TRS MP K. Kavitha says she is not sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi is liked in Telangana.
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has always worked against the interests of Telangana and the people don’t appreciate his attempt to “enter (India’s youngest state) through the backdoor” using the Congress, said the Telangana Rashtra Samiti MP K. Kavitha, dismissing suggestions that the opposition alliance could pose a challenge.
The Congress, Naidu’s TDP, the CPI and the Telangana Jan Samiti of M. Kodandaram, a prominent face in the statehood agitation, have declared an alliance or Mahakutami for the 7 December assembly elections although they are yet to formalise their seat-sharing arrangement.
“If you add four zeroes, it will still be zero,” Kavitha, who is also the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), told ThePrint.
“The TDP has no presence in Telangana. Every single citizen knows Naidu works against the interests of Telangana,” she said. “Whatever 1-2 per cent of the TDP cadres were there have joined the TRS, while the Congress has never stood with the people of Telangana.”
In the 2014 assembly elections in Telangana, the TRS secured 34 per cent of the votes to win 63 seats in the 119-member assembly. The Congress had secured 25 per cent of the vote share for 21 seats while the TDP managed 14.5 per cent for 15 seats.
The TRS had barely scraped through in the last assembly elections despite strong public sentiments in its favour following the creation of a separate Telangana state.
KCR’s tenure, however, has been marked by a host of populist welfare schemes targeted at every section of the society and significant investment inflows into the state, thanks to an improved business climate.
But strong anti-incumbency against ruling party MLAs and very high public expectations from the government post-statehood have given hopes to the opposition camp even though it doesn’t have a face to match the popularity of KCR.
‘KCR will be re-elected’
Kavitha expressed confidence that her father will be re-elected because, she said, people know that it was because of his “strategy” and “tenacity” that they got a separate state.
“The population of Telangana is about 3.5 crore but over 6.5 crore people have benefited from the government’s welfare schemes,” she said. “I am saying this because every person is a beneficiary of at least two schemes. That is why we are very confident that people will not fail us.”
The TRS leader dismissed the opposition parties’ criticism of her government for not creating two lakh government jobs.
“First of all, we never mentioned any number. The opposition (parties) keep confusing people with what was promised by Chandrababu Naidu,” Kavitha said. “We always said one lakh government jobs can be created. And we have delivered on it. 87,000 jobs have been notified, of which 32,000 jobs have already been given.”
To a question about the possibility of the TRS joining hands with the BJP post-assembly elections, Kavitha said it was being “planted” in the minds of Muslims by the Congress. Muslims constitute around 12 per cent of the state’s population.
“Tomorrow, if there is a hung parliament and if the TRS goes with the BJP, the Congress will never have a shot at power,” she said. “Lok Sabha and assembly elections are different. People want the TRS in the state but at the Centre, they definitely don’t want the Congress. That’s why the Congress is afraid and planting these weird stories.”
She, however, indicated that the TRS was keeping its options for future alliances open: “We are a political party. Why should we call our shots before time? Let the LS elections pass. We have to work in the best interest of the state.”
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