The Rythu Bandhu Scheme was introduced with the honest intention of helping farmers who are in dire need of financial assistance. Depending on the acreage of land they own, they will get Rs. 5000 per acre per year. While the intention behind the scheme is noble and is aimed to serve small and medium farmers, it became a successful model and was hailed as revolutionary across the country. Even the Modi government at the Centre sang praises for Telangana.
But, overtime, the Rythu Bandhu scheme has been helping landowners who own/bought huge tracts of lands in the state. Even those with non-agricultural lands have so far got Rythu Bandhu money. Interestingly, many MLAs, MPs, actors, businessmen and land owners who are not farming also are receiving money under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
Recently, speaking against the scheme and criticizing its misutilisation, a TRS leader himself claimed that many MLAs and MPs are themselves receiving money under the scheme that is meant for farmers. Additionally, he also said that even film actor Nagarjuna receives Rythu Bandhu amount under the scheme. While these open claims have shocked many in the state, it has given political fodder to the BJP and the Congress.
There’s been news in Telangana that many TRS leaders have also grabbed lands illegally and are also getting Rythu Bandhu amounts for those lands. Further, some of them who have non-agricultural lands, also got their lands converted into agricultural lands by corrupting revenue department officials. While this information is not new in the state, political parties in the state are going hammer and tongs over the BRS and the Kalvakuntla family on how farmers’ money is being consumed by land sharks in the state.
Given how the current state of Rythu Bandhu is being misutilised, it is not too far that a day will come when the Centre could initiate a probe into the Rythu Bandhu beneficiaries and use this scheme against BRS party high command. Looks like the BRS has a lot of damage control to do when it comes to the revolutionary scheme and not let the opposition destroy the aim of the scheme.
Now that elections in Telangana are just around the corner and in a few months, this issue of Rythu Bandhu could snowball into a major controversy, if it is not handled effectively.