With the Telangana elections just around the corner, the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has placed a strong emphasis on regional pride in their campaign strategy, countering allegations of corruption and dynastic politics from the BJP and the Congress. KT Rama Rao, the party’s working president, known for his previous comments about Andhra landlords, has now turned his attention to the “ghulams” (servants) of Gujarat and the “Delhi durbar” (courtiers).
In an exclusive interview with NDTV on Friday, Mr. Rao dismissed allegations from both the BJP and the Congress, asserting that the BRS is not aligned with either party but represents Telangana’s interests as the A-team.
“The entire statehood movement of Telangana was rooted in self-respect and pride. When the Prime Minister visits Hyderabad and claims that one Gujarati (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) freed you from the Nizam’s rule and another Gujarati (PM Narendra Modi) will liberate you from KCR’s authoritarian governance,” Mr. Rao, who is also the son of KCR, emphasized.
“We also need to nurture our pride and remind people that the “ghulams” of Gujarat, referring to the BJP, have made limited progress in Telangana over the past nine and a half years. The same applies to the Delhi durbar. Rahul baba (Rahul Gandhi) comes here and talks about family rule and dynasty, which is quite possibly the joke of the millennium,” he added.
Mr. Rao, who serves as a minister and holds the information technology portfolio, pointed out that people from Gujarat and Delhi should do their due diligence before engaging with Telangana. He underlined that the Telangana statehood movement was deeply rooted in self-respect and pride, and such insults cannot be overlooked.
In response to the election-related seizures in Telangana totaling ₹243 crore in just ten days, Mr. Rao attributed it to the Congress and claimed that the money had been confiscated from a former corporator in Bengaluru. When questioned about the seizure’s location in Karnataka, he explained that many individuals have business interests in both Karnataka and Telangana.
“A few builders have informed me that the Karnataka government has recently imposed an additional election tax of ₹500 per square foot and is directly informing builders that the funds are being used to support and fund the Congress party in the Telangana elections. This is where the money is being traced back to, at its source,” he alleged.
In response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that KCR had financed the Karnataka Congress campaign and that the Congress is now reciprocating the support, Mr. Rao stated, “The PM is skilled at crafting these narratives and stories, but regrettably, they rarely come to fruition. This is the same individual who promised bullet trains by 2022, a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2022, and the doubling of farmer incomes by 2022. I won’t even mention the ₹15-lakh promise.”
“So, regardless of what the PM or Rahul Gandhi might believe, we are not affiliated with either the Congress or the BJP. We represent the A-team of the people of Telangana and will remain resolutely impartial and equidistant from both the Congress and the BJP. We do not subscribe to their binary view that this country must lean either towards the BJP or the Congress; it’s not an ideology we endorse,” he declared.
The BRS, formerly known as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, has governed Telangana since its formation in 2014. The Assembly election is scheduled for November 30, with the counting of votes taking place on December 3.