Seeking to consolidate the gains made when he addressed his first public meeting in Maharashtra, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday, 26 March, announced that the BRS would contest local-body election in the neighbouring state.
Addressing a huge public meeting at Kandhar-Loha in the Nanded district of Maharashtra, the chief minister said, “Let us fight the upcoming zilla parishad elections. Let us prove the power of the pink flag. The BRS flag should fly high on every zilla parishad in Maharashtra.”
This was KCR’s third major public meeting and the second one in Maharashtra since he turned the TRS into the BRS. The first meeting was in Khammam in Telangana.
The BRS is currently a regional party, but is aspiring to grow to the level of a national party, for which it will have to satisfy some specific conditions at the national or state levels.
One of them is that it has to be recognised as a state party in at least four states.
Live: BRS President, CM Sri K. Chandrashekar Rao speaking in a public meeting at Kandhar Loha, Maharashtra. https://t.co/cuKYRi0R22
— BRS Party (@BRSparty) March 26, 2023
Also read: Telangana CM calls for ‘kisan’ government at BRS public meeting
‘Abki bar kisan sarkar’
The chief minister, while addressing Loha farmers, dwelt mostly on issues pertaining to agriculture and how it could be made more profitable to them, as it had happened in Telangana.
He called upon them to elect the BRS to power in the Centre for better days for the farmers, and said that was the reason why his party had “abki bar Kisan sarkar” as its slogan.
He predicted that there would soon be a farmers’ cyclone in the country. “No one can stop this cyclone,” he said.
KCR also said that his first visit to Maharashtra made the Centre sit up and announce ₹6,000 per acre as crop investment subsidy.
“Let us fight until the government pays ₹10,000 per acre, as we are doing in Telangana,” he said in an attempt to galvanise the farmers into action against the Central government.
Also read: Here is what it takes to be recognised as a national party
‘Fasal bima yojna is a sham’
He said the Central government’s crop insurance scheme — Fasal Bima Yojana — was a sham.
“Did any of you get Fasal Bima money into your accounts?” he asked, emphasising the point that if their problems were to end, they would have to fight for what was rightfully theirs by joining hands with the BRS.
The chief minister moderated his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a great extent and chose to speak only on the pain points of the policies that were in implementation across the country. He steered clear of making any personal attack on Modi.
He blamed both the Congress and the BJP for the plight that the country was in.
“While arriving by flight, I saw most of the lands in your area had completely dried up as there seemed to be no water. The irony is the country has enough water, but the rulers do not know how to get it to the farmers.
Also read: Former Odisha CM Giridhar Gamang and others join BRS
KCR touts Telangana development
The BRS chief sought to hard-sell the Telangana model of development, narrating the welfare and development schemes taken up in his state.
“We have schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bima, round-the-clock power supply, irrigation facility to large tracts of farmlands, and finally Dalit Bandhu, which is intended to empower Dalits,” he said.
“When Telangana was formed, farmers in our state were no better off than you. In fact, their condition was much worse. By hard work and commitment, we have brought in schemes that made agriculture an attractive avocation,” he said.
“Farmers in Telangana are very happy now. When Telangana could implement such schemes, why not Marahashtra, which has a bigger budget than Telangana?” he asked.
He took a swipe at Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for asking him to confine himself to Telangana.
“If you do for your people what the BRS government is doing in Telangana, then there is no need for me to visit Maharashtra. If you don’t, no force can stop me from entering your state and fighting for the interests of the farmers,” he said in an apparent jibe at the BJP leader.
‘Maharashtra yearns for development’
He reminded Fadnavis that the people in Maharashtra were yearning for schemes like those in Telangana.
“I am getting requests from several parts of your state to address public meetings in their areas,” he said.
The only broadside that KCR had against Modi was that the prime minister was used to impressing farmers with sweet words on the eve of elections, like in Punjab and UP, and forgetting about them after that.
He asked the farmers to realise that no one was bothered about how to use the natural resources available in the country for the benefit of the people.
“We have 360 billion tonnes of coal, and yet there is a shortage in power supply. We are allowing 50,000 tmcft of water to flow into the ocean, knowing fully well that farmers are crying for water for their crops. The Krishna and Godavari rivers originate from your state, and yet your fields look barren. Why?” he asked.
Earlier, several Maharashtra leaders joined the BRS in his presence. They included former MLA and NCP leader Shankar Rao Dhondge.