Union minister Kishan reddy along with Dr K laxman inspect the Begumpet airport ahead of Prime Minister Modi's arrival on Saturday. (Deepak Deshpande/DC)
HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday dedicate to the nation the urea manufacturing plan of Ramagundam Fertiliser Corporation Limited (RFCL) and take part in programmes relating to road and rail development in the state.
He will be received by minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav at the Begumpet airport. Srinivas Yadav has been appointed as the ‘minister in waiting’ for the PM PM since February in the absence of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao
Modi, soon after his arrival in the city from Visakhapatnam around 1.30 pm, will attend a welcome meeting with city BJP leaders and workers at the airport. Subsequently, he will fly in an IAF helicopter to Ramagundam where he will dedicate to the nation the fertiliser plant and road and rail works with a total value of about `9,500 crore.
Modi’s programme includes a public meeting at Ramagundam expected to be attended by farmers. According to party leaders they expect the presence of one lakh people.
Later, Modi will return to Hyderabad and leave for New Delhi in the evening aboard a special IAF flight.
With the stage set for Modi’s visit, the BJP again urged Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to "set aside politics and attend the Prime Minister’s programme."
Union minister G. Kishan Reddy pointed out that whether it was dedication of the fertiliser factory to the nation or road and railway development programmes that Modi will take part in, "are a matter of pride for Telangana. First, the government here said it had no information about the Prime Minister’s programme, then when Union fertiliser minister Mansukh Mandvya said that he had written a letter inviting the Chief Minister to attend the programme, the decision we hear is that Rao has decided to stay away from the event."
Kishan Reddy, accompanied by senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Dr K. Laxman, visited Begumpet airport on Friday afternoon to inspect preparations to receive Modi upon his arrival Saturday afternoon.
"As per my information, it appears that Rao does not wish to follow even the minimum protocol requirements. This is sad. It is not correct to ask the PM when he comes to state for explanations and seeking answers to their questions. Politics is different, development is different," Reddy said, referring to what he called "benami posters," that have come up across the city and elsewhere in the state asking Modi not to come to Telangana indicating a "confrontational attitude" by the state government.
"Is the state not part of India? What is this ‘no entry for Modi’ business?" Kishan Reddy asked.
"The real political game has just started. The people have blessed us in Munugode, we lost the election but won people's trust. In the days to come the BJP will go from strength to strength in Telangana," Kishan Reddy said.
Dr Laxman said "instead of staying away, the Chief Minister can use the opportunity to place before the Prime Minister what Telangana needs from the Centre."
Dr Laxman, who also spoke with reporters at Begumpet airport, said it appeared that Rao is not able to distinguish between government and political programmes, and his decision to stay away from Modi’s visit reflects poorly on Telangana and the state government.
"At least now, Rao should realise that Modi’s visit is beneficial to Telangana; change his mind and attend the Prime Minister’s programmes. Even in states where parties are ideologically opposed to the BJP, the Chief Ministers follow the basic protocol norms and attend the Prime Minister’s programmes. The Telangana Chief Minister should do likewise," Dr Laxman said.
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar said the Chief Minister who keeps saying Centre ws doing injustice to the state could use the PM’s visit to meet Modi and ask about these issues. "The fact that he is not coming means that the Chief Minister does not have the courage to show the Prime Minister his face," Sanjay said.