Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday traded barbs while campaigning in Telangana even as both also criticised the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi. The state goes to elections on December 7.

“K Chandrashekar Rao has only done minority appeasement,” Mint quoted Shah as telling a public meeting in Adilabad, referring to the chief minister. “He announced 12% reservation only for Muslims that has stopped the reservation for Adivasis and Dalits.”

In Nalgonda, Shah attacked the Telangana Rashtra Samithi as well as the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen led by Asaduddin Owaisi and the Congress. “There is no difference between the Congress and the TRS, neither party has any faith in internal democracy and both are indulging in the politics of appeasement,” he alleged.

Gandhi also targeted Rao while campaigning in Khammam and Kosigi. He claimed that Rao’s party was the “B Team” of Sangh Parivar, PTI reported. “First we will fight against Narendra Modis ‘B team’ and after that we will beat the ‘A team’ [the BJP],” he said.

He claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not have “indulged in anti-Dalit, anti- Adivasi and anti-minority activities” had Rao not supported him. “When we were fighting Modi on note ban, Land Acquisition Bill and saving farmers’ lands, TRS was supporting Modi, RSS and Sangh Parivar in Parliament,” he said.

Gandhi also said that the aim of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen was to ensure that the Congress does not defeat the BJP at the national level. “Both TRS and AIMIM want Narendra Modi to win elections again,” he claimed. “After defeating the KCR govt in Telangana, this grand alliance of Congress, TDP, CPI will defeat the BJP government in 2019.”

The Congress chief also accused Rao’s government of not putting enough pressure on Modi to fulfil the promises made during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. “After coming to power, we will fulfil all those promises, whether it is setting up of the Bayyaram steel factory, rail coach factory, or a tribal university for Telangana, or special category status for Andhra Pradesh,” he said.