With voting for the Telangana elections just over a month away, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi has made regional pride the centerpiece of its campaign amid bouts of corruption and dynastic politics from the BJP and Congress. Party working president KT Rama Rao, who had said that Andhra landlords were the villains during the last elections, has trained his guns on the ghulams (servants) of Gujarat and Delhi duration (courtiers) this time.
In an exclusive interview with NDTV on Friday, Mr Rao also denied allegations by both the BJP and Congress that his party is siding with the other and said the BRS is no one’s B-team but Telangana’s A-team.
“The entire Telangana statehood movement was based on two things: self-respect and pride. The Prime Minister comes to Hyderabad and says one Gujarati (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) has rescued you from the clutches of the Nizam and another Gujarati (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) will rescue you from the dictatorial rule of KCR (Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao),” said Mr. Rao, who is also KCR’s son.
‘We also need to appeal to pride and we also need to remind people that the ghulams of Gujarat here in Telangana – the BJP people – have not done much in the last nine and a half years and we need to talk about their track record too. Same is the case with Delhi duration. Rahul baba comes here and starts saying things like family rule and dynasty, which should probably be the joke of the millennium,” he added.
Mr. Rao, who is a minister whose responsibilities include information technology, said people from Gujarat and Delhi do not do their homework before coming to Telangana and he and his party should remind them from time to time that the state of Telangana agitation was a matter of great self-respect. “One of the main principles of that movement was pride, and you can’t come and insult us like that,” he said.
Asked about election-related seizures in Telangana worth Rs 243 crore in just ten days, Mr Rao blamed the Congress and said money was seized from one of his former corporations in Bengaluru. When it was pointed out that the seizure took place in Karnataka, he said that many people have common affairs in Karnataka and Telangana.
“A few builders have told me that the Karnataka government has started charging an additional election tax – Rs 500 per square meter – and they are directly telling the builders that the money is being used to support and fund the Congress party in the elections in Telangana. is where the money is collected, the carrot,” he claimed.
To a question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that KCR had bankrolled the Karnataka Congress campaign and that the Congress is now returning the favour, Mr Rao said: “The Prime Minister is very good at writing these brilliant stories and brilliant stories. Unfortunately, none of them I see the light of day. He is the same man who promised bullet trains by 2022, a five trillion dollar economy by 2022 and doubling of farmers’ income by 2022. I’m not even going to refer to the Rs 15-lakh jumla.”
“So the fact is that whatever the Prime Minister or Rahul Gandhi would like to believe, we are neither the B-team of the Congress nor the BJP, we are the A-team of the people of Telangana and we will remain so. staunchly neutral and equidistant from both the Congress and the BJP. This bipolar situation that they want to create, that this country has to rely on the BJP or the Congress, is not something that we support. We certainly do not endorse their position. or ideology,” he claimed.
The BRS, formerly known as the Telanagana Rashtra Samithi, has been ruling Telangana since the state was formed in 2014. The Assembly elections will be held on November 30 and the counting will take place on December 3.