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Telangana: Rahul rules out alliance with TRS, flays KCR

Warangal: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday ruled out any alliance with the ruling TRS in Telangana and launched a scathing attack on its president K Chandrashekar Rao, saying he was not a chief minister but a “king” who did not listen to the voice of people.

Addressing the ‘Rythu Sangharshana Sabha’ — a farmers’ rally organised to highlight their plight — Gandhi urged people to support the Congress and said as soon as its government is formed, farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh will be waived and farmers will get right MSP (minimum support price) for their crops.

He also released the party’s “Warangal Declaration”, promising the farm loan waiver, Rs 15,000 per acre compensation to farmers against Rs 10,000 being given by the TRS government, procurement of all crops at an increased MSP and opening of all sugar mills.

He said every word of the declaration is the Congress party’s guarantee to the farmers whom he called the foundation of the southern state.

In an apparent swipe at Rao, popularly known as KCR, he said that while the dream of Telangana’s progress remained unfulfilled, only one family had “benefitted immensely” after the state was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

“Today it is said that Telangana has a chief minister, but he is not a chief minister but a ‘Raja’ (king) who does not listen to the voice of people but his own. A chief minister takes decision after hearing out people but a king has nothing to do with democracy and does what he thinks,” he told the large rally to a big applause.

He asserted that going forward, the Congress would have no truck with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and that the assembly polls next year will be a direct fight between the Congress and the KCR-led party.

Gandhi said any Congress person who wants an understanding with the TRS could either cross over to that party or the BJP.

He also alleged that the BJP wants the TRS government to continue in Telangana so that they can rule over the state through “remote control”.

He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an understanding with KCR and that is why central agencies such as the CBI and the ED are not going after him despite corruption in the state.

“The Congress will not have any understanding with the person who ruined the dream of Telangana, betrayed it and stole lakhs and crores (of rupees) from the youth and the poor,” Gandhi said in a no-holds-barred attack on the chief minister.

He also asserted that the Congress knew it will suffer politically but it still stood with the people of Telangana to give them a new state in 2014.

The people of Telangana thought a government for the poor will be formed but it did not happen and today there is a “king” instead of a chief minister, he said.

Gandhi alleged that KCR was not listening to farmers but to his 2-3 “crony capitalist friends”.

“The person who destroyed the dream of Telangana and stole lakhs of crores (of rupees) from farmers, the poor and labourers will never be forgiven,” he said.

He also declared that when elections come tickets will only be given to those who have fought for the people and spoken up for farmers.

Gandhi’s speech, mostly in Hindi, was translated into Telugu.

He was accorded a grand and traditional welcome to the rally venue in Warangal. Congress leaders said it was the party’s “biggest” rally since the creation of the state.

Later in a tweet, Gandhi said, “Telangana is ruled not by a CM, but by a Raja who doesn’t listen to the voice of the people. When Congress forms government, we guarantee farmers: Rs 15,000 per acre direct transfer; Rs 2 lakh loan waiver; Fair and accurate MSP.”