With Nitish by his side, Telangana CM in Patna calls for ‘BJP mukt Bharat’
At a press conference that he addressed with his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav by his side, the Telangana chief minister, who is popularly known as KCR, invoked the memory of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan’s Kranti (revolution) against tanashahi (dictatorship) to stress the need for a united opposition to take on the BJP’s hegemony.
KCR, who also met RJD’s ailing president Lalu Prasad later in the day, evaded a direct reply on questions about what role he saw in the fight against the BJP for the Congress, the main opposition party nationally with which his Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is also known to have been at loggerheads.
The TRS chief, however, added that his endeavour was to build an alternative that was not a third front, but a main front to fight the divisive politics of the BJP which is playing the dangerous game of whipping up communal passions for its own petty political gains.
Rao, who began his day by giving away doles to family members of soldiers from Bihar killed in the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops and migrant labourers who died in a fire in Hyderabad, pulled no punches while attacking the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
He alleged that the economy was in a mess, as evident from rising prices, increased indebtedness and the rupee in a state of free fall.
The TRS chief, who has been irked by the BJP’s aggressive foray in his home state, also called the Gujarat model marketed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a flop, citing the western state’s poor human development indices and high incidence of atrocities against Dalits.
KCR also seemed immensely displeased with the Centre’s privatisation policy, alleging that it was tantamount to becho India wherein even public sector companies which were making profits were being disinvested.
Mocking at Make in India, another slogan coined by Modi, the Telangana CM pointed out small items like nail-cutters, shaving blades and even the national tricolour are being imported from China.
He blamed the Centre’s “faulty” policies for water crisis in the country, where rivers discharged 70 thousand million cubic feet of water out of which only 20-22 tmc is used, yet there are clashes over water and even the national capital faces a scarcity.
He claimed that ever since Modi came to power eight years ago, whatever progress had been made was on account of initiatives of the states despite the Centre “not respecting” principles of federalism.
“Bihar is reckoned among BIMARU states. I find the term unfortunate. Those who are responsible for the mess deserve to be called sick. Nitish Kumar has been right in demanding a special category status,” he asserted.
Hitting back at the BJP on issue of corruption, he said “they are the richest political party in the world. And shenanigans of businessmen who happen to be their cronies have been flagged even in Sri Lanka”.
Asked whether Nitish Kumar, who for long has been fancied as a potential challenger to charismatic Modi, could be the prime ministerial candidate of a united opposition, KCR said bade bhai (big brother) Nitish ji is one of the best and senior-most leaders in the country. I am nobody to take a decision. It will be decided when all opposition parties sit together.
When faced with a pointed query about the role of the Congress in a united opposition and acceptability of Rahul Gandhi, he retorted that you may be smart but I am smarter. There is no hurry. Everything will be decided in due course.
We must endeavour to drive the BJP out of power, by whatever means possible, he asserted.
The Telangana CM spent most of his time at his Bihar counterpart’s residence before visiting Lalu Prasad who lives a few hundred metres away.
He winded up his tour with a visit to the Takht Harmandir Patna Sahib Gurudwara, situated in another corner of the city, which is built on the site where Guru Gobind Singh was born.
Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, the RJD’s heir apparent who had visited Hyderabad earlier this year to meet KCR, accompanied the latter all through the day.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)