HYDERABAD: Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao, who is also working president of TRS, on Thursday expressed hope that at some point in the future, a truly federal dispensation would emerge at the Centre as envisioned by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to take the nation forward with a different set of goals.
The Minister, speaking to the media after an event in New Delhi, said that the possibility of a federal front coming to helm the nation appeared more probable with the BJP suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of AAP, a regional party, in Delhi.
“In fact, there are only regional parties in the country now. Even the BJP and the Congress, in my opinion, are regional parties, but a little bigger in size. Barring Karnataka, the BJP does not have any presence in the South and the Congress is fast disappearing from the scene in many States,” Rama Rao said. The TRS leader underscored the need for stronger states for the nation to be strong. “What we need is a federal spirit in governance,” he said and regretted that it is what is lacking now.
Telangana has been discriminated against in allocations in the Union Budget, he said. In the last five years, Telangana had contributed Rs 2.75 lakh crore as taxes to the Centre but it got back only Rs 1.15 lakh crore as devolutions. The Centre need not act in a condescending manner. If the Centre is committed to its slogans of Team India and Cooperative Federalism, it has to revisit its decision on devolutions to the States which are paltry at present, the Minister said.
In another context, he said though the timing of talking about regional parties playing a bigger role at the Centre was not appropriate at present, what was more important was ensuring federalism in governance. “We need to have a strong Centre which cooperates with States to make them strong leading to improvement in their social, human and economic development indices,” he said.
Referring to the role, the TRS would be playing in future, he said that since the people had voted TRS to rule Telangana for five years, as they did for BJP at the Centre, the State would have to work with the Centre. “We may have ideological differences with the BJP but we have to work together,” he said and pointed out that the TRS felt that it need not blindly oppose or support the Centre.
Depending on the merit of the issues, the TRS would take a call, he said, justifying its decision to support the GST and repeal of Article 370 and oppose the CAA because of its discriminatory nature.
“The Opposition need not oppose every decision of the Centre. It is not a zero-sum game,” he said and added that if an issue is in the interest of the nation, the opposition too would have to support the Centre. “I don’t think the Congress would oppose the BJP if the latter takes a decision that benefits the nation,” he said.
In another interesting observation, he said that Telangana may oppose NRC like the way it had stonewalled CAA in Parliament depending on how the Centre would go about it.
“TRS will wait and watch how the Centre goes about the NRC. There is no clarity on NRC at present. In the face of public unrest, the BJP might moderate and come up with workable solutions,” he said.
‘We need federal spirit in governance’
IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao underscored the need for stronger States for the nation to be strong. “What we need is a federal spirit in governance,” he said but regretted that it is what is lacking now in the country