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With KCR in line of BJP fire in Telangana, TRS turns up heat on Modi govt policies

Stung by the BJP’s move forcing it to take a stand on commemorating the September 17 Hyderabad State Liberation Day, the KCR dispensation has been going all out in a bid to make it “difficult for BJP leaders to face the public”.

KCR and his ministers are accusing the Centre of allegedly forcing the Telangana government to install meters on farm pump sets, which will force the farmers to pay power bills. (Photo: Twitter/@trspartyonline)

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has changed its tactics to counter an aggressive BJP, which has mounted a formidable challenge to Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao ahead of the Telangana Assembly polls due next year. In a change of tack, the ruling party has decided that the only effective way to counter the BJP is to criticise and oppose the Narendra Modi-led Central government’s policies, take it to the people in the state and make it difficult for the BJP leaders to face them.

The urgency in the TRS’s bid to go after the BJP seems to be the upcoming bypoll in the Munugode Assembly constituency, which was necessitated following the resignation of the sitting Congress MLA Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy, who switched to the BJP and is now all set to contest the seat on its ticket. If the TRS loses this bypoll, it would give a shot in the arm to the saffron party, which is claiming that it will form the next government in Telangana.

The TRS leaders, including KCR and his ministers, are now picking apart the BJP-led Centre’s policies whether it is related to the power reforms, grain procurement, LPG pricing, or the sale of national assets, often putting the state BJP leaders on the back foot and forcing them to reply.

On the other hand, the BJP is keeping up the pressure on the TRS through campaigns like Telangana party chief and Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar’s high-pitched Praja Sangram Yatra.

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The TRS camp has also ensured that the BJP is reduced to just one MLA in the Assembly as the saffron party’s MLA T Raja Singh has been sent to jail over his alleged derogatory remarks against the Prophet, while another MLA Etela Rajander was suspended from the Assembly for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.

Stung by the BJP’s move forcing it to take a stand on commemorating the September 17 Hyderabad State Liberation Day, the KCR dispensation has been going all out in a bid to make it “difficult for BJP leaders to face the public”.

KCR and his ministers are accusing the Centre of allegedly forcing the Telangana government to install meters on farm pump sets, which will force the farmers to pay power bills. The TRS dispensation has been going all out to ensure that this accusation percolates to the village level across the state and are amplifying it accordingly.

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BJP MLA M Raghunandan Rao and the TRS MLAs sparred in the state Assembly after KCR criticised the Centre over power reforms. The CM charged that the Centre was forcing the state governments to install smart meters on farm motor pumps. However, the BJP MLA, reading from the Centre’s Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 introduced in Parliament, said it was not mentioned anywhere in the Bill that smart meters should be installed. “Similarly, nowhere in the Bill is it mentioned that power subsidies to eligible beneficiaries should be stopped. In fact, the Bill states that consumers who deserve should continue to get subsidies,’’ he said.

Raghunandan’s counter in the House irked the TRS MLAs who interrupted him several times and although he was allotted six minutes to speak, he could only speak for four minutes due to continued disruptions.

Hitting back, Bandi Sanjay Kumar said, “Under the pretext of the Centre’s power reforms, it is actually the CM who wants to fix meters on to farm pump sets and force farmers to pay bills. If KCR stops free power supply to farmers, we will lay siege to Pragathi Bhavan (CM’s official residence),’’ Kumar said.

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The TRS also attacked the BJP on the food grain procurement policy. TRS working president and minister K T Rama Rao, son of KCR,

has urged Union minister for food and public distribution Piyush Goyal that the Centre should implement “one nation and one food grain procurement policy”.

KTR said the country’s food security was at risk, charging that the Centre’s lack of foresight in formulating its policies was the main reason behind the “unfortunate situation”. “Six months ago, the Central government boasted that it had enough wheat and rice reserves for four years. Ironically, the same Centre imposed a 20% export duty on rice exports saying that the food grain stocks in the country are diminishing. This proves the policy failure of the Central government in the procurement of food grains,’’ he said.

The decision to clamp curbs on food grain exports was taken by the Modi government due to huge reduction in grain stocks in the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns and its various centres, KTR said. “In a bid to portray Telangana as a failed state, the Modi government got caught in its own trap. Six months ago, when the Telangana government appealed to the Central government to buy food grains from the state, the Centre refused outright, saying that the country has more than the required reserves. The same Centre has imposed restrictions on food grain exports now,’’ he said, seeking Goyal’s explanation on the issue.

The TRS has also been targeting Bandi Sanjay Kumar’s Praja Sangram Yatra, the fourth phase of which began on September 12. The party has asked its rank and file and supporters to pose questions to the state BJP chief regarding the Centre’s policies.

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Meanwhile, ending speculation, KCR said last Sunday that he would soon launch a national party, for which, he added, the work was on to formulate policies. “There has been a consensus on the alternative national agenda after prolonged discussions with intellectuals, economists and experts from various fields like we did before the start of the Telangana movement,” an official release from Rao’s office said. “Very soon, the formation of a national party and formulation of its policies will take place,” the statement said.

First published on: 17-09-2022 at 08:00:10 pm
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