Telangana to allot lands to political parties for offices

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Hyderabad : In a significant move, the Telangana government on Friday decided to allot land for the political parties to construct their offices.

All recognized political parties will be allotted land not exceeding one acre in every district headquarter at a nominal price of Rs 100 per yard. The party offices will also be exempted from property tax.

The decision was taken at the meeting of state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

The cabinet also decided to allot lands to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for constructing party offices in 29 districts. According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office, this has been done in accordance with guidelines of earlier governments.

In 1987, the government of then undivided Andhra Pradesh had announced policy on land allotment for political parties. It was then decided that every political party will be allotted one acre land in Hyderabad for a lease period of 30 years. However, there was no provision for allotment of land in district headquarters.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government in the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh amended the policy in 2016. Under the controversial policy, the recognized political parties will be allotted land in the state capital Amaravati and in the district headquarters based on their representation in the state legislature. The policy came under criticism from different quarters for being discriminatory as it will benefit the ruling party.

The Telangana cabinet also decided to allot 600 square yards of land in Hyderabad for the family of former minister A. Madhava Reddy, who was killed by Maoists in a landmine blast in 1999. Madhava Reddy was a TDP leader and a minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh. His wife Uma recently joined TRS.

The cabinet also decided to allot 200 square yards in Hyderabad to the family of Feroz Khan, an Indian soldier who who was killed in the firing by Pakistani Army on Line of Control in 2013.

The cabinet decided to take up census of backward class population in the state. In addition to the existing BC residential schools in the state, during the next academic year (2019-2020), one BC residential school will be set up in each of the 119 Assembly constituencies.