INTERVIEW | ‘Modi’s BJP won’t get more than 220 seats’: Telangana CM

Asked about direct elections, he said the “RSS formula is direct election.
Telangana CM Revantha Reddy intrcation with Journalists in Bengaluru on Sunday.
Telangana CM Revantha Reddy intrcation with Journalists in Bengaluru on Sunday.| Nagaraja Gadekal

BENGALURU: Terming this Lok Sabha election as a vote for or against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy declared, “I don’t see Narendra Modi’s BJP getting more than 220 seats.”

Here to galvanise the Telugu speaking population -- about 28 lakh in Bengaluru and about 40 lakh across Karnataka -- for Congress candidates, Reddy said the electorate does not give someone more than two chances. The people gave former PMs Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh two chances, similarly PM Modi too got two terms.

Criticising the BJP government for its lopsided treatment of South India, Reddy said Gujarat takes the best investments, and other states have to make do with the leftovers that trickle down. He claimed that when states in the South get direct investments, the companies get a call from the PMO, and are convinced or forced to take their investments to Gujarat.

“When people’s bellies are full, they talk of places of worship and other issues, but when people are hungry, they talk about food, employment and survival. Across the world, this is the trend,” said Revanth Reddy.

Asked about direct elections, he said the “RSS formula is direct election. They want to turn it into a 20 per cent minority community versus 80 per cent majority community, work against the minorities and get support from the majority group. They play North vs South and Aryan vs Dravidian”.

He claimed that the Congress has always maintained regional balance and offered a formula for equitable development for South and North. “It is an unwritten code in the Congress. If the PM was from the North, someone from the South held the position of President, and many important portfolios were given to those from the south. But not so in this government, BJP did not give party president post to a leader from the South, they even got rid of ministers like Venkaiah Naidu and Sadananda Gowda. The South does not figure in the BJP’s scheme of things,” he said.

When Modi took over as PM, the loan component was Rs 55 lakh crore, but over 10 years, it has increased by Rs 113 lakh crore and now stands at Rs 168 lakh crore. While previous regimes created wealth for the nation, the Modi regime has privatised such wealth. The only memorable monument built by this PM is the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue, Reddy added.

He also spoke of the “jugalbandi between the BJP and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi”, which was mutually beneficial to both parties, and explained how they strategically take decisions that help the other directly or indirectly.

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