HYDERABAD: The Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) will focus on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls rather than the Assembly polls to be held in a few states, said its working president and IT minister K.T. Rama Rao.
He expressed the confidence that the BRS would receive 'national party recognition' from the Election Commission of India (ECI) if it won the required number of seats and vote share in other states in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Rama Rao claimed that the BJP government at the Centre was monitoring the files on his phone and that the Centre had used Pegasus spyware to tap his phone and the phones of 10,000 others, including Opposition leaders and journalists.
Rama Rao told reporters on Friday at his camp office in Begumpet that the BRS's immediate focus for launching political activities would be neighbouring states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, where people were demanding the Telangana government's welfare schemes.
He dismissed Opposition parties' claims that the TRS had lost its "emotional Telangana connect" with the people by removing Telangana from the party's name.
When asked about entering Andhra Pradesh, Rama Rao avoided a direct response, instead saying, "There is no one in both the Telugu states who doesn't know about KCR. When the time comes, BRS will make an appropriate decision on AP."
He claimed that the name change would have no effect on the party because Telangana people had looked at the party as the Telangana party.
Referring to the Munugode Assembly bypoll, he alleged that the BJP decided to give Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy a ticket after the latter promised to spend Rs 500 crore and distribute Rs 30,000 per vote if he won the bypoll.
Rama Rao accused the BJP of deliberately forcing a byelection in Munugode by awarding a Rs 21,000-crore coal mining contract to Rajgopal Reddy's company in order to entice him to defect.
Rama Rao slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a "Prachar Mantri" who failed to deliver anything significant and instead relied on publicity stunts and false claims about his accomplishments. He accused Modi of targeting opposition parties by misusing central investigative agencies. "We know very well that PM Modi will use the CBI, I-T department, ED etc as 'hunting dogs' against us for fighting against the BJP and for launching the BRS. We will not be afraid," he stated.
Referring to the Opposition parties ridiculing the launch of the BRS, Rama Rao said, "It's nothing new for us. They ridiculed us when we launched the TRS to achieve statehood. We waged a battle for 13 years, achieved statehood and formed the TRS government twice. Now they are ridiculing BRS. Let them. They will see what BRS will achieve in national politics. Whatever KCR does, there is effective strategy and meticulous planning. He is a leader of conviction and commitment."
He explained the goals and objectives of the BRS launch, saying, "We want to showcase the Vibrant Telangana model. When a young state like Telangana could supply treated drinking water to all houses through taps through Mission Bhagiratha, could implement Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, Dalit Bandhu, provide free power to agriculture etc, why can't this be extended to all the states? BRS will strive to achieve these goals."
Rama Rao mocked at Congress president Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra. He stated, "The Congress is no longer a viable option. It is not (in power) at the centre and in the states. While Rahul is walking, the party is losing MLAs in Goa and is facing a revolt from its MLAs in Rajasthan. Congress is facing an existential crisis. There is no future for Congress. That's why the need to launch the BRS arose as there is no viable and strong alternative for BJP in the country at present."
Rama Rao also claimed that two Congress Lok Sabha members from Telangana are planning to leave the party when Rahul Gandhi's padayatra enters the state. "I have credible information that two Congress MPs from Telangana are quitting the party when Rahul continues his padayatra in Telangana soon. I don't want to comment over which party they would join," he said.
The Congress in Telangana has three MPs — Uttam Kumar Reddy, Revanth Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy.
Asked about Rama Rao’s claim, Uttam Kumar Reddy laughed it off. He said that as in-charge of the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi for the Telugu states, he was busy overseeing arrangements.
He said that Rama Rao must clarify who these MPs were, or was he just trying to politically create misunderstandings in the Congress out of fear of losing the Munugode bypoll....