Hyderabad: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the Telangana Rashtra Samiti government and caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, alleging that KCR’s government treated farmers as a liability.
Addressing a joint press conference on the last day of campaigning, along with leaders of allied parties including AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Mr Gandhi said that farmers should be treated as assets and with respect.
“The farmers’ crisis in not only an issue related to Telangana, it is a national issue. Farmers cannot be treated as liabilities, they are assets of this country,” Mr Gandhi declared.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi waived loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of selected industrialists, so why did he not give debt relief to crores of farmers who are in distress?
Replying to a query with regard to the priorities of the Mahakutami, or alliance of opposition parties, Mr Gandhi said, “I don’t like the word ‘sop’. We would like to transform the agricultural sector in the state by linking the farm with the city, national and international level and creating a brand image for the agri-products of Telangana.”
He said the alliance will put more money into health and education, and give people the choice to avail of treatment at government or private hospitals. Youngsters will get to choose whether to study in a government or a private school. When asked who will be Chief Minister if the Congress-led alliance comes to power, Mr Gandhi said the question is premature and that the first goal is to “remove KCR”.
He was confident of the People’s Front coming to power, Mr Gandhi said, and pointed to the body language of KCR as showing he was nervous about his defeat. A frustrated Mr Rao is abusing not only opposition leaders but even people who are attending his meetings, Mr Gandhi alleged.
Answering a question with regard to the allegation made by the opposition that there is a tacit understanding between Prime Minister Modi and Mr Rao, the Congress president said that Mr Rao committed a crime by supporting demonetisation, which has destroyed the economy of this country.
and he questioned why Mr Rao supported demonetisation and GST.
When asked how he had convinced Congress cadres to sail with the Telugu Desam, which has been a staunch rival of the Congress for three-and-a-half decades, Mr Gandhi replied: "I didn’t have to convince anyone. When Naidu met me the first time regarding the alliance he told me that India is under attack from Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, democratic institutions of the country are under attack and for that matter the Idea of India is under attack and the country must be protected from Modi and Amit Shah. On this basis we all allied together."
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