Union Home Minister Amit Shah interacts with Union Minister for Culture G. Kishan Reddy during an event organised to celebrate the Telangana Formation Day, at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, in New Delhi, Thursday, June 2, 2022. (PTI Photo)
HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Home Amit Shah on Thursday advised Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao to "speak the truth at least once" on just how much Telangana has received from the Narendra Modi government at the Centre over the past eight years.
Shah said "I am reiterating what I said in Hyderabad recently. The Modi government has provided Rs 2,52,202 crore to Telangana since 2014. I have accounts for every single paisa of this. Had you (Chandrashekar Rao) responded in time, this amount would have been more than Rs 3.5 lakh crore. But you did not cooperate."
Shah said: "I have only an appeal to the Chief Minister. Tell the people the truth. If not all the time, at least once. Sometimes the truth should be spoken."
The Union Home Minister’s attack on the Telangana government and the Chief Minister came at the Telangana Formation Day celebrations, organised by the Ministry of Culture in New Delhi as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
Shah, who paid rich tributes to the history and culture of Telangana, made it clear that the Narendra Modi government has not adopted a "step-motherly attitude" towards Telangana, or any other state.
"I want to say one thing with certainty. We never looked at whether a government is of the BJP or of some other party in the states. Modi believes that the development of states is what results in the development of the nation. We religiously follow Centre-State relations," Shah said.
Without referring to the absence of the Chief Minister in Hyderabad on May 26 when the PM visited the city, of which the BJP has taken a dim view of, seeing it as a snub to the Prime Minister, Shah said, "Anytime any Chief Minister came to Delhi, we have treated them with honour."
Shah complimented Union Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Development of North Eastern Region G Kishan Reddy, saying he was happy to see that Telangana has been made a part of the national celebrations of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. "This is not a BJP programme. This festival is for ‘Ma Bharati’ and setting the tone for the future of India. This is to pay homage to our Independence heroes, honour our national spirit," he said.
While the entire country is celebrating the festival, "we are not getting cooperation from Telangana," for these celebrations, Shah said.
Shah also made it clear that the Telangana government was ignoring one of the most important dates in its history, that of liberation of Hyderabad state and its merger into the Indian Union. Paying homage to the more than 1,200 youths who gave up their lives in the agitation for a separate Telangana state, Shah said the BJP had, back in 2004, promised Telangana state but till 2014, its demand was rejected.
"Telangana, with its rich history, culture, cuisine, and arts, is the youngest state of India. On its Formation Day, I sincerely wish that it develops and grows rapidly," he said.
Shah then said the sacrifices of Kumrum Bheem, Ramji Goud, Suravaram Pratap Reddy, Ramanand Theertha, Dasarathi, or PV Narasimha Rao who all stood up for India, should not be forgotten. Sardar Patel freed the now Telangana, parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra from the tyrnanny of the Nizams. Without the Police Action, the map of India today would have been different, he said.
"I am saddened that even today, Hyderabad Liberation Day is not celebrated. In future, the government will change (in Telangana). Have no doubts about this. We will celebrate that day," he said.
Referring to the funds released by the Centre, Shah listed out moneys sent by the Centre under various heads to the state over the last eight years. Telangana, he said, received Rs 1800 crore for backward districts development, Rs 6400 crore for fertilizer factor in Ramagundam, Rs 1200 crore for AIIMS, Rs 1200 crore for ESIC medical college and hospital in Hyderabad, Rs 2500 crore for Jal Jeevan mission, and Rs 43,000 crore for 12 lakh beneficiaries under the Mudra loans scheme. "CM garu, I can go on reading this list and if I go through the entire list, for I have the account for every paisa sent, I will go on till the counting of votes in the next election," he said.
Kishan Reddy said the TRS government was levelling baseless allegations and spreading falsehoods about the PM and the central government. "The state government has launched a poisonous campaign against the Centre. I reiterate that the Modi government is committed to the development of the state, and will be too in the future."
"The Government of India this year is spending Rs 26,600 crore for paddy procurement in Telangana, up from Rs 3,400 crore in 2014. Are we against farmers in Telangana? They level baseless allegations against us and come to Delhi to hold dharnas," he said.