Slamming the NDA government at the Centre over disinvestment in PSUs and “anti-farmer” policies, TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday said he would soon convene a conclave of opposition leaders to launch a united fight. Rao, addressing a joint meeting of TRS MPs, MLAs and MLCs here, said he would speak to various opposition parties across the country and they would declare a battle against the BJP- led NDA probably by the middle of next month.
“Very soon, I am going to hold a conclave of India’s opposition parties in Hyderabad. 100 per cent. We will initiate a fight. We will give the Hyderabad Declaration and blow the conch shell for battle in this country…,” he said. The TRS supremo, popularly known as KCR, raised questions over the disinvestment proposals related to public sector units, including LIC, and privatisation of Railways, and mounted a sharp attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi who described himself as ‘chaiwala’ at a railway station was now ‘selling’ the railway station, he said. “God knows where the ‘chaiwala’ has gone. The person who said he sold tea is now selling the railway station… What is the necessity to privatise railways that provide employment to lakhs and serve crores of people?” Rao asked.
“I submit that KCR is going to launch this fight, may be in the second week of December. While protecting the state and doing politics in the state, voice definitely needs to be raised in the country against the Modi government’s attitude towards PSUs and the anti-farmer actions,” Rao said. He said the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee initiated the disinvestment ministry. It did not set up any PSUs but ‘finished’ seven of them, while the Congress government of Manmohan Singh handed out the same treatment to another three, he alleged.
The present Modi government targeted 23 PSUs which includes theLIC, the largest insurance firm in the world with 40 crore policyholders, he said, asking why should it be privatised. The LIC handed over a dividend of Rs 2,600 crore to the Centre even this year, he said. “Who knows where would foreign firms invest their money?” he asked.
Claiming that crores of workmen, including those of electricity boards in states, were ready to join the battle, he quoted some of the leaders of such workers as having told them that they don’t have faith in Congress and wanted him to initiate the campaign. Rao, who was addressing the party leaders on the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections scheduled for December 1, said his party would stand by the personnel of central PSUs like Railways, LIC, BHEL, BSNL and NTPC and asked them to support those who raise their voice for them in the city polls.
He alleged that the NDA government at the Centre has not given even a rupee towards assistance for victims of recent heavy rains and flooding in the city. In a veiled attack on the BJP without naming it, he said, however, one party was claiming to have provided funds.
He said the TRS leaders should initiate a debate before the people of Hyderabad whether they wanted a peaceful city that achieved rapid economic growth or one that would witness communal violence and curfews. Some parties indulged in creating divisions for temporary gains which needed to be countered, he added.