Political row erupts as Telangana CM skips PM Modi event
Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao was conspicuous by his absence during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of Hyderabad on Saturday, triggering criticism from opposition parties in the state.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the golden jubilee celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) campus in Patancheru in the afternoon. He later unveiled the Statue of Equality, a 216-foot statue of 11th century Vaishnavaite saint Sri Ramanujacharya at Sriramanagaram, the ashram of Chinna Jeeyar Swamy at Muchintal, on the outskirts of the city.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly called, was not present at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad, to receive Modi, who landed at 2.15 pm. Instead, he deputed state minister for animal husbandry, fisheries, dairy development and cinematography Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who was nominated as the minister-in waiting, to receive and see off the Prime Minister on his arrival and departure.
Though it was expected that the chief minister might attend the functions at ICRISAT and Jeeyar Ashram, he did not turn up at any of the events.
There was no official communication from the chief minister’s office on KCR’s absence, but an official at Pragati Bhavan, the CM’s camp office, said he was indisposed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said KCR had deliberately resorted to a breach of protocol by staying away from Modi’s visit. “It is very evident that the chief minister does not want to show his face to the Prime Minister, after hurling choicest abuses at the latter at his recent press conference,” Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay told reporters, alleging that KCR had insulted the Prime Minister, which was insulting the entire nation.
The official Twitter handle of the party’s Telangana unit said that “violating protocol stoops is such idiotic and shameful act of KCR”.
The Congress too criticised KCR for not being present to receive Modi. Party spokesperson Dasoju Sravan said the chief minister’s decision was discourteous.
“KCR wants to display his utter animosity towards the BJP and Modi by skipping the programmes. But being the chief minister of the state, he should have followed the protocol, when the Prime Minister visits the state. His absence is very disgraceful,” Sravan said.
The ruling TRS chose to maintain silence on the issue, but claimed Modi had not displayed “equality for Telangana,” while inaugurating the Statue of Equality, and questioned why Telangana was ignored when it came to allocations of funds or national status to its projects.
“When the Union government could allocate national status to Karnataka’s Upper Bhadra project, why couldn’t they allocate national status to the Palamuru Rangareddy project?” asked state tourism minister V Srinivas Goud.
“Sir, what does the Union Govt do with all the letters and representations given by Telangana Ministers? Very curious to know. There is no reply to our requests, at least answer this sir. #EqualityForTelangana,” state minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao wrote on Twitter
Whatever Telangana has achieved till date was because of KCR’s “visionary leadership”, Chevella member of Parliament and TRS leader G Ranjit Reddy said.
“Why so unwilling to support a progressive State like Telangana? I demand #EqualityForTelangana,” he tweeted.