HYDERABAD: It’s not going to be an easy “ride” for Rahul Gandhi in Telangana in the upcoming poll season. After the Gandhi scion was denied permission to address students at Osmania University campus, the police on Sunday denied clearance for his proposed motorcycle rally from RGIA to the city. About 5,000 Congress supporters were expected to participate in the rally as a show of strength.
The move comes as a major setback for the State Congress Committee. Rahul is scheduled to reach the city Monday afternoon. “Rahul’s security is under the Special Protection Group (SPG). It’s they who objected to the rally, not us,” claimed assistant police commissioner S Ashok Goud. “According to the protocol sent to us, there should not be any vehicles in front of the convoy. Moreover, in the airport there is a high alert in view of the Independence Day, it would be practically impossible for the rally to be held,” Goud said.
Legislative Affairs Harish Rao on Sunday launched an acerbic attack on AICC president Rahul Gandhi ahead of his two-day visit to the city. Rao said that the TRS was confident and had no reason to fear the Congress chief. “We are not scared of his visit. Let him tour and tell people whatever he wants to say. Only the people can assess the good work done by the TRS government. They will take the right decision,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at Telangana Bhavan, Rao said that Gandhi had not spoken anything in favour of Telangana in the parliament in the last four years. “Rahul Gandhi has spoken for special status for Andhra Pradesh, but never extended his support to Telangana. Despite then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s assurance that all benefits extended to AP would also be given to Telangana, Rahul has never raised this issue,” he said. The minister added that if AP was accorded special status, then even Telangana needed to get tax benefits for industries set up here.
The minister recalled that Telangana youths were killed in police firing and later a martyrs’ memorial was constructed at Gun Park. “Apparently, Rahul Gandhi will pay tributes at the memorial. So, the Congress kills Telangana’s youths and later pays them tributes,” he remarked sarcastically.
Rao also recalled that when Osmania University students committed suicides demanding formation of Telangana, TRS leaders wanted to visit OU to console the students. “The then ruling Congress government stated that OU vice-chancellor would take a decision and that the government would not interfere. Now, the TRS government too has left the matter to the VC. Why are Jana Reddy and other leaders trying to make this an issue now?” he said.
Harish Rao, again with a touch of sarcasm, said that this was a great opportunity for Rahul Gandhi to learn about the TRS government’s good work since 2014. “If the Congress was so sincere towards the State, why could it not take at least one leader from Telangana into its ‘jumbo’ Congress Working Committee (CWC),” he said.
‘TRS has no right to criticise Rahul Gandhi’
Hyderabad: Meanwhile, Congress party leader and MLA A Revanth Reddy said that Rahul Gandhi would interact with farmers, students and youths during his two-day visit. Reddy said that Gandhi had studied about Telangana’s issues extensively and this would form the basis for his discussions. Alleging that the TRS government was run by four members of a family, he said that the party had betrayed students and the youth who had fought for the formation of a separate Telangana.
“Now the government is conspiring to not allow Rahul Gandhi into Osmania University where students have different opinions of the Kalvakuntla family,’’ he said. “Telangana comes in second numbers of farmer suicides. Almost one lakh students and youths have been cheated of jobs by the government. Rahul Gandhi only wishes to talk to the people about these issues.”