There is dissatisfaction but it can be addressed: KT Rama Rao | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

There is dissatisfaction but it can be addressed: KT Rama Rao

By, Hyderabad
Nov 15, 2023 07:08 AM IST

The BRS, the ruling party in Telangana, is facing anti-incumbency and dissatisfaction among voters, according to KT Rama Rao, son of the chief minister.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the ruling party in Telangana, is facing an anti-incumbency on various counts, KT Rama Rao (KTR), son of chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) and minister for IT, Industries, and Commerce, admitted in an interview. Stating that there is disgruntlement and dissatisfaction among voters even in key constituencies, the minister said the party is working to address the concerns of its supporters. Edited Excerpts:

KT Rama Rao

What do you think about the resurgent Congress that is seen smelling victory?

There is no resurgent Congress. Whatever was with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) about six months ago, the anti-BRS vote is probably crystallising towards the Congress. I do not believe in the hypothesis just because leaders have switched parties, the votes will not be transferred to Congress.

There is anti-incumbency in Gajwel and other districts. Your take?

I’m not sure if people will abandon their leader because of a few complaints. If you see the spectrum between anger and annoyance, if people are angry, there is nothing one can do to control it, but if there is annoyance, then it is not something that cannot be addressed. There is some dissatisfaction, some disgruntlement, some complaints and that can surely be addressed.

The guarantees offered by the Congress worked well in Karnataka. What would you say?

In whose name are they guaranteeing the promises? Neither Sonia Gandhi nor Rahul Gandhi have any position in the AlCC. Mallikarjun Kharge is the party president and there is not a single person here in Telangana who can stand guarantee to the promises made. In Karnataka, people voted because they had decided to throw the BJP out three years ago. The Congress just orchestrated their efforts well.

There is much anti-incumbency in the districts and the Telangana hinterland. What do you have to say?

There is anti-incumbency, I won’t deny it. But in a democracy, you will notice that in a system where you have to be the first to pass the post [electoral race], let us remind ourselves of that. The people of both the Telugu states have never been given an indecisive mandate since Independence. I see it no other way this time.

With Congress putting out the Minority Declaration, are you concerned that the minority votes may shift to Congress?

If someone feels that Congress has a grip over the minority, then they are mistaken. People who have enjoyed good governance, irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion, will vote for us. Our reading is that the minority vote will not get transferred to the Congress en bloc, as it did in Karnataka. We have the highest minority welfare budget in our country at 2,200 crore for a population of 5 million, despite being the 5th largest in terms of ranking by minority population.

Your manifesto isn’t too far from the Congress. Your party has aimed for counterplay in the welfare battle with Congress to blunt the effect of the Congress’s six poll guarantees.

The Congress has copied our manifesto. The Congress is going to the lengths of mortgaging the country to win this election. It’s a case of the Congress winning and the country is losing.

We have not matched them word for word. Our current programmes will go on. We have budgeted 35,000 crore per annum for fulfilling the promises that we have made to the people of Telangana.

We’ve seen what has happened to the Kaleswaram project. What impact do you think this will have on the elections?

The timing of the report is suspect. The NDSA report is actually the NDA report constituted by their headquarters in Delhi. Why just point fingers at Kaleshwaram when there were leakages in other projects as well - Nagarjuna Sagar Davaleshwaram, Prakasam barrage, and even in the Farakka project. What happened in Kaleshwaram was an engineering issue, not a design issue. The designs they are calling faulty were approved by the Central Water Commission and the Technical Advisory Committee, which is headed by the Union Water Resources Secretary and the Central Water Resources Chairman. There are small issues in projects and that can happen. Execution was done by L&T and it has issued a statement saying without a single-rupee burden on the exchequer, it will rebuild the whole barrage. The cost of the Medigadda barrage is 1,839 crore.

What are your plans for going national after the state election?

KCR will be the first chief minister to score a hat trick in South India, when we return to power for the third term. Maharashtra will be a good battleground. There are a number of political leaders across the three parties who are in touch with us and we will be contesting the parliamentary election.

Have you made up your mind on joining either of the two alliances - NDA or INDIA?

The country isn’t bi-polar. There are many other fronts. Congress and BJP are larger regional parties. There are 13 parties that are part of neither alliance. Possibly we might be calling the shots tomorrow. The arrogance of the BJP and the Congress is something that we do not subscribe to. There is scope for this national front.

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