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K.C. Rao seeks apology from Amit Shah for spreading ‘blatant lies’ during Telangana tour

LiveMint logoLiveMint 25-05-2017 Yunus P. Lasania

Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday demanded an apology from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah for spreading “blatant lies” during his three-day tour in the state that the Centre has given the state Rs1 trillion.

Rao also challenged Shah to prove his words, adding that he will not tolerate anyone who would “harm” Telangana’s interests.

“Amit Shah is the national president of the ruling party and he is saying such (false) things. In 2016-17, Telangana sent a total of Rs50,013 crore to the Centre through income tax, sales tax, custom tax and the central excise tax. And since the state’s formation till date, we have received only Rs67,390 crore through central devolutions. This money is given to all states and is rightfully ours,” Rao said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Stating that his reaction to Shah’s words were not political, Rao said he will not tolerate any negative comments about Telangana. Central ministers, foreign diplomats and other state governments have also appreciated the state’s progress, he added.

“I am unable to understand the provocation,” Rao added.

Shah visited three villages in Nalgonda district of Telangana as part of his 22-24 May tour. A press note from the BJP on 23 May quoted him saying that the Union government has given over Rs40,000 crore for highways, which include the Hyderabad-Bengaluru, Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Yadadri-Bhadrachalam highways.

Terming it a “tamasha”, Rao said his own numbers were factual and he would resign if proven wrong.

“The Centre has given us money, not the BJP. Any party in power will have to do it. I demand that he apologise to the people of Telangana. I won’t mind if remarks are made against me, but not against the state,” Rao said.

Rao also said that in spite of several visits to New Delhi, the high court (of Judicature for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) is yet to be bifurcated. “Unless the judiciary is divided, bifurcation is not complete. You are heckling the people of the state. We are also well ahead of other states in terms of healthcare,” he said.

Rao, however, said that he respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that his government will maintain the “constitutional relationship” all states have to with the Centre.

“I was also the first one to support demonetization,” he added.

Reacting to Rao’s press conference, Krishna Saagar Rao, spokesperson, BJP, posted on Twitter that Rao was “heavily rattled” and that his “knee-jerk reaction will certainly reap consequences”.

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