Telangana cabinet meet: Decision on early polls skipped

Hyderabad: The Telangana cabinet met Sunday amid speculations that the ruling TRS might go for early state elections but took no decision on it.

"Shortly, another Cabinet meeting will be held where more decision are to be taken," was the cryptic reply by Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari when reporters asked him whether early dissolution of the assembly came up for discussion.

The cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao here took decisions on some welfare measures, including increasing the salary of women workers under ASHA programme, Finance Minister Etela Rajender and Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said.

Assembly elections in Telangana are scheduled to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls next year. However, it is being speculated that the TRS government may opt for early polls on the presumption that there is a positive mood among people about the government.

State Minister and Rao's son K T Rama Rao said Friday that discussions had been held in the party on advancement of the assembly polls, but no decision has yet been taken.

In this backdrop, the cabinet meeting assumed significance, but the ministers indicated the issue was not on today's agenda. They said the cabinet decided to construct "Atma Gourava Bhavan" (self-respect building) for the Backward Classes on a 75-acre site here at a cost of Rs 71 crore.

It was also decided to enhance wages of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers to Rs 7,500 per month from the current Rs 6,000 per month.

Similarly, the honorarium paid to workers of 'Gopal Mithra' (friend of cowherd) programme aimed at cattle breeding through doorstep would be enhanced to Rs 8,500 per month from Rs 3,500 per month.

Increasing the retirement age of temple priests to 65 years was among other decisions taken at the meeting, the Ministers said.

The speculation about early assembly polls has also gained ground with transfers of officials, including IAS officers, during the last several days.

The Chief Minister in a recent media interaction did not give a direct reply on reports of early assembly election but had said the Election Commission has the discretion to conduct it within six months of the original schedule.

He had also said various surveys by the party indicated that TRS would win about 100 seats in 119-member assembly in the polls.


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