Is KCR rattled by BJP’s rise in Telangana following Huzurabad bypoll loss?

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Hyderabad: “I am warning BJP at the Centre. I am warning Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay. I will cut your tongue. Put me in jail and see the consequences. Touch me and see,” a rattled Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) came out all guns firing at an impromptu presser at his residence-cum-office in Hyderabad on Sunday evening.

Known to be very temperamental, KCR was in a full combative mood during the entire one hour plus duration he spoke. The trigger was Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay telling the farmers of the state to go for paddy in the forthcoming rabi season whereas the ruling TRS government is telling the farmers not to go for paddy (boiled rice) in this particular season because the Centre has refused to buy it and instead go for alternate crops like cotton.

Flaunting various correspondence papers between the state and the Centre, KCR looked clearly frustrated, repeatedly accusing the Centre, and particularly union cabinet minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, of not buying paddy while the state BJP leadership is telling the farmers to go for paddy.

“Clearly, the BJP, for its cheap political gains, is misleading the farmers of the state. The state BJP president Bandi Sanjay doesn’t know a thing and is talking irresponsibly and personally attacking me. I kept quiet till now. But henceforth I am warning we will cut his tongue,” KCR said expressing his anger.

But why is KCR so angry? It is clearly evident that the recent heavy loss in Huzurabad by-election did not go down well with him. The Huzurabad bypoll was a prestige battle between KCR and his former protege Etala Rajender, who was removed from cabinet and TRS for reasons not clear even now.

Etala joined BJP and backed by its top brass and with his own ground support defeated TRS nominee Gellu Srinivas comfortably by more than 23,000 votes.

This election was a straight battle between the TRS and the BJP and more so between KCR and Etala Rajender. The BJP with its impressive electoral victories in Telangana is becoming a concern for TRS politically. “Just because they won Huzurabad doesn’t mean anything. In 2018 assembly elections this same BJP lost deposits in 107 constituencies,” KCR said.

KCR even declared support for farmers’ protests in north India. “Yes. Now we will support them in their demand to withdraw farm laws,” he declared.

On the question of reducing VAT on fuel prices, KCR shot back angrily, “Why should we do when we did not raise any single paise VAT. The Centre should immediately withdraw cess on fuel because it is raising fuel prices even when international crude oil prices are down.”

Going by his tone and tenor, the political fireworks are likely to be continued between the TRS and the BJP.

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