed to it," Rao said.

Taking a swipe at the opposition, Rao said that “some groups" were filing cases against government projects to stop ongoing work. “There will always be anti-state elements," he said, asking the public to re-elect TRS in the next assembly election.

Talking about the state government’s recently launched ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme, under which every landowning farmer is given 4,000 per acre to bear farming costs, Rao assured that the scheme would run for as long as the TRS is in power.

“There is no farmer without debt and that is why we started the scheme. In the days to come, we will make sure there are not power cuts too," he added.

The TRS chief also took a dig at former governments of united Andhra Pradesh, stating the schemes launched earlier were “destructive" for the people of Telangana.

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