Hyderabad: Congress President Rahul Gandhi kicked off his party’s election campaign in Telangana by targeting both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao by accusing them both of indulging in corruption.
Promising to build ‘new Telangana’, he addressed a massive public meeting at Bhainsa town in Adilabad district, where he told people that five years were wasted as Chief Minister Rao shattered the dreams of the new state.
Gandhi said it was only KCR’s family which “cornered” all the benefits. He said only Congress could build a Telangana which is free from corruption and farmers’ suicides.
On his first visit to Telangana after the announcement of the poll schedule, Gandhi was scheduled to address public meetings in Kamareddy and Hyderabad later in the day.
The Congress chief told the gathering at Bhaina that governments of both Modi and KCR were on their way out.
He also alleged that KCR insulted B.R. Ambedkar by changing the name of an irrigation project in the state to Kaleshwaram.
He claimed that KCR was resorting to corruption in irrigation projects by redesigning them to benefit his family and friends.
“This project was named after Ambedkar and was to be built at a cost of Rs 38,000 crore but KCR has revised the cost to Rs 1 lakh crore. Other irrigation projects were also redesigned to hike their cost,” he said.
He promised that if voted to power Congress would implement the legislation brought by the UPA government to protect the lands of farmers and tribals and return the lands which were forcibly acquired by the KCR government.
He claimed that the purpose of the legislation was to ensure that the lands of farmers were not acquired without their consent and if the lands are acquired with their consent they should be paid compensation which is four times the market value.
Gandhi said if voted to power Congress would waive all farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh and pay Rs 3,000 unemployment allowance to youth.
He alleged that KCR failed to fulfil his promises to provide one job in each family, three acres of land to every Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe family, two bed-room houses for poor and drinking water to every household.
Gandhi said like KCR, Modi had also made false promises including Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, two crore jobs every year and remunerative prices for farmers.
On Modi’s charge that Congress did nothing for the poor, Gandhi claimed that it was Congress which pulled out many families out of poverty by brining MNREGA and providing right to food.
Gandhi said Modi had promised that he would work as a “chowkidar” but he did not mention whose “chowkidari” he would do. He alleged that Modi was doing “chowkidari” of the likes of Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi and Anil Ambani.
He reiterated that Modi snatched Rafale contract from public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and gave it to Anil Ambani to benefit him to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore. “India’s chowkidar has stolen people’s money,” he said.
The Congress leader also alleged that Modi spreads hatred. “He pits people of one religion against another, one caste against the other and one region against another.
“He is weakening the country. Congress believes in uniting people irrespective of their religion, caste and region and that the difference between BJP and Congress,” he said.