K.T Rama Rao, speaking at a property show organised by Credai in the city on Friday. (Photo: Twitter)
Hyderabad: Telangana IT minister K.T. Rama Rao on Friday kicked up a political storm with his comments on the "sorry state of affairs" in a neighbouring state, while projecting Telangana, in particular the capital city of Hyderabad, as the ultimate destination for investments.
Though the minister did not name any state, the YSRC ministers and leaders in Andhra Pradesh attributed it to the state and condemned Rama Rao’s comments that people of the neighbouring state were suffering due to bad roads, erratic power supply and severe water shortage.
Adding drama to the slugfest between the AP ministers and their TS counterparts, the Opposition parties in both states joined the fray making use of the comments to their advantage.
The Telugu Desam accused Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy of making AP a laughing stock in the eyes of neighbouring states, the Telangana unit of the BJP ridiculed Rama Rao for painting a rosy picture of Telangana while burying under the carpet the harsh realities of poor social as well as infrastructure development in the state.
The trouble started with Rama Rao, speaking at a property show organised by Credai, referred to a conversation he had with his friend after the latter’s return from his native village in "a neighbouring state". "It seems there is no power, water and condition of roads was poor. My friend heaved a sigh of relief after returning to Hyderabad and even suggested that we send people there to understand the value of the development undertaken by my government in the last eight years," Rama Rao said.
All hell broke loose with Nara Lokesh, the Telugu Desam general secretary, Tweeting a video of the comment and slamming the YSRC regime for making Andhra Pradesh a laughing stock. He said Rama Rao was speaking about AP and said the latter openly spoke about the destructive regime of Jagan Mohan Reddy and this is how once the progressive state had been suffering for giving "one chance" to the YSRC in 2019.
Minister after minister besides YSRC leaders including CM’s adviser Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy came down heavily on Rama Rao who they said was immature and irresponsible while making public speeches.
Senior minister Botsa Satyanarayana said he suffered badly in Hyderabad during his recent visit due to frequent power outages. "I had to a use generator all through. KTR must have learnt from his friend about our state but I myself experienced how bad it is in Telangana," he claimed. The YSRC leaders invoked the Andhra sentiment and reminded Rama Rao that Telangana had been enjoying the fruits of the contribution of Andhra people in developing Hyderabad.
Newly inducted minister R.K Roja landed in rather an embarrassing situation as she had to respond to Rama Rao’s comments just after her return from Pragati Bhavan where she and her family members called on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and spent emotional moments with his wife Shobha and daughter-MLC K. Kavitha who followed the rituals of applying "kumkum" and presenting a saree.
"I don’t think he referred to AP but if he did it’s a mistake," Roja told the media outside Pragathi Bhavan. "As the new tourism minister I will take Rama Rao around AP to show Jagan Mohan Reddy’s contribution to welfare of people," she said.
BJP national vice-president D.K. Aruna asked Rama Rao to reveal who his friend was, so she could take him to Gadwal, and other Telangana districts and show him the roads, and the power and water supply situation. "Just because this friend has seen how life is around the Kalvakuntla farmhouses, it looks like he believes the rest of Telangana too is living in comfort. Rama Rao is an expert in self-glorification without appearing to do so, but the real situation is known to all the people in Telangana," Aruna said.