KTR ridicules BJP, Congress poll plans
BRS manifesto to be released on Monday
Hyderabad: BRS working president and minister K.T. Rama Rao on Friday ridiculed the two Opposition parties’ poll preparedness, stating that the Congress had no effective candidate in at least 40 constituencies while the BJP was struggling to retain its three seats. On the BRS’ prospects, he was of the view that the number might not go below 88, the number of seats it won in 2018.
The minister also hinted that the BRS manifesto to be released on Monday would address the aspirations of the middle class, which will be a unique initiative as political parties usually load their manifestos with promises for the weaker sections. He did not rule out the manifesto containing a promise to enhance financial assistance extended to various sections but stressed judiciously following fiscal prudence while making such assurances.
Rama Rao said it would be a fight between a government that delivered 95 per cent of its poll promises in two consecutive terms and seeking a historic hat-trick, versus parties that had failed to deliver an equal percentage of their respective promises when in power. It is also a fight between “Telangana galli and arrogance of Delhi (meaning both the BJP and the Congress)“ and the “Gujarati duo“ (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah).
“Don’t these two leaders feel ashamed to resort to blatant lies,” Rama Rao said, condemning the BJP top leaders’ allegation that Telangana had witnessed the highest number of farmer suicides. “They owe the people of Telangana an apology,” he said referring to Modi’s “audacity and arrogance” as displayed in his recent remark that two Gujaratis (Sardar Patel and Modi himself) were liberating Telangana.
Taking objection to the top BJP leaders describing Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao as ‘Razakar CM’, Rama Rao asked how their conscience permit to resort to blatant lies against Telangana, the most secular state which had time and again displayed communal harmony.
“A few days ago, Muslim brothers postponed the Milad-un-Nabi procession when it was coinciding with the Ganesh immersion,” he pointed out and exuded confidence that minorities too would support the BRS and that there was no truth in reports that the Congress had succeeded in consolidating the minority vote in its favour. “We spent the highest amounts for minority welfare. We don’t have a single incident of mob lynching or demolition of houses by bulldozers,” he pointed out.
On former PCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s resignation from the Congress, Rama Rao said he would personally call on the veteran Congressman and invite him into the party if he was willing to join the BRS. Asked if Lakshmaiah would be offered the Jangaon ticket, Rama Rao said, “Let me first meet him and know his views.”
Maintaining that he would continue to practice the “no-cash-no-liquor-for-vote” approach this time as well in Sircilla, his constituency, Rama Rao said he was prepared to face electoral setbacks but would stick to the principles. “Unfortunately, winning has become a life and death issue for politicians these days,” he added.
The BRS working president wondered why Central agencies like the income-tax department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) always raided BRS leaders but spared those of the Congress. “The BJP has never made the Centre pursue the money-laundering case in Revanth Reddy’s cash-for-vote scam,“ he said.
To a query on why the BRS government had not pursued the case, he said the BRS would form the next government and would act tough this time. “We were too nice and not vindictive so far and he has perhaps been mistaken as incompetent,” he said.
Rama Rao did not attach much significance to the transfer of officials by the Election Commission. On the election symbols matter, Rama Rao that his party would approach the Supreme Court seeking the deletion of symbols similar to cars from the open pool.
He said that BJP MLA Etala Rajendar was the lone Mudiraj community legislator in the BRS over two terms. “Unfortunately, he left the party and we could not accommodate Mudiraj community candidates because of all legislators were renominated. Nevertheless, he added: “We are winning Huzurabad,” he said.