Hyderabad: The absence of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) at local events attended by PM Narendra Modi during a trip to the state triggered a controversy Saturday.
While the BJP accused the CM of violating protocol, an MP from KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said the chief minister was down with fever and had been tested for Covid-19.
Modi was in Hyderabad Saturday to be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and to unveil the 216-foot-tall ‘Statue of Equality’, which seeks to honour 11th-century saint Sri Ramanujacharya, on the city’s outskirts.
The state government had also overseen the arrangements for the grand inaugural. The statue was conceptualised by Ramanujacharya Ashram’s spiritual guru, Chinna Jeeyar Swamy.
The initial official schedule released by the state government Friday showed that KCR was scheduled to receive the Prime Minister at the ICRISAT helipad, as well as participate in the anniversary celebrations. Sources in the party told ThePrint that he was scheduled to attend the statue inauguration.
A note from the Chief Minister’s Office, released Thursday, said the state’s Animal Husbandry and Cinematography minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav would receive and see off the Prime Minister as he visits Hyderabad.
The row comes close on the heels of the BJP lashing out at KCR for talking about the need for a new Constitution.
On the day the Union Budget was presented, KCR told the media that he favoured a new Constitution, alleging that successive central governments had taken away the powers of states.
He had also called for uprooting the BJP from the Union government and “throwing it into the Bay of Bengal”.
Showdowns between the two sides have intensified as the BJP makes inroads into the southern state.
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The Telangana BJP tweeted with the # “ShameonyouKCR” to express its anger at his absence during the events.
As Expected! KCR violating Protocol stoops to a new low by sending his unimportant Minister.
Following NCBN, Channi footsteps.
You'll be paid back in return.#ShameOnYouKCR
— BJP Telangana (@BJP4Telangana) February 5, 2022
BJP state chief Bandi Sanjay said KCR skipping the meeting was “shameful”.
“What fever? He hears Modi’s name and he catches a fever,” Sanjay told the media Saturday.
“Is this your culture? You claim to have read 80,000 books. Is it what you have learnt from them? He has insulted Babasaheb Ambedkar by calling for redrafting of the Indian Constitution,” he said. “Now, he has insulted the Prime Minister of the country by violating the protocol. What more evidence does one need for his discourteous character?”
TRS Rajya Sabha Member K. Keshava Rao, however, told ThePrint that the chief minister had been “unwell” over the past two days and was down with fever.
“He has had a fever for two days, he has been unwell. That is why he could not make it,” he said. “He has also taken a Covid test, results are awaited.”
TRS leaders also started a social media campaign with the # “EqualityforTelangana”, a play on the name of the Statue for Equality. They alleged that Telangana was not being given funds for projects, and that promises made in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which oversaw Telangana’s creation in 2014, hadn’t been fulfilled.
Central government failed to fulfill the promises made in AP Re-organization Act and did not sanction Tribal University to #Telangana
#Equalityfortelangana @narendramodi @PMOIndia
— Ravindra Kumar MLA (@MlaRavindra) February 5, 2022
Welcome Hon'ble Prime Minister ji,
With due respect, we appeal to you to treat Telangana State equally like Gujarat .
It's 8 Years, 8 Budgets and still our Telangana is deprived of Justice from Union Government of India .#EqualityForTelangana @KTRTRS pic.twitter.com/BW29zmqMec
— krishanKTRS (@krishanKTRS) February 5, 2022
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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