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There is no alternative to KCR in Telangana: KTR

There is no alternative to KCR in Telangana: KTR

Hyderabad: Unfazed by the claims of a Congress wave in Telangana, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama Rao remains confident of his party scoring a hat-trick.

He believes there is no reason why people will not support a performing government, which has done so well in the last two terms to make Telangana a trailblazer state for the entire country.

In an interview with Madhyamam, the dynamic leader of BRS has challenged both Congress and BJP to show one state ruled by them which is performing better than Telangana on any of the parameters ranging from per capita income to power supply and from agriculture to welfare.

Excerpts from the interview

Q: Now that only a few days left for the elections, how do you see the prospects of your party? How different this election is from 2014 and 2018.

I am fully confident that we will come back to power for a third consecutive term and our leader KCR will set a record as the only chief minister in the south to score a hat-trick.

BRS will get a fresh mandate based on our performance and the confidence people have in KCR’s leadership.

In the previous election, we won 88 seats (in the 119-member Assembly). This time, I am pretty sure we will cross that mark. We will get more seats than we won the last time.

The 2014 election was all about a new state being formed, the euphoria of a new state and basically about who should lead. There was a lot of confusion till the last minute. The 2018 election was all about performance and now 2023 is a continuation of good work. It was emotion, then performance and now continuity

I believe that there is no reason why people will reject a performing government. I am confident people want a performing government to continue and do well.

Q; Do you agree that there is anti-incumbency as you have been in power for two terms and also who is your main opponent?

Our government has done well in the last nine or nine-and-half years. It ensured the all-round development, progress and welfare of all sections despite the fact that we lost two years due to the Covid pandemic and also despite the fact that we have an inimical government at the Centre.

People may have some grievances against sitting MLAs in a few constituencies but if you see the overall picture there is no issue because of which people should be unhappy with our government.

In fact, there is no alternative to KCR in state politics. People believe that only KCR can lead the state on the path of progress. The rival parties are politically bankrupt. The Congress, which is our main opponent, had no candidates in 40 constituencies and they had to import leaders from other parties.

BJP had given up even before the battle began. Last time its candidates lost deposits in 105 seats and this time they will forfeit deposits in 110 segments. Last time, BJP got one seat and this time even one seat looks doubtful. The BJP is not at all in the race. The fight is between BRS and Congress and people know the history and track record of Congress. They are not ready to trust Congress.

Q: Congress leaders claim that there is a Congress wave in the state and they have even announced that their chief minister will take oath on December 9?

If you remember, they had made similar claims in 2018 but what happened? They got only 19 seats. Despite all the tall claims, this time too they will not cross 20 seats. They have chief ministers but no voters.

The Congress party has been a disaster for this country. People in Telangana have seen their 55-year- rule and they have also seen the BRS government after the formation of Telangana state. I challenge both Congress and BJP to show one state which is doing better than Telangana in any of the parameters.

From 2004 to 2014, the Congress government recruited 24,000 employees in government departments in united Andhra Pradesh while we have recruited 1.30 lakh in Telangana alone during the last nine years.

In the 55-year rule of Congress, only three medical colleges were set up in the state but we have established 33 medical colleges in a short span of nine years.

Take the power sector. During the last six decades, the capacity was only 7,700 MW. We have increased it to 24,000 MW. Telangana is the only state providing 24-hour free power to farmers. See the situation in neighbouring Karnataka. The government there is unable to give power to farmers even for five hours a day. That’s why we are asking people in Telangana whether they want the current or Congress.

Telangana is the only state which is supplying drinking water supply to every household through taps. It is procuring all the food grains grown by farmers. Which Congress or BJP-ruled state is doing this?

If performance is a criterion, they are no competition to us, whether in health, education, irrigation, agriculture, power or drinking water.

Telangana is also number one in the country in per capita budget allocation for minorities. The highest minority population in the country is in Uttar Pradesh, four crores. The budget for minorities there is Rs. 1,782 crores. With 2.5 crore population, West Bengal has the second-highest concentration of minorities. Their budget is Rs. 2,100 crores. Maharashtra has 1.40 crore minorities and the budget is only Rs. 674 crore. Karnataka has 90 lakh minority population and the budget is Rs.2000 crore. Telangana has only 50 lakh minority population but we are allocating Rs. 2,200 crores.

Q: Congress calls BRS B team of BJP. What do you say about this?

Leaders of the Congress party which shared power with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra till recently and which is still officially in alliance with Shiv Sena come here to talk about secular values. Shiv Sena openly says they are a Hindutva party.

BJP and Congress till recently were in the same government in Meghalaya. In a couple of municipalities in Telangana, they are sharing power. They are direct partners.

If we were a B team of the BJP, why would we set up over 200 residential schools for minorities and allocate the highest minority welfare budget in the country?

We are not a B or C team of anybody. We are A team of people of Telangana. It’s Congress, which is the C team ‘Chor’ team. They are the biggest ‘chor’ with A to Z scams to their name.

Q: Both Congress and BJP accuse your party of promoting family rule and of corruption.

Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi may differ on all issues but they are in agreement when it comes to targeting BRS. Both are saying we are a family party and we are corrupt. That’s why I say they are partners.

Since they can’t compete with us in performance, they make baseless allegations. They also say KCR wants to make KTR the chief minister.

Q: Will you not become the chief minister if BRS retains power and KCR moves to the Centre to play a role in national politics?

KCR is our leader and he will become the chief minister for a third term. There is no second opinion on this. We will see what happens after that.

Q: It’s almost a year since you changed the name of TRS to BRS to expand the party in other states. Do you have plans to contest Lok Sabha elections in other states?

We have the plans but right now we are focused on the Telangana elections. After we return to power in Telangana, we will play the next ball.

Q: In the byelection for the Munugode constituency last year, the Left parties had supported BRS to defeat BJP. Why are you not having an alliance with them now?

We held talks with the Left parties. We respect them and wanted to work with them but unfortunately, we could not reach an agreement for an electoral alliance. As we could not leave seats for them, we offered them some indirect opportunities but they were not interested. We made a genuine effort but it did not happen.

They are fighting the BJP and we are also fighting the BJP. We remain committed to what we had said in the Munugode by-election. We will make all efforts to ensure that a party like BJP does not come to power again at the Centre. There is no compromise in fighting the BJP because it is this party and its nonsense politics which is responsible for the current situation in the country. We have come to such a pass that a Muslim MP was called a terrorist by a BJ MP in the Parliament and no action was taken by the Speaker.

We all have the responsibility to check the BJP’s politics of hate and we will discuss how to move forward on this after winning the Telangana Assembly elections.

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TAGS:KCRKTRBharat Rashtra SamithiTelangana governmentBRS. T. Rama Rao
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