Confident of sweeping Telangana polls under his father and interim chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s leadership, TRS leader K T Rama Rao has said the BJP is “non-existent” in the state and the alliance formed by other opposition parties, ‘Mahakutami’, is a “coalition of rivals” that has already failed.
Acknowledging that Congress was the main rival for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in the assembly polls, Mr Rao alleged the grand old party has become a “proxy” for Chandrababu Naidu’s Telegu Desam Party (TDP) in these polls.
In an interview to PTI, Mr Rao also took on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and rejected criticism that the TRS has also become a dynasty party and its government was being run as a family enterprise.
“We all have come through ranks. We have come through agitation. We participated in the agitation. If people are electing us as legislators, why should anybody have a problem?
“I fought eight long years in Telangana movement before becoming a legislator. I want to ask what agitation has Rahul Gandhi, who is our principal opponent here, been part of? Except for his surname Gandhi, how is he qualified to lead a party called Indian National Congress,” Mr Rao said.
The 42-year-old leader, popularly known as KTR, expressed confidence that the TRS will win 100 seats in the 119-member house in the assembly elections scheduled on December 7 and ruled himself out of the chief ministerial race while asserting his father KCR would be the chief minister for the next 10-15 years.
“I can tell you with lot of confidence that the TRS is going to sweep the polls here. We will score a century. I am not saying this as an empty rhetoric,” he said, while listing the party’s win in past elections including for the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls.
On Mahakutami, the grand alliance formed by the opposition parties, KTR said, “Most of them in Delhi don’t comprehend the fact that the Mahakutami comprising the Congress, CPI and Kodandarama had contested in 2014. The only addition is TDP.
“Now, with the TDP coming into this combination, I actually call it a coalition of rivals. Their alliance has no basis and is not rooted in any kind of realism or any realistic goal for development of Telangana.”
KTR reiterated his accusation that it was rather a ‘Maha Ghatiya Bandhan’, saying the TDP and the Congress have been fighting for last 40 years and now they have come together with the single aim of dislodging the TRS.
He said any coalition rooted in a negative aim of dislodging somebody will never work.