A war of words between the ruling TRS and the BJP over Amit Shah’s comments on the quantum of central funds given to Telangana intensified today with the Opposition party taking serious exception to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s remarks. Charging that Rao did not speak in a way that befits the stature of a Chief Minister, Telangana BJP president K Laxman and senior MLA G Kishan Reddy claimed that the TRS president is rattled by Shah’s visit, and response from the public. The war of words began with Shah stating, during his three-day tour to the state, that the Centre gave about Rs one lakh crore funds in various forms to Telangana in the last three years and Rao offering to quit the chief minister’s post if the figures provided by Shah were proved to be correct.
“Why can’t Amit Shah say our government is giving Rs one lakh crore. I am challenging the Chief Minister. You appoint somebody, may be a retired a judge. BJP accepts your challenge to quit. If you are serious, the situation of resignation will come,” Kishan Reddy said. It is Rao who should apologise for not being able to build even toilets for all, Laxman said on KCR demanding an apology to the people of Telangana for his “false remarks”. Alleging that the state government misused central funds in certain schemes, Reddy said the BJP would not step back and would continue its campaign against the TRS government.
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Yesterday, questioning the veracity of the figures provided by the BJP national president on the funds given to Telangana, Rao reeled out statistics on the amounts for various schemes the state had received from the NDA government and demanded a apology from Shah. Shah, who was on a visit to Nalgonda district, in a press conference yesterday, had said the state had been given an additional amount of Rs 20,000 crore annually under various heads by the NDA government. “Shah says Telangana additionally gets Rs 20,000 crore annually (from the Centre). Mr Amit Shah should know what he is talking about. If figures given by me are wrong, I am ready to resign as chief minister,” Rao had asserted.
He had also advised Shah not to resort to “cheap political gimmicks” by falsifying facts and figures. Meanwhile, the main opposition Congress wondered why Rao had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as he attacked Shah. Rao, if he is genuinely opposed to BJP, should support the common candidate to be fielded by the Opposition parties in the Presidential polls, senior Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy said today. “I am challenging (him). KCR will not support our common Presidential candidate. Because, he is clandestinely in understanding with Modi,” the former Union Minister alleged. Replying to a query, he also said that his party is not averse to working with any outfit that is opposed to the BJP and the TRS. Asked if the Congress is ready for an understanding with the TDP, he said the party high command and the state Congress President would take a call on such issues.