Telangana assembly election: Must unseat KCR now, Modi in 2019, says Rahul at Telangana rally with Naidu
Setting the stage for formation of a grand alliance of anti-BJP parties at the national level, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu came together on the dais today to kick-start their joint campaign for the December 7 Telangana assembly elections with a massive public meeting at Khammam.
Burying their three-and-a half decades old political rivalry, both parties have joined hands along with two other parties – Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samithi – to form a Praja Kootami (People’s Front) to take on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) headed by K Chandrasekhar Rao in the assembly elections.
While Naidu described the alliance of opposition parties as a historic necessity, Gandhi said the alliance was not just for Telangana elections, but a beginning of a massive movement that would decide the future of the country.
He said while Narendra Modi government at the Centre had systematically ruined all constitutional institutions including Supreme Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Reserve Bank of India and the Election Commission, the TRS government in Telangana had made miserable the lives of every section of the people including farmers, youth, women and students.
“So, there is an urgent need to bring down these two governments. First, we shall defeat the TRS, which is nothing but a Team B of Narendra Modi, in the coming assembly elections and then march ahead to pull down the Team A,” Gandhi added.
Dismissing Prime Minister Modi’s claims that the TRS was a byproduct of the Congress, he alleged that it was in fact a secret ally of the BJP, citing how it supported the Modi government on demonetization, GST, the President and Vice-President’s election and even during the no-confidence motion against the NDA government.
“This is despite the fact that the Modi government had failed to implement the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, which had made certain assurances to both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The people must question him why KCR had supported the NDA government,” Gandhi asked.
The Congress president alleged that the KCR government had completely ignored the promises he had made before 2014 assembly elections. “Instead, he and his family looted public money in the name of redesigning of irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram. He pushed the state into debt trap by resorting to borrowings to the tune of Rs 2 lakh crore. Farmers continued to commit suicides, while unemployed youth are still agitating for jobs,” he said.
Earlier, Naidu said the TDP and the Congress had been enemies for several decades, but they were compelled to join hands only for the sake of people. He alleged that the Modi government had failed miserably on all fronts and had become a threat to democracy in the country.
He said the TDP was founded to uphold the dignity and self-respect of the Telugu people. “Having developed Telangana in various fields in my earlier regime, I strongly wished that the Telugu people should remain united despite geographically divided into two states, I have no interest whatsoever in ruling Telangana,” he said.
The AP chief minister refuted the allegation levelled by the TRS leaders that the TDP had been conspiring to stall irrigation projects in Telangana. “In fact, several irrigation projects took shape during my regime. As a lower riparian state, I cannot stall any projects upstream. I only wanted that both the states should go by the Godavari and Krishna water tribunal recommendations, so that it would benefit people on either side,” he said, signing off his speech with “Jai Telangana” slogan.
‘TRS is Telangana Rashtriya Sangh Parivar’
Earlier, addressing a Congress rally at Kodangal, the Congress president described the TRS as Telangana Rashtriya Sangh Parivar, which had supported the BJP-led NDA in Parliament on various occasions.
“When I confronted TRS MPs in Parliament and asked them why they had supported the bills introduced by BJP, they said KCR had asked them to do so. I want to know why KCR never said anything about Rafael deal, attacks on minorities and the weaker sections,” he asked.
Gandhi said he saw a wind of change in Telangana and said that the current wave will decimate the TRS. “This time the People‘s Front will come into power in Telangana,” he said. He assured voters particularly the migrant labour, that the Congress led alliance will full the dreams of those who fought for Telangana.