Even as Telangana's Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday began his five-day yagna, which will cost about Rs 7 crore, farmers in the state continue to live in poverty. The CM is holding the event at his farmhouse in Erravelli.
CM Rao, however, brushed responsibility by saying that he is not using public funds to hold the mega religious ceremony, which will be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and other political bigwigs. In September 2015, over 100 farmers committed suicide in the state due to crop failure propelled by lack of electricity and rainfall.
"Some relatives and friends have come forward and I am spending from my account," NDTV quoted him as saying. "Not a single paise from the government is being spent. Even for generators and RTC bus, we are paying.''
The family of a farmer, Nalla Kishtaiah, who had committed suicide some 10 km away from where Rao's farmhouse is situated in Medaki district is still languishing despite the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president promising pension and housing.
"We live so close by. He must have come here so many times. He should come at least today and help us. Otherwise how will my children survive, how will I educate them?" said Renuka, Kishtaiah's wife. "Will he agree to see me if I go and tell him about the terrible situation in which I and my children are? Will they let me in?''
"As the chief minister, he should help families like us who are really suffering. Did he not promise homes and pensions? We have neither of that,'' said Raju, her son.
Raju, a Class 9 student, has begun working as a labourer to provide for the family, while the CM is holding a Rs 7 crore yagna that would involve 108 ceremonial platforms, 1,500 priests and 50,000 guests, reports NDTV.
TRS, before coming to power, had asked farmers not to pay their loans, reports Firstpost. However, after being elected, the party instructed them to pay back the loans in four instalments.