Modi revealed how KCR has been trying to woo him and requesting for an opportunity to join the NDA alliance
There are few political speeches, even fewer election campaign speeches, that can change the course of the politics of an entire state; and rarer are orators who can deliver them. One can almost state with certainty that politics in Telangana would perhaps be divided as before and after Tuesday’s speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nizamabad.
Addressing multitudes comprising BJP party workers, farmers, women, students and even children, Mr Modi, in his trademark conversational style, that sounded like a strongly directed but seemingly free-flowing dialogue between the speaker and the audience, hit the sweet (or sore) spot of the Telangana people and politics, asking if he could confess some truths never before disclosed or discussed in public. The people roared their approval thunderously.
And Mr Modi, in a moment seldom witnessed, revealed how Telangana chief minister and BRS chief K. Chandrashekar Rao has been trying to woo him and requesting for an opportunity to join the NDA alliance. Mr Modi also shared details on how KCR requested him to partner up to form a local government together in the Greater Hyderabad municipal corporation, after the GHMC polls threw up a hung house. On yet another occasion, KCR reportedly pleaded with Mr Modi to allow him to recede from public life and retire from politics, after making his son K.T. Rama Rao the CM of the state.
At this stage, the political matrix of Telangana, up for the next state Assembly polls, was totally disrupted — all in the course of a few minutes. In different scripts and narratives, there was an obvious but predictable discord on what happened subsequently. In Mr Modi’s revelations, he refused entry to BRS chief KCR into the NDA, because of his corruption and other black deeds, which does not entitle him a seat next to himself.
While the BRS chief himself did not publicly denounce or deny the allegations, reportedly owing to ill-health, his son and BRS working president KTR tore into the charges, accusing Prime Minister Modi of being a trickster, a liar, the “chancellor of WhatsApp University” and whatnot.
Why would anyone join a sinking ship, when most existing NDA allies have ditched the BJP, wondered KTR, asking rhetorically, “Have we been bitten by a mad dog? Why do we need Modi’s permission to change our CM?”
The Congress Party, whose fortunes are soaring in a near-fairytale-like equivalence, enjoyed the discomfort of both the BJP and BRS, whom they dub “bhai-bhai”. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief A. Revanth Reddy saw this as Mr Modi’s efforts at KCR’s behest to try to split the anti-incumbency vote in order to help the BRS which, as per several surveys and indicators, is in serious trouble.
“Why are the Central agencies like the CBI or the ED or the I-T not acting against the BRS leadership if they are so corrupt unlike in other states,” the Congress demanded. “Is it because of any special relationship?”
The AIMIM, led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, was perforce silent, because after having publicly appealed to the Muslim community to vote for the BRS, a bear hug by Mr Modi was the last thing it needed.
And thus, it ended — he came, he spoke and changed everything.