Mounting a blistering attack on Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the prime minister and the ruling BJP of posing a threat to the country, claiming that they “spread hatred and anger”.
Reacting to Gandhi’s remarks, BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao said, “It is the Congress that has resorted to caste and communal politics. The BJP has spoken on issues of development and people’s welfare. The Congress, in its desperation to come back to the electoral race, has been appealing to caste and communal considerations.”
Addressing rallies in poll-bound Telangana, Gandhi also lambasted caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, calling him “Khao Commission Rao” for alleged corruption and accusing his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) of being “the B Team” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Wherever I go, I speak against Narendra Modi, because I know there is a threat to the country from Modi and the BJP. They spread hatred and anger,” he said at a rally in Tandur.
The Congress, he asserted, would stand up to it, continue to fight against it and never compromise.
“…in 2019 (Lok Sabha polls), we will see to it that the BJP is defeated and Modi is removed,” Gandhi added.
Hitting out at Rao, who is popularly called KCR, he asked the TRS chief why he supported the BJP and wanted to become the “B team” of the saffron party.
“You (KCR) have done so much of corruption that your name is changed. Today, your name KCR stands for ‘Khao Commission Rao’.
“Because of this, Modi ran Telangana through a remote control. The fact is that due to your (KCR) corruption, you are not able to stand up to Modi,” Gandhi said.
The Congress chief said in every speech, the prime minister attacked him, made fun of him, talked about his family, but never criticised KCR, adding that the real name of KCR’s party (TRS) was “T-RSS”.
The TRS and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) were actually the “B” and “C” teams of the BJP, he alleged.
Modi and the TRS had struck a “partnership” to ensure the continuation of the BJP and TRS rule at the Centre and in the state respectively, Gandhi said.
“In this election, we will break this partnership. We will defeat the TRS and the AIMIM,” he said at a rally in Gadwal.
“The aim of the TRS is to ensure that Modi remains the prime minister, the BJP continues to rule the country and KCR rules in Telangana,” Gandhi said.
In the last four-and-a-half years, KCR had supported the Modi government on various occasions, he said, referring to the TRS backing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominees in the presidential and vice-presidential elections.
Besides, Rao had also praised demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) “under pressure”, the Congress chief claimed.
“You have to remember that there is a partnership between the TRS and Modi and they are working together,” he said, adding, “We will ensure the defeat of the TRS in Telangana and Modi’s BJP in Delhi (in the 2019 Lok Sabha election).”
Gandhi also accused KCR of redesigning the Rs 10,000-crore Palamuru-Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme into a Rs 60,000-crore project to benefit his friends and family, adding that the people of the state did not get water.
“Thousands of crores of rupees went to his contractor friends and his family,” he alleged.
“KCR has been redesigning one project after another in the last five years and the people have given him a new name…every child knows his new name. It is Khao Commission Rao,” the Congress chief alleged.
When the state was formed five years ago, people had a dream of a new Telangana and a brighter future — of “neelu” (water), “nidhulu” (funds) and “niyamakalu” (appointments) and of a “Bangaru Telangana” (Golden Telangana) — he said.
“KCR became the chief minister and only one family ruled the state….your dreams were shattered. KCR betrayed you on (the promise of) water,” he said, adding that under the TRS rule, the dream of a “Golden Telangana” had led to a “golden kutumbam” (golden family).
The Congress is contesting the Telangana Assembly polls, leading a four-party People’s Front, while the TRS and the BJP are going it alone.
The 119-member Telangana Assembly will go to polls on December 7 and the results will be announced on December 11.