Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who accused him of making “anti-national” statements, reported ANI.
“When I don’t support them [the BJP] they brand me as anti-national,” he said at a press conference in Hyderabad. “BJP also brands people as urban naxals if they speak against them.”
On Sunday, the chief minister had alleged that India was losing its land at the borders in Arunachal Pradesh to China everyday, reported The Hindu. He added that the Centre lost its face at the international level because it had made blunders in dealing with Chinese aggression on the borders.
Rao had also claimed that the Centre was saying that it will not procure paddy, but the state BJP was pushing farmers to cultivate the crop, reported The Times of India.
He threatened BJP leaders that he would cut their tongues if they do not stop using bad language to criticise him, PTI reported. “If you continue to talk nonsense we will slice your tongues, be careful,” he added.
Following his remarks, Kumar on Monday accused Rao of making statements supporting China and thereby “insulting and demoralising” the Indian Army soldiers.
“Mr Rao should be within his limits, resign forthwith and apologise for making such statements and also to TS [Telangana state] people for uttering lies and falsehoods on Centre on the issue of paddy procurement, farm laws and taxes on fuel,” the BJP chief said.
On Monday, Rao said that he was simply asking if the Centre would buy the state’s parboiled rice or not.
“Telangana Rashtra Samithi will organise dharnas [protests] in all Assembly constituencies on November 12, with lakhs of farmers demanding the central government to procure entire Kharif [summer or monsoon crop] paddy produced in Telangana,” he said.
The chief minister said that his government has provided jobs to 1.35 lakh people in the state and added that 70,000 more jobs will be given.
“According to the studies, the unemployment rate in Telangana is low,” he said. “What about the Centre’s promise of providing 2 crore jobs?”
Responding to the BJP chief’s comments, Rao said: “We are ready to face any enquiry.”
On Sunday, the chief minister had claimed that his government would not reduce its tax share on fuel as it has not increased the value added tax, or VAT, in the last seven years.
However, Kumar claimed that the Telangana government had increased VAT by 4% on petrol and 5% on diesel in 2015.
At his press conference, Rao had also demanded the withdrawal of the farm laws passed by the Modi government last September.
“We will fight against BJP and expose its failures at the national level and in Telangana by holding dharnas on the streets of Delhi and Telangana,” Rao added.
The BJP chief asked: “What is he going to protest in Delhi when the Supreme Court has stayed the farm laws? He threatened to do the same few months ago but returned empty handed.”