Sunday, Apr 06, 2003
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By K. Venkateshwarlu
To a question he said even the Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, was not aware of it. His Government had no intention of using POTA for political purposes. Nor did it believe in harassing and victimising political opponents. POTA was meant for curbing extremist activities.
He said it was surprising that after the Leader of the Opposition, Y. S. Rjashekar Reddy, gave an assurance in the Assembly that the party MLA, Surekha, and her husband, Murali, would not be involved in any attack, two Telugu Desam workers were murdered in Warangal district. He found fault with the APCC president M. Satyanarayana Rao's comment that his party had no extremist elements. It almost meant encouraging extremism. He also recalled that it was that Congress that had first booked TADA case against Murali.
Asked whether he would call for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of POTA, he reacted positively. But political parties should take a firm decision against promoting extremist elements.
On another controversy over the issue of GO 94, the Chief Minister clarified that it was not as if a total ban had been imposed. Wherever necessary recruitments would be done. The Government would examine the possibility of revising the GO.
He said the GO was issued in deference to the assurances given to courts where a number of cases were pending. There were a number of temporary employees and the Government cannot be expected to absorb or confirm all of them. A lot of expenditure was being incurred on establishment, often at the expense of development. And providing Government jobs to all was not possible. But it did not mean that there would be a total ban. The Telugu Desam Government was committed to the youth and it would not neglect them. It was creating employment through IT and tourism.
Referring to complaints about poor quality of rice supplied under the Food-for-Work programme, he said he would ask officials to look into the matter. He said no special funds were allotted for `Jalachaitanyam' programme but those under various drought-proofing schemes were being pooled.
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