Rahul’s comment opens can of worms; Congress, BRS trade barbs

Perturbed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statements against the BRS government, the party leadership unleashed strong reactions within minutes of his speech.

By Md Nizamuddin  Published on  3 July 2023 3:27 PM GMT
Rahul’s comment opens can of worms; Congress, BRS trade barbs.

Hyderabad: Following Rahul Gandhi’s diatribe against the BRS government and its policies, leaders from Congress and the pink party engaged in a war of words and tried to debase each other over corruption allegations.

Perturbed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statements against the BRS government, the party leadership unleashed strong reactions within minutes of his speech. Ministers KT Rama Rao and T Harish Rao termed the party as the ‘All India Corruption Committee’ (AICC) and ‘scamgress.’ The MPs held a press conference to emphasise how BRS remained vociferous against the BJP government.

War of words

BRS MPs on Monday tried to defend the party’s stand against BJP during the passage of bills, particularly agriculture bills. They also questioned Rahul Gandhi’s comment on the party. Meanwhile, referring to the CAG report, PCC chief A Revanth Reddy dared KTR and Harish Rao for an open debate on Telangana’s ‘white elephant,’ the Kaleshwaram project, to prove Rahul Gandhi’s allegations wrong.

While both KTR and Harish Rao were quick to react by taking to Twitter, the MPs spoke at length about how the allegations particularly, the one on the support for bills in Parliament, were completely wrong.

BRS MPs defend party’s independent thought

Nama Nageswara Rao who represents the Khammam Parliamentary seat was amongst the most furious. “Whatever Rahul Gandhi spoke in Khammam is all made up against the BRS. We objected to the Agriculture Bills and through protests inside Parliament, we tried to raise our voices against it. He read out whatever was given to him,” he said during a press conference in Telangana Bhavan along with K Keshava Rao and other MPs.

The Khammam MP, while showing the famous video clip of Rahul Gandhi, giving a hug to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to emphasise how the Congress leader not only embraced him but also went down in history with his theatrics like winking. “The original relative of the BJP is Rahul. He does not know what is happening inside the Parliament. It was BRS which moved privilege motion against the Prime Minister and moved adjournment motion at least 30 times,” he explained.

Kaleshwaram, a ‘white elephant’ project

Defending Rahul Gandhi’s statements, Revanth said that BRS stands for ‘BJP Rishtedar Samithi.’ He alleged that the ruling party tried to keep the citizens in the dark about the real purpose of KTR’s visit to Delhi recently. “His Delhi visit and meeting with BJP’s top leaders was aimed at stopping ED raids against them, as the ED comes under the home ministry. If what the BRS is claiming to be true then they have to place all the representations made to the ministers in the public domain,” he demanded.

Alleging that the BRS indulged in misappropriation of Rs 1 crore in the Kaleshwaram project alone, Revanth felt that the project has failed to serve its purpose. He questioned ministers KTR and Harish Rao as to how many acres of land were actually under irrigation under this project. “This project has become a benchmark for corruption and an example of a ‘white elephant.’ Each year Rs 25,000 crore is being spent on this. Doesn’t that mean the government is forced to pay Rs 85,000 crore as bills?” he asked.

Former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir also felt that the BRS leadership was rattled after Rahul Gandhi highlighted the ‘Kaleshwaram Project scam.’ Shabbir Ali noted that Harish Rao, being the irrigation minister, appeared particularly fearful as the project was under his purview. He criticised the TRS government for escalating the project’s cost from approximately Rs 30,000 crores to nearly Rs 140,000 crores, supposedly to increase commission from the contractors. “Let BRS come up with a White Paper on Kaleshwaram Project giving details about when the project was prepared and when it was approved and also explain when and why the project cost was escalated,” he demanded in his statement.

“The success of the Telangana Jana Garjana in Khammam has sent shockwaves among BRS leaders. They are now expected to resort to various tactics in an attempt to regain public attention,” he felt.

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