Hyderabad: It is the Congress, a party with over a 100-year history and one to have seen many ups and downs, and not the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is the main rival of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in state, party working president KT Rama Rao said here on Wednesday.
"With two or three wins (in elections), success should not go to our head. The Congress as a party has 100 years plus history. It has witnessed many ups and downs and the party should not be taken lightly. The Congress is a party which cannot be ignored. I am saying this with all humility,” Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said.
He stated this when his attention was drawn to Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Uttam Kumar Reddy’s reported comments that he would step down as the state unit president after the urban bodies polls and focus more on his constituency.
He said that irrespective of whether it was under Reddy's leadership or somebody else, the Congress is the main opposition party in Telangana for the TRS. The BJP's position was still as it used to be during his childhood, he said.
"Sometimes they (BJP) hit (wining four Lok Sabha seats) with luck,” Rama Rao, also known as KTR, further said during an informal chat with mediapersons.
The Congress, despite its poor performance in the Assembly polls in 2018, bagged three seats, while the BJP wrested four seats during the parliamentary elections in May 2019. The ruling TRS, which won 88 seats in the 119-seat Assembly poll, won only nine of the 17 Lok Sabha seats.
Telangana BJP chief spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao said Rama Rao has exhibited his 'inner fear' on the BJP's rise in the state by referring to the Congress as the only opposition for TRS.
He said the BJP believed the last two wins by the TRS in the Assembly elections were a fluke, as the party factually lacked any organisational structure to fight and win any elections.
The TRS has to indulge in emotionally divisive regional politics and minority appeasement to win elections, he said.
"If any election is fought on TRS government's performance in the last two terms, the TRS will not even win a single seat in Telangana. The BJP considers itself the only alternative to TRS in Telangana, as voters have written off the Congress long ago and will reject the TRS’ "misgovernance" in the next Assembly elections,” the BJP leader said.
To a query on the coming urban local body polls, KTR said his party would emerge victorious with the lion's share of seats.
The state will go for polls to 120municipalitiesand 10 municipal corporations on January 22.
He hoped the 2020-30 decade belongs to Telangana and the state leads in several initiatives under its leadership.
On implementation of National Population Register in the state, Rama Rao said the government would take an appropriate decision on that.
Rama Rao, also minister for IT and Industries said the proposed Pharma City would be launched this year. About 10,000 acres of land has been acquired and another 2,000 would be bought.
"Environmental Clearance (EC) was also granted. No hurdles for the project... NIMZ (National Investment and Manufacturing Zone) status was also accorded (by the centre), he said.
The Minister said the state has received a report from E&Y on setting up dry ports and the Government was working out a strategy.
Regarding the recent weeks-long strike by state transport workers, KTR said, “The chief minister can turn every crisis into an opportunity. The workers who were against at the time of strike are now praising him.”
He said the TRS government believes in maintaining good relationships with neighbouring states and has been jointly pursuing the issue of linking of the rivers Godavari and Krishna with Andhra Pradesh and talks are still underway.
Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre, he said the state’s plea to develop an industrial corridor between Bengaluru and Hyderabad is yet to be heard. “The Union government has to invest in the progressive states irrespective of politics. The development of the states will only lead to the nation’s progress. The Centre needs to understand that.”
(With inputs from PTI)