Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the tone for the BJP’s Assembly election campaign in Telangana by launching a scathing attack on both the BRS and the Congress on Sunday, 1 October.
Likening the Telangana government to a car, the BRS’ poll symbol, the senior BJP leader said its steering wheel was in the hands of someone else — an oblique reference to the AIMIM. He was addressing a public meeting in the Mahabubnagar district of the state.
Continuing his attack on dynastic politics, Modi said the dominance of two family-controlled political parties had been hampering the advancement of Telangana. He was referring to the BRS and the Congress.
“Both parties have gained notoriety with their involvement in corruption and commission-based activities. Their modus operandi appears strikingly similar: These parties seem to follow a pattern where they operate like a family enterprise — for the family’s benefit, and by the family,” he said.
“It is as if they are transforming the essence of democracy into a hereditary dynasty. Their party functions like a privately-held company with key positions such as the president, CEO, director, treasurer, general manager, chief manager, and manager all being held by individuals from the same family. Occasionally, they bring in outsiders to serve as support staff,” Modi added.
Call for change
The prime minister said the BJP was genuinely concerned for the well-being of the people’s families, contrary to pariwarvaadi (dynastic) parties that prioritise the interests of their families.
The desire for change in Telangana was evident, as seen in the response to the call for change. The state has been seeking a corruption-free, accountable, and responsible government, he stated.
“Telangana wants a change, It wants a BJP government,” Modi said, adding that the state wanted a transparent and honest dispensation.
“The people of Telangana are yearning for a transformation that can only be achieved through the BJP. Telangana’s women trust Modi, and they have been further empowered through the Women’s Reservation Bill,” he claimed.
“The residents of Telangana know that they have a brother in Delhi who is always working towards improving their lives and making things easier for them. The BJP is committed to enhancing the lives of the people of Telangana,” the prime minister said.
He further stated that since 2014, the central government has added 2,500 km of highways in Telangana, and the progress continued in 2023 with an additional 2,500 km.
During the Congress regime, only ₹3,400 crore was spent on procuring grains by providing a minimum support price, whereas in just one year, the BJP has spent ₹27,000 crore.
“We have respected the hard work of the farmers by providing a proper price for their crops. During the Congress regime, only ₹3,400 crore was spent on buying rice at an MSP. But our government spent ₹27,000 crore, and the money directly reached farmers’ bank accounts. This is our commitment to the farmers of Telangana,” he said.
“In the name of irrigation projects, massive corruption is taking place in Telangana. Irrigation projects are inaugurated with a lot of pomp, but farmers are not getting even a single drop of water,” he further said.
Further criticising the BRS, the prime minister said that ‘false promises’ of loan waivers were made to farmers, which led to suicides.
“We don’t run the state government in Telangana. Even then, we did everything to help the farmers here. We reopened the Ramagundam Fertiliser Plant which was shut for many years. Through the PM KISAN Samman Nidhi Yojana, ₹10,000 crore have been deposited directly into the accounts of farmers,” he added.
“We respect our farmers. We are giving them the correct price for their hard work. Money is going directly to the farmers’ bank accounts. There is no place for middlemen. This government of Telangana is involved in corruption in irrigation projects,” Modi said.
“KCR has turned farmer schemes into a source of personal gain, and his false promise of loan waiver pushed many farmers to tragic ends. Despite not being in power in Telangana, we have made efforts to assist the people. The overwhelming response to our public meetings has left both the Congress and BRS restless,” he said.
He also accused the state government of delaying granting land for a Central tribal university.
Though ₹900 crore has been allocated for the ‘Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University’ in Mulugu, the BRS government has been delaying the allocation of land for the past five years, he said, while expressing concern over the state neglecting the welfare of the Adivasi community.
Earlier in the day, Modi virtually laid the foundation stone for several infrastructure projects and inaugurated others in key sectors such as road, rail, petroleum and natural gas, and higher education, worth more than ₹13,500 crore.
Ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Modi to the Mahbubnagar district on Sunday, posters on his promises made to Telangana were put up at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad, where he landed in the afternoon.
“Welcome Modi Ji. What happened to your promise of national status for the Palamuru-RangaReddy project,” a poster by the main road asked.
Another poster depicting Modi in ‘Raavanasura’ with 10 heads was also put up at the airport. Each head contained a question mark on Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR), Textile Park, Defense Corridor, Kazipet Railway Coach Factory, Mission Bhagiratha funds, Bayyaram Steel Plant, Turmeric Board, Medical College and IIM.
Similar posters were seen during Modi’s visit to Hyderabad for a public gathering in Warangal a few months ago. These posters were connected to the ruling BRS, which has been escalating its criticism of the prime minister over recent months.
These posters, however, did not reveal the identity of the printers.
Similar posters were put up when Home Minister Amit Shah recently visited Hyderabad.
KCR in farmhouse: BJP
The BJP social media unit also circulated the poster of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao stating that whenever the prime minister visited Mahbubnagar, he remained at his farmhouse. The chief minister has been staying away whenever the prime minister visited the state.
This was not the first time that the posters were put up during Modi’s visit. Similar posters appeared when he visited the state to flag off the Secunderabad-Tirupati Vande Bharat Express in April 2023.
The civic authorities immediately removed them.