Taunting the BJP over its promise to make a backward caste candidate as Chief Minister of Telangana, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday wondered how the it could do so when it was going to garner only a meagre percentage of votes.
Mr Gandhi, who addressed public meetings at Kalwakurthy, Jadcherla and Shadnagar in Telangana, said BJP leaders used to brag about their chances in the state. However, the Congress had “punctured” the four tyres of BJP’s vehicle in Telangana.
“You will get two per cent votes here and how can you make a chief minister?” he asked.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had recently announced in a poll rally regarding making a backward class leader as Chief Minister if the BJP came to power in Telangana after the November 30 assembly polls.
Mr Gandhi further took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the PM would go to the US and announce that he will make an OBC candidate President of America.
“You will neither be able to make a President in America nor a Chief Minister here (Telangana),” he said.
Targetting the AIMIM, Mr Gandhi alleged that the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party fields candidates wherever the Congress fights the BJP by taking money from the saffron party.
“Wherever we go to fight the elections… Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tripura, wherever Congress party fights with BJP, MIM party takes money from BJP and puts up candidates there,” he claimed.
Just as it has “punctured the tyres of BJP” in Telangana, the Congress will do so in the whole of India.
“First, we have to win in Telangana. We will win in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, and later in 2024, we will win Delhi (Lok Sabha),” he said.
He reiterated his allegation that “BJP, BRS and AIMIM are one”. “These three are working together.” “… if there is no tacit understanding between BJP and BRS, why is there not even a single case against your Chief Minister?” he asked.
He recalled that the BRS had supported the BJP in Parliament on the three farm laws.
The Congress leader promised to conduct a caste census if his party was voted to power in Telangana.
A caste census would also be conducted in the country if the Congress comes to power after the Lok Sabha elections held next year, he added.
Mr Gandhi, who alleged that the Chief Minister “swindled” Rs one lakh crore in Kaleswaram project, displayed a mock ‘Kaleswaram ATM’ made by his party to the people at Shadnagar.
Referring to reports of some ‘piers’ of Medigadda barrage of Kaleswaram project ‘sinking’, he said KCR should inspect the site.
Alleging that RSS-BJP spread hate in the country, he claimed that a ‘mohabbat ki dukan’ should be opened. He likened the 24 cases filed against him to medals given to the personnel in the Army.
“I wake up in the morning and if there is no attack on me by BJP or if they don’t speak ill of me, I don’t have fun,” he quipped.
“I have shaken them (rivals) so much that they talk about me 24-hours. Narendra Modi ji and KCR sleep in the night and suddenly they see me in their dreams,” he said.
He also highlighted the Congress’s poll promises, including Rs 2,500 for women every month under ‘Mahalakshmi’ scheme, provision of LPG cylinder for Rs 500, free bus travel for women.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)