War of words erupts between CMs of 2 Telugu States

Ch.R.S Sarma/M Somasekhar Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam | Updated on December 31, 2018 Published on December 31, 2018

TRS chief attacks Chandrababu for joining hands with Cong, forming Praja Front

Though the temperature dipped considerably in the two Telugu States — Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana — it didn’t deter the respective Chief Ministers — N Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) — from pushing up the political heat. The two leaders engaged in a war of words last weekend.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and efforts to forge a non-BJP, non-Congress front, KCR minced no words in attacking Chandrababu Naidu , calling him ‘a dirty and worthless politician’.

KCR’s ire stems from the latter’s decision to join hands with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, forming the Praja Front and hectic campaigning during the recent Telangana Assembly elections.

After securing a landslide victory in the elections, KCR said, “Chandrababu came to Telangana to fight me. I shall go to AP and give him a return gift,” he said.

National aspirations

In keeping with the promise, KCR has begun to attack Naidu systematically on issues ranging from governance of AP to attempts to replicate the Praja Front at the national level. He visited some well-known temples in AP, Odisha and Kolkata, and met Naveen Patnaik and Mamta Banerjee as part of his national aspirations.

At a media conference on Saturday, KCR called the AP CM worthless and “the dirtiest politician in the country,” using phrases which political observers felt were beyond the usually bitter criticism of KCR.

“Chandrababu is incapable of governing a State”, said KCR, conveying his sympathies to the people of AP “for bearing with such an impossible man.” He expressed confidence that the people of AP would throw him out in the upcoming general elections.

KCR, who boastsof having greater command over English than Chandrababu, targeted the linguistic abilities of the AP CM. The TRS chief said Chandrababu cannot even express himself properly in English.

Chandrababu retorts

There was a chorus of protests from the Cabinet colleagues of AP CM Naidu and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders over thepersonal attack launched by KCR on their leader. Some of the loyalty-seeking TDP leaders tried to answer back in the same ‘colourful’ language as KCR.

AP CM chose to rebut the allegations. “It is unbecoming for a Chief Minister to use such language against the Chief Minister of another State. I don’t want to stoop so low and get into an ugly spat,” he said.

However, he said, certain clarifications were to be made on the points raised by KCR. “KCR had said it was during the time when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister and N Janardhana Reddy the Chief Minister of the united AP that the foundation stone was laid for the IT tower at Cyberabad, and that I am falsely hogging the credit for it. It is patently incorrect, as Janardhana Reddy was not the CM when Rajiv was the PM,” he said.

On the issue of Special Category Status, he pointed out “the flip-flops of KCR” and accused the Telangana CM of being hand in glove with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy.

“If the BJP, KCR and Jagan want to contest the upcoming elections in AP jointly, it is fine. Noone can object to it. But they are indulging in politics of connivance and abusing me and my party,” he said.

He also reminded KCR that the latter had started his political career in the TDP in the united AP and “in fact, KCR was a minister in my Cabinet.” He said it was not proper on his part to forget his roots and indulge in abuse.

“I and my party have every right to contest in Telangana and seek votes. If KCR wants to retaliate by joining hands with Jagan and BJP in AP, it is fine. Let them do so openly. It is their democratic right,” he said.

Referring to “the KCR’s threat” that cases will be filed against him in Telangana, he said he was ready for it and also for “the return gift” by KCR. “If he files one case against me, I shall file four against him,” he said.

Published on December 31, 2018
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