Kosigi/ Khammam (Telangana): The TRS is the “B team” of Sangh Parivar and the BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Wednesday and claimed the aim of K Chandrasekhar Rao’s party and the AIMIM is to ensure that his party is not able to defeat the BJP at the national level.
Sharing dais with TDP boss and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the first time after forging a four-party alliance, he told a poll rally in Telangana’s Khammam that all promises made at the time of the bifurcation of AP would be fulfilled after a coalition of anti-BJP parties comes to power at the Centre.
The Congress president described the Khammam rally, also attended by its other alliance partners for the Telangana elections – CPI and Telangana Jana Samiti – as “historic” in state and national politics.
“First we will fight against Narendra Modi’s B team (the TRS) and after that we will beat the A team (the BJP-led NDA),” he asserted.
“The name of TRS is not Telangana Rashtra Samiti, it’s Telangana Rastriya Sangh Parivar. TRS is the B team of Sangh Parivar and the BJP. Don’t forget this,” he told an election rally at Kosigi in Mahabubnagar district, accusing TRS of being in cahoots with the saffron party.
“Modi would not have indulged in anti-dalit, anti-adivasi and anti-minority activities had the Telangana chief minister not supported him. When we were fighting Modi on note ban, Land Acquisition Bill and saving farmers lands, TRS was supporting Modi, RSS and Sangh Parivar in Parliament,” he said.
Gandhi said whether it was the TRS or Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, their aim was to see to it that the Congress was not able to defeat the BJP at the national level. “Both TRS and AIMIM want Narendra Modi to win elections again,” he claimed.
Naidu said it was a “historic necessity” for all anti-BJP parties to align and fight against the NDA government, which, he alleged, was destroying institutions like the RBI, Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI.
He said he will convene a meeting of all non-NDA parties on 10 December to further explore the possibility of forging a broad-based front against the BJP and its allies. He asked people not to vote for the TRS or AIMIM as it would ultimately benefit the BJP.
Rahul rubbished TRS’s allegation that he was an obstacle in Telangana’s growth when he helmed the undivided state of AP. Naidu, who also held a road show in Hyderabad with Gandhi, asked people to be careful about “manipulation” of EVMs during the polling.
Addressing the rally in Khammam earlier, Gandhi said if the TRS stands for the welfare of the people of Telangana, it should not support BJP. Referring to Modi’s remark at a public meeting in Nizamabad on 27 November that the Congress and TRS are “two sides of a coin,” Gandhi wondered why then Rao and his party never criticised the Rafale deal and supported issues raised by the Congress.
“Modi promised two crore jobs to youth. KCR (Rao) promised one lakh jobs. I want to ask you how many jobs both gave,” he said. The Congress leader exuded confidence that his party will defeat the TRS in Telangana and BJP in the Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh polls.
He alleged while every citizen of Telangana has a debt burden of Rs 60,000, the income of K T Rama Rao, son of TRS chief and a minister in the caretaker government, grew by 400 per cent in the last four years.
Rao promoted “family rule”, Gandhi said, claiming the TRS leader “destroyed the dreams” of Telangana. “When Telangana was formed, the state had Rs 17,000 crore surplus. Today, it has a Rs 2 lakh crore debt. Every family bears a Rs 2 lakh debt and every person carries a debt burden of Rs 60,000 on his head. But KCRs sons income grew by 400 per cent,” he said.
Listing out his party’s poll promises, Gandhi said if voted to power, the alliance government will waive farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh in one stroke unlike the TRS dispensation which did it in four instalments.
He also said a monthly allowance of Rs 3,000 will be provided to every unemployed youth and Rs 1 lakh grant to each self-help group. “The TRS government failed to put pressure on Modi to ensure that promises made during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh were fulfilled. After coming into power, we will fulfil all those promises, whether it is setting up of Bayyaram steel factory, rail coach factory, or a tribal university for Telangana, or special category status for AP,” he told the rally in Khammam.
He alleged that by redesigning and renaming Kaleshwaram irrigation project, Rao saddled the people of Telangana with a burden of Rs 40,000 crore. The originally designed Pranathita-Chevella lift irrigation project was to cost about Rs 38,500 crore.
After it was redesigned, re-engineered, and renamed as Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, the estimated cost went up to Rs 80,500 crore. Gandhi and Naidu later addressed a joint meeting in Hyderabad where he raked up the issues of judge Loya’s death, Rafale deal and the “mess” in the CBI besides accusing Modi of trying to “break” the country’s unity and divide the people on the lines of community, region and religion.
Meanwhile, the BJP slammed the alliance between the Congress and TDP after decades of rivalry. “NTR fought Indira Gandhi to save Telugu pride. Chandrababu Naidu has surrendered it to Rahul Gandhi to save tainted colleagues CM Ramesh and Y S Chowdary facing IT and ED fraud cases,” BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao tweeted. “This selfish United Looters Alliance (ULA) will be rejected by the people,” he said.