Hyderabad: The Bathukamma festival from October 9 has been caught in a political slugfest. The TRS and the Opposition are trying to gain political mileage out of the Election Commission denying permission for the distribution of 95 lakh Bathukamma saris to women in the festival period citing the election code of conduct.
While the TRS has been encouraging women’s organisations and self-help groups to conduct protests against Opposition parties for blocking the distribution of saris, the Opposition parties argue that they had only objected at Bathukamma sari kits carrying pictures of CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao and minister K.T. Rama Rao and demanding that the saris be distributed through fair price shops by removing those pictures.
AICC member and TPCC treasurer Gudur Narayan Reddy had lodged a complaint with the EC over the distribution of Bathukamma sari packs carrying the pictures of Mr Chandrasekhar Rao and requested the poll panel to ensure the distribution of saris through rations shops and not by TRS leaders.
The EC responded to his complaint by stopping distribution of the saris completely.
Addressing a public meeting in Nalgonda on October 4, Mr Chandra-sekhar Rao lashed out at the Congress accusing it of denying new saris for women for Bathukamma celebrations fearing that the TRS would get the credit.
Mr Narayan Reddy said, “KCR, while addressing a meeting at Nalgonda, blamed me for stopping sari distribution. He is misleading the people totally on the issue,” he said.
Mr Narayana Reddy said Mr Chandrasekhar Rao too should have requested the EC to distribute saris through ration shops by removing his picture from their covers.
“Poor women deserve to get sarees on Bathukamma festival. It is their right. KCR is trying to play politics using the EC’s denial of permission for saree distribution,” Mr Reddy said.
TRS activists are holding protests with a few women’s organisations and burning the effigies of grand alliance leaders in all the districts holding them responsible for stopping Bathukamma sari distribution.
TRS candidates are campaigning in constituencies saying that they would distribute saris soon after the election code ended.