KCR stopped going to state secretariat on advice of tantriks: Sitharaman

New Delhi: Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday, alleging that he stopped going to the state secretariat and did not induct women in his cabinet for a long time on the advice of “tantriks” and numerologists.

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The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also claimed that Rao, popularly known as KCR, changed the name of his party on the advice of “tantriks” (occultists).

Earlier this week, Rao renamed his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) as Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) as part of his national expansion plans ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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“TRS was formed to realise Telangana’s sentiment. Rao betrayed Telangana and changed TRS’s name to Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on the advice of tantriks,” Sitharaman said in a statement.

She added that when Telangana was formed, Rao talked about women empowerment, “but for four years, from 2014 to 2018, there was not a single woman minister in the TRS government”.

Even after the TRS was re-elected to power in the southern state, there was no woman minister in the cabinet for almost a year, the Union finance minister said.

“KCR, on the advice of tantriks and numerologists, stopped going to the secretariat, did not induct women for many years in his cabinet and now, has changed his party’s name,” she said.

Under the rule of the TRS, Telangana has become a revenue-deficit state from a revenue-surplus one, Sitharaman said, adding that it has borrowings of Rs 3 lakh crore with the debt-to-GSDP ratio touching almost 25 per cent.

Talking about the Kaleswaram project, she said it was supposed to be completed with a budget of Rs 40,000 crore, which has “shot up to Rs 1.4 lakh crore without a proper explanation on reasons for escalation”.

The TRS government has failed on all fronts, Sitharaman alleged.

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