Continuing his years-long absence from the public meetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao did not receive the prime minister and attend the latter’s public meeting in Mahabubnagar on Sunday, 1 October. Rao’s latest absence was at the public meeting of Modi in Warangal on 8 July.
Even as the Telangana election is drawing near, the chief minister sent state minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav to represent him and take part in the event.
Modi is visiting Telangana on Sunday afternoon, during which he will inaugurate several development projects valued at over ₹13,500 crore.
Additionally, the prime minister is expected to address the public gathering at the “Palamuru Praja Garjana” on Sunday.
Projects worth ₹13,500 crore
“Around 2.15 pm, the prime minister will reach the Mahabubnagar district, where he will dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation stone of multiple developmental projects worth more than ₹13,500 crore, in important sectors like road, rail, petroleum and natural gas and higher education. During the programme, the prime minister will also flag off a train service through video conferencing,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said before his visit.
On Saturday, Union Tourism Minister and Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy criticised Chandrashekar Rao for his alleged avoidance of the prime minister’s events, where significant announcements on developmental projects are made.
The prime minister’s address was anticipated to focus on the developmental achievements that have occurred in the country over the past nine years under the NDA government.
The prime minister landed at the RGI Airport in Shamshabad at 1.30 pm. He attended the laying of foundation stones for several developmental projects from 2.05 pm to 2.50 pm in Mahbubnagar.
Following that, he would attend a public meeting called “Palamuru Praja Garjana” at ITI College in Bhootpur from 3 pm to 4 pm. The prime minister’s departure from Shamshabad airport to Delhi is planned for 4.45 pm.
In the run-up to the prime minister’s visit, Telangana ministers are highlighting a contentious issue in the Palamuru region.
The primary point of contention is the persistent request by the state government to designate the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) as a national project.
Recently, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MOEFCC) approved the project.
Subsequently, on 16 September, Chandrashekar Rao inaugurated a trial run of one of the project’s pumps. Following the development, the BRS demand for national status for the project gained momentum.
“PM @narendramodi Ji, Back in 2014, you had questioned the UPA Govt about their indifferent attitude towards Palamuru irrigation projects and asked if they were sleeping for 10 years! Today, after seeing 10 years of BJP’s apathy towards Mahbubnagar, I want to show the mirror to you What assistance did you give to Palamuru irrigation projects in last ten years? A Big ZERO. That’s exactly the the Number of seats your party will be given by people of Telangana,” said Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on X.
PM @narendramodi Ji,
Back in 2014, you had questioned the UPA Govt about their indifferent attitude towards Palamuru irrigation projects and asked if they were sleeping for 10 years!
Today, after seeing 10 years of BJP’s apathy towards Mahbubnagar, I want to show the mirror to… pic.twitter.com/IBPrHaIU3m
— KTR (@KTRBRS) October 1, 2023
No meeting with state leaders
The prime minister’s visits assume political significance as the state is getting ready to go for Assembly polls, which are likely to be held in November-December.
However, a senior leader of Telangana BJP said that there was no scheduled meeting of the state leaders with Modi, though the prime minister may briefly interact with them during the reception at the airport.
“The meeting will mark the launch of the party’s poll campaign in Telangana. He would deliver a sound and clear message to the people,” the BJP leader said.
Modi is also scheduled to address another public meeting and launch projects in Nizamabad on 3 October.
Also, a team of “top officials” from the Election Commission of India (ECI) is scheduled to visit Telangana on 3 October to assess the poll preparedness and engage with various stakeholders.