Telangana assembly elections 2018: Rahul Gandhi hits out at KCR, Owaisi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday asked voters “to expose” the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)’s “secret partnership” with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and vote them out in the December 7 Telangana assembly elections. He alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi remote-controlled Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) while calling the TRS the BJP’s B team and its ally, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), its C team.

Gandhi said there were only two – pro and anti-BJP — fronts in the country. He added the anti-BJP group comprised the Congress and other like-minded parties. “In Telangana, too, there are only two groups – the TRS and [the Congress-led] People’s Front. And the TRS has a secret understanding with the BJP and both of them are working together,” Gandhi said at an election rally at Gadwal, 188 km from Hyderabad.

He recalled the TRS supported the Modi government in the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill in 2016, the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes the same year and in the presidential and vice-presidential polls. “KCR has never criticised Modi directly…” He said KCR was being remote-controlled because he feared his “corrupt practices” would get exposed if he opposed Modi. “That is why, the TRS has transformed into Telangana RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s parent organisation].”

Read more: Vote share in 2014

Gandhi called the MIM “an indirect Modi supporter”. He added the MIM fielded candidates in the assembly elections in Maharashtra (2014) and Assam (2016) to split the Congress votes to help the BJP. “If TRS is BJP’s team B, MIM is nothing but its C team. Their only ambition is to make Modi the PM again while retaining power in the state. But we shall defeat Team B and Team C in the assembly elections and Team A [the BJP] in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said at a separate rally in Tandur.

He said the TRS had promised to make the country’s newest state a “Bangaru Telangana [Golden Telangana]’’.

He added it had only made KCR’s family a “Bangaru Kutumbam [Golden Family]”. “Telangana, which had a revenue surplus of Rs 17,000 crore when it was formed, is now reeling under severe debts to the tune of Rs 2 lakh crore. Each family is now facing a debt burden of Rs 1.50 lakh, while the wealth of KCR’s family increased by 400%.”

He alleged “massive corruption” in irrigation projects and added the KCR government had escalated their costs “abnormally” in the name of redesigning. “For instance, the cost of Palamur-Ranga Reddy Lift Scheme, which was estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crore originally, went up to Rs 60,000 crore, thanks to the KCR family’s loot through commissions. The Congress, if voted to power, shall complete the project without any additional cost.”

Gandhi accused KCR of betraying all sections of the people by “failing” to keep promises made before the last elections in 2014. “The unemployed youth were ditched as the government did not fill vacant posts. Farmers did not get remunerative prices for their produce. When chill farmers agitated for remunerative prices, he got them handcuffed and jailed.”

Read more: Win map in 2014

Gandhi promised to waive up to Rs 1 lakh crop loans if the Congress is voted to power. “When Modi can waive Rs 3.50 lakh crore bank loans of just five individuals, why cannot we waive crop loans of farmers?”

KCR rejected Gandhi’s allegations. “Rahul Gandhi says TRS is the BJP’s team B. When Modi comes here, he says the TRS is a Congress by-product. I am not anybody’s agent. I am the people’s agent,” he said at a rally in Nalgonda on Monday.

MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Congress of colluding with the BJP to defeat the TRS in some Hyderabad constituencies by fielding weak candidates. “We are supporting the TRS because the Congress has lost the faith of the Muslims. How can we forget the fact that the Congress government had got my brother arrested in the past?”

For full coverage of Telangana assembly elections, click here

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 22:31 IST

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