Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday, 17 September, expressed fear that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman might replace Mahatma Gandhi’s image on currency notes with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Taking part in a panel discussion during Dakshin Dialogues 2022 in Hyderabad, he said he feared such a development, going by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s obsession to have Modi’s pictures everywhere.
He recalled Sitharaman confronting a district collector at a fair price shop recently and asking him why a picture of Modi was not displayed there since the Central government’s share was there in the subsidy of the rice being distributed to the beneficiaries.
Both he and his party, the TRS, had been quick to respond to that.
On his part, KTR posted a comparison of how much Telangana gets back for every rupee it controbutes to the Centre, and quipped: “Madam, time to put up a banner: ‘Thanks to Telangana’ in all BJP states at PDS shops. [sic]”
And TRS social media convenor Krishank complied with the Union minister’s request by sharing a video with the prime minister’s photo pasted on gas cylinders, whose prices have been constantly rising.
Meanwhile, KTR on Saturday asked whether Modi, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, had the then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s picture put up in ration shops.
He said the federal structure of the country was under threat as the current dispensation at the Centre was acting more like the days when the chorus used to be “India is Indira”, and it was disturbingly more forceful now.
“We need to draw a clear line between the responsibilities of the state and the Centre. Why should the centre deposit NREGA funds directly into the accounts of the workers instead of transferring them to the state?” he asked, wondering what kind of federal policy this was.
Link to the livestream of the inaugural Dakshin Dialogues event held by South First: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-AEKnYA704
Link to all the videos from the event: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbZMvW807JWuNBOcYK5c91w/videos
Link to the news reports from the event: https://www.thesouthfirst.com/category/dakshin-dialogues/