A war of words has broken out between Telangana’s ruling and opposition parties over jobs created in the state during the last six years, increasing the political heat ahead of next month’s elections to two seats of Legislative Council and ensuing by-polls to the Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly seat.

Where are the new jobs created, asking the opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) disputing the claims of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) that the government provided 1.32 lakh jobs since 2014.

Open letter, challenges, counter-challenges and ‘data war’ among the parties have heated the state politics in the run up to March 14 elections to two graduate constituencies of the Council.

The leaders are reeling out statistics in support of their claims while their supporters are also waging a war on social media.

Unemployment has been a major issue in Telangana ever since its formation as a separate state in 2014. In fact, water, funds and jobs were the three slogans of the TRS during the Telangana movement.

After forming the first government in the new state, TRS leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao had promised to provide one lakh jobs by filling all vacancies in the government departments.

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The TRS claims that it has done much more. Two days ago, the Chief Minister’s son and Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao rejected the argument that the TRS had failed youngsters on jobs and said that 1.32 lakh jobs were given in the government sector in the last six years. He said Congress could fill up just 10,000 posts in Telangana from 2004-2014 when it was in power in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said he was ready for a debate on this issue.

Congress spokesperson Sravan Dasoju was quick to accept the challenge. He asked KTR to come to the Telangana Martyrs Memorial at Gun Park on Friday for debate. “We will not believe in your false statement. Come with your team and the figures on the recruitment and current vacancies,” he said.

KTR, who is also Working President of TRS, instead issued an open letter, accusing the opposition parties of resorting to false propaganda to mislead youth and students.

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He reiterated that the government filled 1,32,899 posts in various department during the last six years, and also released the figures giving department-wise vacancies filled.

He also reiterated that if anyone has any doubts about our government’s commitment to job recruitment, they can approach respective departments and clarify.

He said that the Telangana State Public Service Commission recruited 30,594 employees while the Telangana State Level Police Recruitment Board filled 31,972 vacancies. He also gave the figures of vacancies filled in other organisations while asking Congress to provide figures of the jobs created during its 10-year rule between 2004 and 2014.

Sravan along with supporters reached Gun Park around noon on Friday but KTR did not turn up.

He wanted to know why KTR wrote an open letter instead of coming forward for an open debate as he had proposed, and termed as “utter lies” the claims of the government on jobs given.

He pointed out that on June 2, 2014 when Telangana state came into being, out of total sanctioned 4.19 lakh employees, 3.12 lakh employees were on rolls while there were 1.07 lakh vacancies. He said now and after 7 years of TRS rule, on rolls employees are 2.28 lakh while vacancies are 1.93 lakh.

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He claimed that KTR was revealing false figures to mislead graduates. He said regularisation of over 22,000 TS Genco, and Transco employees is projected as the vacancies filled.

A war of words also broke out between the TRS and the BJP. The TRS asked BJP to give details of the 12 crore jobs created during last six years, in a reference to the party’s promise of 2 crore jobs every in the country.

BJP national Vice President D.K. Aruna joined the issue. She cited the statement by the Telangana State Public Service Commission’s former Chairman Ganta Chakrapani that 32,000 vacancies were filled but KTR claimed 1.32 lakh jobs were provided. “People want to know who is telling the truth,” she said.

The war of words is likely to turn bitter in the coming days. Over 10 lakh graduates are eligible to cast their votes in the two constituencies of the Council on March 14. #KhabarLive #hydnews