There is no change in Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s stand. He will not share a dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi will arrive in Hyderabad on Saturday, 8 April, to flag off the new Vande Bharat Express train to Tirupati from Secundrabad. The train is the second between the two Telugu-speaking states.
Besides flagging off the train, the prime minister will also launch several development projects.
The chief minister has taken the stance of skipping the prime minister’s official programmes in the wake of a full-blown political war between the BJP and the BRS.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has invited him officially for the programme, but KCR has decided against sharing the dais with Modi.
Instead, he has asked Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav to represent him.
“We have invited the chief minister to the function. It is up to him to attend or not,” Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said recently while inspecting the arrangements being made for the prime minister’s visit.
Matters of protocol
“The chief minister will not receive the Prime Minister tomorrow. It is not as though KCR is not following the protocol. It was Modi who does not follow it,” Telangana State Planning Board vice-chairman and former MP B Vinod Kumar said.
“When the prime minister visited Hyderabad to inspect Covid-19 vaccine development facilities, he said no one should receive him, even as KCR offered to receive him,” he told South First.
The prime minister is arriving in Hyderabad at a time the BJP is smarting under the arrest of its state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar in the SSC question paper leak case. He walked out on bail on Friday, 7 April.
Already, tempers have been running high in the wake of his dramatic arrest and his subsequent production in court. Though the fire has died down a bit, the embers are still smouldering.
It is likely that the prime minister — if he can pack an interaction with BJP leaders during his short visit to Hyderabad — might inquire about the circumstances that led to Bandi’s arrest and how they should deal with the BRS.
As the prime minister’s programme on 8 April is official, the chief minister has entrusted Animal Husbandry Minister Thalasani Srinivas Yadav with the responsibility of receiving the prime minister and seeing him off at the Begumpet Airport.
Bandi’s arrest: Point of no return?
The latest incident in the ongoing rivalry between the parties — the arrest of Bandi Sanjay — seems to have pushed both parties beyond a point of no return.
The BRS seems to have deftly turned the tables on the BJP by projecting Bandi Sanjay as the accused in the SSC question paper leak even as the BJP was trying to fix the responsibility on the pink party for the lapse.
By creating a daylong drama on Thursday, the BRS tried to vilify the BJP after it had its back to the wall in the TSPSC question papers leak case.
Though KCR was pally with the BJP during his first innings in power and to some extent in the first three years of his second innings, the camaraderie did not last long.
Raj Bhavan connection to KCR ignoring Modi
After the appointment of Tamilisai Soundararajan as the Governor of Telangana, the relations hit a nadir. The BJP matched the BRS as the latter’s public postures became bolder.
It is since then that KCR began ignoring the prime minister’s visits to Hyderabad.
In February last year, the Telangana leader did not receive Modi when he arrived in Hyderabad to unveil the Statue of Equality at Chinna Jeer Swamy’s Ashram in Muchintal, and did not share the dais when he took part in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics).
He avoided the prime minister when he attended the 20th anniversary of the Indian School of Business in May. In July, the chief minister looked the other way when Modi arrived in Hyderabad to take part in the BJP’s national executive meeting because it was not an official programme.
The latest acts of “discourtesy” was when he visited Ramgundam to inaugurate the Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited.
It was during this visit that Modi had warned KCR, albeit indirectly, that people were angry with family politics and that lotus was blooming in Telangana.
He also said that those who loot the poor would not be spared and that the abuses being heaped on him are his daily nutrition.
On Sankranti day in January, KCR deputed two ministers to attend the flagging off of the Secunderabad-Vizag Vande Bharat Express, which Modi did virtually from New Delhi.
Congress shoots 18 questions at Modi
Meanwhile, the Congress sought a direct answer from Prime Minister Modi on why the Centre has not yet implemented the assurances made in the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014.
Posing 18 questions to Modi, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramrka said he wanted to know why the Centre was delaying the implementation of the assurances.
He recalled how the then UPA had passed the bill for the creation of Telangana state though it did not have enough strength in Parliament. In the Act, several concessions were promised to Telangana keeping in view its backwardness.
The questions were:
1. Could you list out the projects and welfare programmes you have initiated exclusively for Telangana?
2. How many of the promises listed in the Act have been implemented during the last nine years and how many were not rolled out? Do you have the guts to publish a white paper on the status?
3. In your home state of Gujarat, you have commenced works for establishing a railway coach factory with an investment of ₹20,000 crore ignoring Telangana’s dream for a similar factory in Kazipet. Why are you discriminating against Telangana?
4. When will Bayyaram Steel Plant works commence?
5. When will you release ₹450 crore meant for backward districts in Telangana?
6. How many projects have been accorded national status since 2014? Aren’t you aware that the people of the state have been asking for national status for Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation and Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation schemes?
7. Why haven’t you ordered an investigation either by CBI or any other agency despite your saying that Kaleshwaram Project has become an ATM for KCR? What is your tacit understanding with the BRS?
8. Why have you not initiated any investigation into Sahara and ESI scams that took place when KCR was the Union minister?
9. Why haven’t you allotted even one national educational institution for Telangana so far? Why are you discriminating against Telangana in allotting IIM, ISR, NID, IIIT, and Navodya schools?
10. Why are you not providing concessions to those who want to set up industrial units like the way you are doing in the BJP-ruled states
11. What is the delay in taking steps to decide the state’s share in river waters? Why have you not referred the issue to the tribunal yet?
12. Why are putting on hold the funds that are supposed to be released statutorily to Telangana?
13. How much relief have you announced for Telangana and BJP-ruled states during natural calamities?
14. Why have you not allotted even one national-level medical institution or medical college for Telangana?
15. When are you commencing work for Tribal University in Telangana?
16. What is the delay in setting up a defence corridor in Telangana as it already has several defence institutions?
17. When are you setting up a turmeric board in Nizamabad?
18. Why is that the investigation into the involvement of one of CM’s family members in the Delhi Liquor Policy scam has not progressed?