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BJP Telangana Incharge to News18

BJP Telangana Incharge to News18

The entire country rallies behind PM Modi because they want ‘mazboot sarkaar’, not ‘majboor sarkaar of corrupt leaders’, said Chugh. Pic/News18

In the exclusive conversation, Tarun Chugh also said that in Telangana, ‘KCR’s car is being driven by Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM’

After Karnataka, the next big focus for the Bharatiya Janata Party is Telangana where it is pulling out all stops to make inroads into the state and dethrone the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government led by chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao. Ahead of union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Chevella on April 23, News18 caught up with BJP’s Telangana incharge and national general secretary Tarun Chugh in a freewheeling chat on the party’s vision for the state, on rumours of rift and infighting within the local unit, and KCR’s national ambitions. Edited excerpts:

Telangana CM and BRS chief KCR is pulling out all stops to take on a national role to counter the BJP. He has also vowed to contest the local body polls in Maharashtra. How do you see these developments?

In Telangana, KCR’s car is being driven by Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, while on the other side, he is supporting the MVA. There is a stark contrast in their ideologies. KCR himself lacks clarity and is puzzled about his political career. KCR is planning for his retirement because he knows he is set to lose Telangana. He is banking on the support of these 4-5 parties for political survival. He is acting out of frustration.

Do you see any potential in his efforts to bring together an opposition front of regional parties?

KCR is hand in glove with the Congress. He has been regularly interacting with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. KCR is basically trying to form another Maha Aghadi with the help of Congress. He must clarify his stand because he has been duping the people of Telangana, by pretending to act as Congress’s rival. All this drama leaves me with just one question: what happens to TPCC chief Revanth Reddy now? I am reminded of a dialogue from the film Sholay: ‘Ab tera kya hoga, Kalia?’ KCR is trying to form a weak and disabled government at the Centre. He and others can continue daydreaming. The entire country rallies behind PM Modi because they want ‘mazboot sarkaar’, not ‘majboor sarkaar of corrupt leaders’.

Speaking about Telangana, the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) has become a big political controversy and an issue that has given you political mileage. Will the creation of jobs and an overhaul of the TSPSC be part of your election manifesto here?

Yes, the entire system needs to be revamped and made transparent. Lakhs of students are staring at a bleak future right now because this corrupt government has weakened the entire system. As soon as we are voted to power, we will immediately issue a job calendar and bring in a system where competent, talented and aspirational youth get a chance to serve the state and the nation.

Your party is also taking up the issue on a large scale by planning state-wide protests. What are your key demands?

Telangana’s development is our biggest focus right now. Our exponential growth and popularity in the last few years have only been indicative of the fact that people want PM Modi’s ‘double-engine ki sarkaar’. When it comes to the TSPSC paper leak mafia scam, we have three core demands: judicial inquiry by a sitting high court judge, immediate suspension of IT minister KT Rama Rao, and compensation of one lakh rupees to every affected student.

Even the Congress is taking out ‘unemployed youth marches’ across the state. Priyanka Gandhi is also expected to lead one of these marches. Has BJP been able to position itself as the sole voice fighting on this issue?

For the past 10 years, Congress has been KCR’s B-team here. It has become even more evident through the bonhomie that they share in Delhi. After the 2014 and 2018 assembly elections, they had an under-the-table post-poll alliance working style, but now they are openly looking at a pre-poll alliance.

There has been a strong buzz of infighting within the Telangana BJP with home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda also reportedly taking cognisance of this. What is the real picture here?

Both Amit Shah ji and Nadda ji regularly take stock of Telangana. There is no question of infighting in the first place. Every member of the BJP is working unitedly towards one goal which is to uproot the KCR-led BRS government. Rumours of infighting are being spread by those who are scared of us.

Do you have enough candidates?

We have 3-4 potential candidates to contest in each of the 119 constituencies.

The BRS has been consistently trying to corner the BJP over the Adani row, even calling Adani PM Modi’s proxy. They have been targeting your party for failing to sanction projects to the state, including the Bayyaram steel plant…

KCR is blatantly lying. I challenge him to an open debate on all the projects that have been sanctioned by the Modi government. Let him produce a track record of all the work he has done for Telangana in the last 9 years. Why is he stalling the Centre’s projects in Telangana? We have exposed the real face of KCR.

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