Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, at a press conference with the Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar in Patna, called for a “Bharatiya Janata Party-mukt Bharat [India devoid of Bharatiya Janata Party]”, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

“The BJP is out to sell everything,” he said. “Now they have only one slogan left, Becho India [Sell India].”

Rao was in Patna to distribute cheques of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the five soldiers from Bihar who were killed in a stand-off with the Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in 2020. Rao also gave cheques of Rs 5 lakh each to families of 12 Bihar-based migrant workers, who died in a fire in Hyderabad in March, PTI reported.

Rao has frequently attacked the Centre for its policies and calling for a change at the national level. In July, he met Opposition’s presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha in Hyderabad. He had also held meetings with Pinarayi Vijayan, Arvind Kejriwal and Uddhav Thackeray.

On Wednesday, Rao called Kumar “desh ka sammanit neta [country’s respectable leader]”.

On being asked if Kumar is the joint Opposition candidate for the next prime minister, Rao said “it is too early to say”.

Kumar on August 12 said that he was not interested in becoming the prime minister, but would play a role in uniting the Opposition parties against the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

On Wednesday, Kumar criticised the Narendra Modi-led government for refusing to grant special category status to Bihar, PTI reported.

“The special status could have helped us develop faster…I have now left them BJP-led government],” Kumar said. “The old times were different as Atal ji used to treat others with respect. Now there is no work, only prachaar and prasaar [publicity].”

He blamed the Centre for the suffering of state governments, PTI reported. “State share in revenue is declining,” he added.