Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Tuesday, 21 November, hauled Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over coals for saying “shamelessly” that the Union government had brought down the state’s borrowing eligibility by 0.5 percent for not fitting meters to agriculture pump sets.
Addressing an election rally at Suryapet, the chief minister said: “Nirmala Seetharaman has admitted to lowering the state’s borrowing eligibility because I did not agree to fix meters to agriculture pump sets. As I did not relent, the state had to forego its eligibility to borrow up to ₹25,000 crore,” he contended.
The chief minister said that the people should realise that their vote is very precious and if they cast it in favour of the BJP, it was like throwing it into a sewage drain. He was responding to the Union minister’s statement that Telangana has become debt-ridden under his rule.
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Targeting the Congress
At Wyra in Khammam district, the chief minister once again tried to expose the grey areas of Indiramma Rajyam and wondered why should Telangana pine for the return of the “nightmare”.
“Why should we return to those dark days? It was marked by lawlessness. The poor remained poor without any improvement in their living standards,” the chief minister said.
He said Indiramma Rajyam did not benefit any section of society. The Congress treated the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) as its vote banks.
“If the Congress had done anything for them, the poor would have been far better off than now. We have seen the Emergency days during the rule of Indira Gandhi. In those days, Opposition leaders used to be thrown into jail for speaking against the government. After the creation of the state, we have been implementing schemes for the empowerment of SCs and STs,” he said.
‘Congress will not cross 20’
KCR asked the voters to teach a fitting lesson to those who are spending money on votes which is worth crores of rupees — obviously, with an intention to take a swipe at the Congress candidate in Palair, P Srinivasa Reddy, whose residences and offices were recently searched by the Income Tax (I-T) officials.
Referring to the need for improving irrigation facilities, the chief minister said that the Sitarama Lift Irrigation Scheme, once operational, would convert the district into a shining diamond.
At Madhira, which is represented in the Assembly by Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, the chief minister asked the Congress whether it would be able to come out with a scheme like Dalit Bandhu.
“Under its dispensation, the SCs remained very backward. There used to be no water or electricity,” he said.
He said that this time also, the BRS will come back to power. The Congress tally will not cross 20 seats, he predicted and ridiculed the grand old party for its slogan of “We want a change”.
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‘Make a wise choice’
“If change is necessary, then Bhatti Vikramarka also should be replaced in this constituency reserved for the SCs, isn’t it,” he asked and wanted the people to be wary of the Congress leaders who come in different avatars to mesmerise them with hollow promises.
He promised Dalit Bandhu for the entire constituency if they elect BRS nominee L Kalamlraj. “There is no way Bhatti will win the election and become the chief minister,” he said.
At Dornakal, the chief minister advised the voters to make an informed decision before they exercise their franchise.
“If you make a wrong decision, you will have to suffer for five years,” he said.
The chief minister exhorted the voters to study the antecedents of the candidates and the history of the parties that have fielded them before deciding who to vote.
“You should compare what the Congress had done in its 50 years of rule and what BRS had done in the last decade before you cast your vote,” KCR said.