Pitching his idea for a non-Congress and non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday said that he will launch a new national front after the results of upcoming general elections are out. Rao censured both the BJP and Congress, and went on to call both prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi “thieves".
“Some people are asking me what I will do with 16 Lok Sabha seats. I am asking them what have the Congress and BJP done? I am asking both Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. We have worked hard in the state and are moving forward. Today Telangana is second in ease of doing business, the Electricity Authority of India itself has said that the state is number one with regard to the electricity situation," Rao said while addressing a public meeting at Karimnagar district on Sunday evening.
The Telangana chief minister also censured BJP national president Amit Shah, for making statements on the amount of money the Centre has given to Telangana. “He comes here and says this and that. I told him to keep quiet, so he went back," he said, and criticized the BJP for raking up sentiments of the Hindu community every now and then.
“BJP thinks it is the ‘thekedaar’ of Hindus. Am I not a Hindu? No one has done ‘yagnas’ like I have. Their Facebook is also full of the same thing. You (Modi) come here, I will give you ‘prasad’," Rao said, lampooning the BJP and Modi. He added that after Telangana stared the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ programme (under which all land-owning farmers get Rs.4,000 per acre for both Kharif and Rabi seasons), the Centre and other states also followed suit.
“There is the prime minister, and there is a person who wants to be the prime minister, Rahul Gandhi. He should be ashamed, everyday he says ‘Pradhan Mantri Chor Hain’ on TV. What is this cheap ‘dhanda’? And then you have Modi who won’t control Pakistan. These two parties should have some shame," Rao said.
In the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by Rao, is looking to win 16 out of the 17 parliament seats in Telangana (the Hyderabad seat is a bastion of the Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen which the TRS is not like to contest), thanks to a weakened Congress and opposition.
The TRS has also emerged as a strong force to reckon with after Rao led his party to a stunning victory in the assembly elections last year by winning 88 of the 119 assembly constituencies. The Congress managed to win just 19, of which five or six MLAs defected to the TRS subsequently.