Hyderabad: Wading into the controversy over the Centre’s claims on surgical strikes, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday said that when he was part of the UPA-I government, India had carried out 11 surgical strikes but never claimed credit.
Prime Minster Narendra Modi was now showing photographs of surgical strikes and asking for votes, Mr Rao said. He also raked up the issue of Hindutva.
Addressing a massive public meeting at Miryalguda, Mr Rao said he had never before witnessed such ‘golmal’ politics in his political life. Speaking after Mr Modi’s meeting in Mahbubnagar, Mr Rao alleged that the Prime Minister was speaking “blatant lies”.
He dared Mr Modi and BJP leaders to a debate on the merits of the state government’s Arogyasri and the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme. He has drawn considerable flak for not subscribing to the Centre’s scheme.
Claiming that the BJP would not win 150 Lok Sabha seats and the Congress 100, the Chief Minister said: “The time has come for regional parties to rule the country. If necessary, the TRS will launch a national party to form a consortium of regional parties.”
Terming the BJP leaders as “pseudo Hindus”, Mr Rao said the BJP was using Hindutva for votes. “We are the real Hindus and lead life religiously for our sake, not for the sake of votes.”
Stating that the ‘chaiwala’ had gone and the ‘chowkidar’ had taken his place, Mr Rao asked what Mr Modi had done for BCs, SC and STs during his tenure. “Why did he not set up a ministry for BCs at the Centre despite repeated demands,” Mr Rao asked.
Mr Rao also reminded TPCC chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy of his pledge that he would quit politics if the TRS came to power for a second time. He recalled Mr Reddy’s pledge of not shaving till the Congress came to power. Asking why anyone would care if Mr Reddy shaved or not, Mr Rao asked why he was contesting elections as he had said he would quit politics.
He demanded that Mr Reddy apologise to him for alleging that he had sold party tickets. “Selling tickets is the culture of the Congress not the TRS,” he said.
Maintaining that in 73 years, the Congress and the BJP had not achieved much, he stressed the need for qualitative change in politics. He said the TRS would take the initiative to bring about a change in national politics....