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Telangana assembly elections 2018: Rahul Gandhi, Chandrababu Naidu keep up offensive against BJP, TRS

Telangana assembly elections 2018: In joint rallies, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu attack BJP and TRS, and vow to restore adivasi rights in forest areas

telangana elections Updated: Nov 29, 2018 23:35 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Telangana Election 2018,Telangana Polls 2018,Telangana Election 2018 News
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his ally, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, kept up their attack on the TRS and BJP as campaigning in Telangana shifted into high gear ahead of the December 7 assembly elections. (AFP)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his ally, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu, kept up their attack on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as campaigning in Telangana shifted into high gear ahead of the December 7 assembly elections.

Speaking in Bhupalpalli town in Jayashankar Bhupalpalli district, Gandhi vowed to restore tribal rights in forest areas and blamed the TRS for trampling on tribespeoples’ rights. “During the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime, we brought in tribal land act, according to which adivasis would get all the rights over the forest resources – Jal, Jungle and Zameen (water, forest and land). But the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the TRS government in the state completely ignored this act and denied the legitimate rights to the adivasis,” he alleged.

The Congress president promised that the Congress party, if voted to power, would give land deeds to tribespeople engaged in cultivation in forest areas so that they would get permanent rights over the land. He also promised a tribal university in the district.

Read more: Vote share in 2014

Referring to the plight of coal mine workers, Gandhi said chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has cheated coal mine workers, who had actively participated in the movement for separate Telangana state.

“He made several tall promises to come to the rescue of coal mine workers, including provision of jobs to kin of the medically invalidated workers. But he had never implemented the same,” he alleged.

Gandhi and Naidu addressed a series of joint rallies on Wednesday as part of the campaign on behalf of their grand alliance, or Maha Kootami, which comprises two other parties, the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi, and is fighting the TRS and the BJP. On Thursday, they addressed separate rallies.

At a roadshow in Serilingampalli on Thursday, Naidu accused the Narendra Modi government of crushing freedom of expression and spreading hatred among the people.

Read more: Win map of 2014

“Modi is a brand ambassador for negativity, hatred and fear. People are afraid of even speaking over mobile phones, as his government targets anybody who raises his voice against it. We have not seen this kind of witch-hunting during the Congress regimes, which we had fought with for several decades,” Naidu said.

He said there was no development, no freedom and no happiness in the country in the last four years of Modi government. “The people of the country will sleep happily only after May 2019 when the NDA is going to step down,” he said.

Asked who the prime ministerial candidate of a national opposition alliance would be, Naidu said it was not the time to talk about it. “As a matter of fact, anybody can be a better Prime Minister than Modi,” he said.

K Chandrasekhar Rao said the Congress and TDP leaders were acting blind and was refusing to witness the tremendous development the state had achieved. Telangana BJP spokesman Krishna Sagar Rao said the PM had done nothing in the last four years that could be considered betrayal of people’s mandate.

For full coverage on Telangana assembly elections, click here

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 23:29 IST