Hyderabad: TRS working president and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao on Sunday said the Prime Minister’s Office should not have stopped Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao from receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited Bharat Biotech on a stock-taking mission of Covaxin being developed by the city-based pharma major.
“There are no individuals in this case. Both are representatives of a system that has been followed from decades. These traditions are good for the nation. We in Telangana receive the President whenever he or she comes here on a southern sojourn. The Chief Minister and the entire cabinet go to the airport to welcome him or her. We strictly follow the protocol and it is better we continue with these courtesies,” the Minister said, adding that the Chief Minister was, in fact, ready to receive the Prime Minister.
Commenting on the chances of winning GHMC elections, he said that TRS has been able to put up a very effective campaign. “We have presented our work in the last six years after the TRS assumed office in the State and what we will do if voted again. We did not deviate, we didn’t walk into unnecessary arguments, while our opposition, unfortunately, did not have any kind of work to show that they have done for Hyderabad,” he said. He added that the TRS is going to win Langar Houz, Red Hills and Vijaynagar Colony against MIM along with the five seats that the TRS already has in the old city.
He further said the TRS will get close to 100 seats, plus or minus, and will have a woman corporator from the party as Mayor and we also have a deputy Mayor from TRS. “I think our effective presentation, especially our Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s appeal asking voters to bless the developmental model of the TRS will strike a chord with the voters,” he said.
Answering a question on the impact of Dubbak byelections on the GHMC outcome, he said there were 10 or 12 elections since the formation of Telangana and the TRS has won practically every single election. “Barring Dubbak, and the Parliament election where we didn’t achieve the numbers we wanted, we won convincingly with a thumping majority. Remember wherever we won we won with a huge majority. In Huzurnagar, the sitting seat of TPCC chief, we won by 46,000 votes. But when we lost we lost by 500 votes,” Rama Rao said.
On the issue of friendly relations with the All India Majlis e Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), he said the party even supported the BJP on few issues like abrogation of Article 370, demonetisation, President and Vice-President Election, and GST but it can’t be construed as an alliance. “MIM provides us issue-based support.
But we don’t have an alliance with MIM nor did we contest elections together. Do we have a coalition government in Telangana?” he asked.
Commenting on the unprecedented interest the GHMC election has generated and the BJP’s national leadership making a beeline for Hyderabad, he said even the Prime Minister visited the State for the second time in last six years that too two days before GHMC elections. “Voters do understand this, they are not innocent. You will see on the day of counting that the TRS will win with an absolute majority,” he said.
Accepting that world-class infrastructure cannot be made available in a short time of six years, he said that Rome was not built in a day. “They say that there were floods in Hyderabad. I agree, can you show a city that is flood-proof and can tolerate a cloud burst. Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Patna, name a city. TRS jumped into relief mode and assisted lakhs of families,” he said.
When asked about the devolution of funds that the Minister has been talking about frequently, he said Rs 2.72 lakh crore is what Telangana has paid and Rs 1.42 lakh crore is what it got. “I am not a partisan person. I am a proud Indian. I am not asking the Centre to give back what I paid. I know there is defence border security that the government of India has to spend on. I am happy that Telangana is able to contribute to the nation’s development. In fact, five or six States like Telangana take care of backward States including UP. In fact, Yogi must thank us as our contributions help UP to have better roads,” he said.
He said the TRS has remained calm despite provocation by the BJP. “BJP knows only communalism; they try to benefit from portraying Muslims as villains. It is easy to light fire but who will douse the fire. When we fought for Telangana, we said harsh things, but never crossed the line. The BJP talks about surgical strikes. There was pressure on us when we were fighting for Telangana. But we did not succumb to pressure as ours is a responsible party. Imagine if there are communal riots in Hyderabad, will there be investments like the Amazon. Divisive agenda will always hurt progress,” he said.
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