New Delhi: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Bharatiya Janata Party have a secret partnership, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Monday as he urged people to expose the tie-up and vote them out in the upcoming assembly elections.
Addressing a jam-packed rally in Gadwal ahead of the polls on December 7, Gandhi said there were only two fronts in the country at present with different political ideologies: a pro-BJP group and an anti-BJP group comprising Congress and other like-minded parties.
"In Telangana, too, there are only two group - Telangana Rashtra Samithi and People's Front. And the TRS has a secret understanding with the BJP and both of them are working together," he alleged.
He reminded that the TRS had supported the Modi government at the Centre on several occasions, including during the passage of goods and services tax (GST) bill, demonetisation and election of President and vice-president.
"KCR has never criticised Modi directly in any speech. He is functioning under the remote control of Modi only with a fear that if he opposed Modi, his corrupt practices would get exposed. That is why the TRS has transformed into Telangana RSS," he alleged.
Earlier in the day, Gandhi had tweeted a new name for the party led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is popularly called KCR, and called it Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Telangana Rubber Stamp.
"Great people of Telangana, Modi, KCR & Owaisi are one. They speak in twisted tongues. Do not be fooled by them!" Gandhi had tweeted. "TRS is the BJP's "B" team & KCR operates as Mr Modi's, Telangana Rubber Stamp. Owaisi's, AIMIM is the BJP's "C" team, whose role is to split the anti BJP/ KCR vote," he said. On November 28, Gandhi had called the TRS the "B team" of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP. "The TRS is not Telangana Rashtra Samiti, it's Telangana Rashtriya Sangh Parivar. It's a B team of the RSS and BJP," he told an election rally in Kosgi. Gandhi alleged at another public rally in Tandur that the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, once friendly with the TRS in Telangana, was also an indirect supporter of Prime Minister Modi. He pointed out that the MIM had fielded its candidates in Maharashtra and Assam assembly elections only to split the Congress votes and benefit the BJP.
"If TRS is Team B of the BJP, MIM is nothing but Team C. Their only ambition is to make Modi the Prime Minister again while retaining power in the state. But, we shall defeat Team B and Team C in the present assembly elections and Team A in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections," he asserted.
Refuting the allegations, Owaisi said it was the Congress which had colluded with the BJP to defeat the TRS in some constituencies in Hyderabad by fielding weak candidates. "We are supporting the TRS because the Congress has lost the faith of Muslims. How can we forget the fact that the Congress government had got my brother arrested in the past?" he asked.
Gandhi also pointed out that the TRS government had promised to make the newest state a "Bangaru Telangana" (Golden Telangana), but it had only made KCR's family a Bangaru Kutumbam (Golden Family).
"Telangana, which had a revenue surplus of Rs 17,000 crore when it was formed, is now reeling under severe debts to the extent of Rs 2 lakh crore. Each family is now facing a debt burden of Rs 1.50 lakh, while the wealth of KCR family increased by 400%," he said. He alleged that massive corruption had taken place in the construction of irrigation projects as the KCR government had escalated the projects costs abnormally in the name of redesigning.
"For instance, the cost of Palamur-Ranga Reddy Lift Scheme which was estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crore originally, went up to Rs 60,000 crore, thanks to the looting of money by KCR's family through commissions. The Congress, if voted to power in the elections, shall complete the project without any additional cost," he said. The Congress president said the Telangana chief minister betrayed all sections of people by not implementing the promises he had made before the last elections. "The unemployed youth were ditched as the government did not fill vacant jobs. Farmers did not get remunerative prices for their produce. When chill farmers agitated for remunerative prices, he got them hand-cuffed and jailed," he said. Gandhi assured that if Congress was voted to power, it would waive crop loans of all farmers to the extent of Rs 1 lakh. "When Modi can waive Rs 3.50 lakh crore bank loans of just five individuals, why can't we waive crop loans of farmers?" he asked. KCR denied the allegations levelled by the Congress president during his campaign rally in Nalgonda.
"Rahul Gandhi says the TRS is Team B of the BJP. When Modi comes here, he says the TRS is a by-product of the Congress. I am not anybody's agent. I am the agent of my people," he said. The TRS government in Telangana had barely finished four years of its term when KCR dissolved the assembly opting for elections over a year ahead of schedule. The Congress has partnered with the TDP, which rules neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and which was till March this year an ally of the BJP. The Congress has also joined hands with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the newly-formed Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) to take on the TRS and the BJP in the state. The TRS and BJP are contesting the assembly polls separately.