Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has won appreciation from the BJP cadre after she publicly attacked Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his offensive remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public meeting in Karimnagar this week. KCR had addressed the PM as “Modi gaadu” or “that fellow” in Telugu. KCR, who till recently used to shower praises on PM Modi, made a series of offensive comments against him at a farmers’ rally on Monday alleging that the PM ignored the interests of the agricultural sector. The CM claimed that he had brought the issues of farmers to the notice of the PM and other Union ministers but they never bothered to listen.
In the course of his half an hour long speech, KCR addressed the PM in a derogatory sense that shocked many in the audience as well as the BJP leaders in Telangana. Right from that day, the BJP leaders led protests demanding an apology from the CM for his uncharitable words for the Prime Minister. BJP’s Telangana unit president K. Laxman threatened to file a case against CM KCR.
But it was Nirmala Sitharaman who took up the issue publicly and threatened the Telangana government of boycotting a function to mark the inauguration of Tatas’ Aero Space SEZ in Hyderabad on Thursday. Sitharaman told KCR’s son and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao that she could not attend a function in Telangana if the CM used such foul language against the PM. She, however, relented only after KTR offered an explanation to her that his father must have used the word, “gaadu” by slip of tongue. Later, while addressing another BJP function, Sitharaman lashed out at KCR for crossing the limits of decency and decorum in public life.
Sources said that the BJP cadre congratulated her for boldly taking on CM KCR and pulling up KTR for his father’s foul language. Sitharaman’s strong condemnation of KCR brought her appreciation from state BJP leaders who think that the state leadership was always weak in taking on the CM for various reasons. “We wholeheartedly congratulated her (Sitharaman) today,” said senior BJP leader Sudhakar Sharma.
Later, KCR’s daughter and MP K. Kavitha too said that her father’s remarks must have been “a slip of the tongue” “in a long speech”. “Otherwise, my father always uses polite language and never insults the PM,” she said. However, Kavitha explained that such slippages were common to everyone and that even PM Modi once said that he was elected by “600 crore Indians”.
However, political analysts think that there could be other reasons for KCR’s outburst against the PM. KCR had camped in New Delhi for a week from 10 February to get an appointment with the PM. He was told the PM would be available after his UAE tour, but the appointment was not given.
KCR returned disappointed to Hyderabad and had also expressed his anger over denial of “fair treatment” to Telangana in the Union Budget. He submitted a list of demands to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ,but several of the demands like handing over of land belonging to the defence ministry were in the hands of the PM alone, sources close to the CM told this newspaper. “KCR wanted to submit a memorandum to the PM for granting 12% reservation to Muslims and tried to get the latter’s appointment three times in the last five months, but there was no response from the PMO,” said a TRS MP close to the CM.
KCR is unhappy for not only being denied appointments, but also for not getting enough cooperation from the Centre in the last three and a half years, even after supporting the BJP government’s many policies like demonetisation, GST etc.