It was Rahul Gandhi’s turn to rip into Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao or KCR, by labelling the latter’s Telangana Rashtriya Samiti the BJP’s ‘B team’, while campaigning in the state’s Kosgi today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday called KCR Sonia Gandhi’s apprentice.
Telangana votes for a new assembly on December 7 and several big guns from all parties are out campaigning as the election battle heats up. While PM Modi addressed two rallies yesterday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his ally in the state N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party and BJP chief Amit Shah are campaigning today.
“Narendra Modiji says the Congress and TRS are alike…. But Modi never said this (KCR and Congress were on the same side) before the elections,” Rahul Gandhi said, also accusing KCR of “imitating PM Modi by creating unemployment,” in Telangana, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 and elected KCR as its first chief minister.
KCR, he told his audience, had helped PM Modi whenever the Congress fought the now-scrapped land acquisition law that would allow governments to take away farm land.
“How many times did your Chief Minister about Rafale,” he asked, referring to the government’s decision to buy 36 fighter jets from French aviation manufacturer, Dassault. The Congress alleges corruption in the deal.
Rahul Gandhi’s counter came a day after PM Modi accused KCR of playing a “friendly match” with the Congress in the assembly elections.
“The chief minister was a Union minister in the UPA government which was remote-controlled by madam (Sonia Gandhi). After he came into power did he destroy the state or not? His entire education was in the Congress, and those who taught him have a PhD in it,” PM Modi said in Nizamabad, taking the battle to Rao’s turf. KCR, he alleged, was an apprentice of Sonia Gandhi, who is Rahul Gandhi’s mother and predecessor and also the chairperson of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance or UPA.
The TRS government in Telangana had barely finished four years of its term when KCR dissolved the assembly opting for elections over a year ahead of schedule. The Congress has partnered with the TDP, which rules neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and which was till March this year an ally of the BJP.