Hyderabad: IT minister K.T. Rama Rao had to cobble together an excuse for his father and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s implied criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has created a storm in a teacup in BJP ranks. He told a highly indignant defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday that it was a ‘slip of the tongue’ by the CM who should not have put it quite like that. During a meeting in Karimnagar on February 26, the Chief Minister had not minced his words when criticising Mr Modi and referred to him as “that Prime Minister Modi gaadu” (fellow).
State BJP leaders took umbrage at this and complained to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan that such a term was “unsavoury” and “unparliamentary.” They even sent reports to central BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister himself, with a translation of the CM’s comments. The defence minister, who was in the city on Thursday evening, told the press that she had almost decided not to come when she came to know “about the comments made by one constitutional authority like Chief Minister against another constitutional authority like Prime Minister.”
Ms Sitharaman said that despite having ideological differences, one should not address the Prime Minister in such a manner. She said even if it is a slip of the tongue, the Chief Minister should have given an explanation. “I was invited to Hyderabad to attend a defence-related programme on Thursday. On Wednesday, I called IT minister K.T. Rama Rao who was in Nalgonda on tour and raised objection over the comments. I told him I am unable to understand whether I should come or not. It wouldn’t look good if I participate in the programme after the Prime Minister was belittled by the CM.
“I came today and attended the function along with the minister and again I spoke to him about this. Then K.T. Rama Rao garu told me ‘it was just a slip of the tongue, my father will not speak in that way’. I participated because Make in India from Telangana will have a huge impact on the aerospace industry.” “We can give responses to ideological criticism if they have been said in appropriate manner,” she said. “It is sad that a CM spoke like this. We felt very sad and even the co-untry should feel sad,” Ms Sitharaman said.