Telangana stops financial assistance to flood hit families, protests erupt

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Election Commission has ordered the state government to stop the disbursement of Rs 10,000 as financial assistance to every flood hit family in Hyderabad till the civic polls in the city are over.

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The order came at a time when a massive crowd of people gathered outside all the Mee Seva Centres (citizen service centres) all over the state capital to register themselves for assistance.

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While the administration had started distributing the immediate relief of Rs 10,000 to the families devastated by the floods of last month and had covered almost 20% of the city household, an official announcement asking the families who had not received the money to register their names brought a throng of people.

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There were queues in several areas of the city like Shaikhpet, Mehdipatnam, Vijaynagar Colony and Namapally with identification papers for the last three days. It raised an alarm about their safety in view of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic as people had thrown all the precautions to the winds and there was no social distancing.

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Such was the jostling and near stampede situation that a fifty year old woman Munawar Unnisa at Golconda Mee Seva Center was exhausted and collapsed. Later she was declared dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.

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Hold on registration

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State Election Commission Secretary Ashok Kumar in an official letter stated that the Model Code of Conduct was remain in force till the results were declared, The SEC has requested the government to put on hold the registration and distribution of relief as it was likely to influence the voters.

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Election Commission’s order has left the common people angry and distraught as they were hoping to get some immediate assistance to recover from huge losses caused by the floods. “I have been making rounds of Mee Seva for last three days and stood in queue of several hours. Now this election has shattered my hopes”, said 60 year old Chand Bi, a resident of Golconda area.

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“If we don’t get this assistance, we will beat anybody with slippers who come seeking our votes”, said another resident in Moghulpura area of old city.

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There were many instances of the crowds shouting slogans against the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who had in fact taken the initiative to extend immediate help to the needy families.

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