Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi working president and state minister for IT, municipal administration and urban development K T Rama Rao on Thursday exuded confidence that his party would conquer Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in the ensuing elections and hoist the pink flag atop Baldia for a second successive term.
“TRS is the only party which has passion and hunger for the development of Telangana. If Hyderabad has become one of the safest and most developed cities in the country, it is only because of TRS led by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao,” KTR said while participating in the meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Hyderabad.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of “vocal for local,” the TRS leader said going by the slogan, people should vote for the TRS. “Ours is a local party, while theirs (Bharatiya Janata Party) is not,” he said.
Answering a query on Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay’s declaration that the BJP would unfurl the “saffron flag” atop Golkonda fort, KTR said that the chief minister had already unfurled the Tricolour on the fort and there was no place for the saffron flag there. “But it is certain that the TRS is going to unfurl the pink flag on the GHMC building,” he asserted.
Taking a dig at the BJP indirectly for seeking to polarise the votes in the name of religion, the TRS working president said some were trying to make ‘Hyderabad for all’ into ‘Hyderabad for a few.’ “I would like to request the people of Hyderabad to choose between development and brutality,” he said.
KTR said the TRS would not have any alliance, whatsoever, with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in the GHMC elections. “As we had done in the past, we shall contest in all the 150 divisions. In the last elections, the TRS won five seats in the MIM strongholds. This time, we are aiming at winning 10 seats,” he said.
The minister admitted that the TRS government had not been able to handle the recent flood situation in Hyderabad effectively. “The city had witnessed the highest rainfall in the last 104 years and we did not anticipate it. The existing infrastructure in the city was not adequate to bear such a massive deluge. There had been encroachments of nalas over several decades that led to the inundation of several colonies,” he said, adding that his government had spent over Rs. 600 crore in extending financial assistance to the affected families.
“Those who are pointing fingers at us have to acknowledge the fact that there was not a single rupee of assistance from the Centre. They have no moral right to criticize us,” he said.
“Yet, we had done our best to come to the rescue of the flood victims and extend relief to lakhs of people. That thousands of people queued up before Mee Seva Centres indicates their faith in our government. If what I said is wrong, people can punish us. But I think I am right and so, I ask them to bless us again,” he said.
Stating that the TRS government had focused on getting basics right, KTR said the government had worked towards fulfilling basic necessities of the people. He claimed that in the last six years, the government had ensured uninterrupted power supply, daily drinking water supply and effective maintenance of law and order without a single incident of violence.
“Now, the entire world is looking towards Hyderabad as a potential investment destination. There has been a massive flow of investments in the Information Technology, industries, pharma sector worth over Rs 2 lakh crore in the last six years. Top five giants in IT, including Apple, Facebook, Amazon , and Google have set up their second-largest offices here,” he pointed out.
The minister also explained in detail how Hyderabad had emerged as a top-ranking city in various sectors, including Swachh Bharat Mission. He appealed to the voters to give the TRS yet another chance so that the city progressed on all fronts in the next five years.
The elections for GHMC will be held on December 1 and the results will be declared by December 4, the Telangana State Election Commission said on Tuesday. The nomination process began on Wednesday (November 18) and will end on Friday. In the last GHMC elections held in December 2015, the first after the formation of Telangana, the TRS had won 99 out of 150 seats. It was KTR who single-handedly led the party campaign and was credited for the victory.