Hyderabad: Attacking the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Saturday said that no other head of state like Modi has ”damaged” India’s reputation like him.
Addressing a meeting which was held to welcome the opposition’s presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha (for the upcoming elections in July) at Jalavihar in Hyderabad, KCR stated that the country’s reputation “has not dropped lower” in anyone else’s term like it did during in Modi’s.
“Narendra Modi is the 15th Prime minister of India. There have been 14 Prime Ministers before him. You harass those who speak against you. You are destroying democracy. You have destroyed 9 state governments by now,” said KCR.
The Telangana chief minister, who took everyone by surprise by supporting Yashwant Sinha’s candidature, said that the latter started his career as an advocate. “He came to politics and progressed steadily to become minister of finance and then of eternal affairs. We feel proud to welcome and support him,” KCR added.
Sinha, a former BJP leader and union minister, is up against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Draupadi Murmu (from Odisha). “Today I talk to all the parliamentarians who are eligible to vote in the presidential elections to compare both the candidates. Use your wisdom and endorse Yashwant Sinha,” said KCR.
KCR, whose meeting was held on a day that Modi is going to address the BJP’s national executive in Hyderabad, did not hold back and minced no words. “At the same time that you are lambasting your opposition, answer the people’s questions. When you were initially elected, you made many promises. We want to know if even one of those promises were fulfilled. This is not my thinking, it is the country’s,” he said.
Taking a swipe at the Prime Minister, KCR stated that there are issues in every sector and that the common man is struggling today. “There have been many prime ministers before PM Modi. They do their term and leave. But it feels like Modi thinks he will be PM forever. Farmers, youth, unemployed and common men are struggling. Then what has your administration done?”, he questioned.
KCR also asked if there was any benefit to the ‘Make In India’ campaign launched by the Modi government. He asked about the Sri Lankan economic crisis and what India’s role was in the situation.
“The rupee’s value has not fallen more in any other Prime Minister’s term. Its a dire necessity of the country to keep good relations with other nations. Modi went to America and endorsed Trump by saying ‘Ab ki baar Trump sarkaar‘. “What was your motive behind saying such an irresponsible statement? Did you think this was the Ahmedabad municipal elections? “People think Modi ji is a God. But a person is a person, and can never become a God,” KCR remarked.
In the upcoming presidential polls to be held in July, the NDA has managed to garner support from even some opposition parties like the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh. KCR, who had supported NDA in the previous polls (Ram Nath Kovind), took everyone by surprise by announcing his support for Yashwant Sinha.
Analysts expect the BJP to win without much of a problem. TRS leaders who did not want to be named told Siasat.com earlier that though there were some issues in supporting Sinha, as it included siding with the Congress, the TRS cannot afford to show itself as giving any space to the BJP in Telangana now.
Sinha, an ex-BJP leader, is today one of the Modi government’s harshest critics. Interestingly, his son Jayant Sinha is still in the BJP, and is an MP. Jayant gained ignominy in 2018 after he garlanded eight men who had been convicted or lynching a Muslim man in Ramgarh, Rajasthan. The father and son duo are on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
Yashwant Sinha, before becoming a union minister under the Atal Bihari cabinet, was also a civil servant who had worked abroad.