Hyderabad: Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of surgical strikes, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Friday said such "strategic attacks" are never disclosed and claimed 11 similar strikes were made during the UPA I regime when he was a Union Minister.
Addressing an election rally in Nalgonda district hours after the Prime Minister launched BJP's campaign in the state, he alleged Modi was spreading 'lies' against the TRS government for the sake of votes and political gains.
He also mocked Modi for his 'chowkidar' (watchman) slogan, saying Chaiwala has gone and Chowkidar has come.
"Surgical strikes happened eleven times when I was in the Union Cabinet. They are strategic attacks which are never disclosed. They do it, we do it," said Rao, who was a member of the UPA cabinet till 2006 when he resigned from it over the issue of separate statehood for Telangana.
Referring to the recent air strikes on JeM terror camps in Balakot in Pakistan, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti supremo said Modi "boasts of that 300 terrorists were eliminated in a single attack. "Azhar Masood (head of Jaish-E-Mohammed) said not even an ant died, KCR, as Rao is popularly called, claimed.
The Indian Air Force carried out the pre-dawn strikes on JeM camp in Balakot in the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans dead. Attacking Modi, KCR sought to know what good happened to the country in the last five years of his rule.
“Chaiwala is gone and Chowkidar has come. The country should tread a new path to get rid of all problems. These inept people cannot relieve the country of the problems,” he said.
Reacting to charges levelled by Modi against his government at an election rally in Mahabubnagar, Rao accused the prime minister of speaking lies and dared him for an open debate on the Centre's Ayushman Bharatand the state's 'Aarogyasri' Health Scheme to ascertain which was better. "Being a PM, is it right to speak lies?” KCR asked.
Earlier, Modi in his address at the rally said the TRS-led government in Telangana was not extending the PMJAY health insurance scheme for the poor people of the state.
KCR also accused the BJP of indulging in "political Hindutva". "We are dharmic people, who are devoted. These fake Hindus... political Hindutva is only for the sake of votes. So, people, particularly the youth, should not get swayed away by it," he said.
Rao, who has been proposing a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front at the Centre, appealed to the people to vote for the TRS candidates in the coming elections, saying the party MPs would fight for the rights of the state.
“Someone should raise a war cry and I am ready to do it if you bless me. Will you bless me? Will you give me the strength? For that, we should win 16 MP seats. That should be the beginning,” KCR said.
He claimed the BJP-led NDA and Congress would not get more than 150 and 100 Lok Sabhat seats respectively and asserted that the regional parties will form the government. “The BJP, which contested for 118 seats in the December last assembly elections, lost deposits in 103 constituencies and won only one seat, the chief minister said adding yet the party leaders make tall claims about their strength in Telangana.