HYDERABAD: Not one to lie low in the face of the BJP’s fusillade against him and his party, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday, November 7, 2021, packed a powerful punch at the Centre, announcing that henceforth, the TRS would set fire to the saffron party on all its sides, for its out and out anti-farmer and anti-people policies besides purveying white lies over steep hike in petroleum products, which imposed a heavy burden on common man in the form of runaway inflation.
“The BJP government is clearly anti-farmer in its character. Its farm laws, against whom, farmers have been agitating for the last one year, are only to corporatise agriculture. In Telangana, it has abdicated its responsibility of procuring all the paddy that it produces.
It has cleverly imposed cess on the sale of petroleum products so that it appropriate to itself all the additional revenue as the cess would not go into the divisible pool of central taxes of which 41 per cent would come back to the States. I am demanding that the cess should be withdrawn on petroleum products immediately. From now, it’s an all out war. I myself would sit in a dharna along with my Ministers, MLAs, MPs and other people’s representatives in Delhi. We will force the Centre to mend its ways,” a visibly angry CM said.
Speaking to the media, he said that till now the TRS supported the BJP in Parliament on some issues based on merit in expectation of the Centre helping the State. But on the contrary, its “arrogant” decisions were in conflict with the interests of the State as well as the nation. “I will join hands with whoever comes along in fighting the BJP at the Centre,” he said, implying the possibility of bringing all the disparate opposition parties together.
‘Never raised VAT, will not reduce it now’
Referring to the call of the Centre to the States to cut VAT, the CM said there was no question of Telangana reducing the VAT. “We are not going to cut VAT because we have not raised it even by a paise since the formation of State. It is the Centre which had been raising the price of the fossil fuels without any regard to how it was affecting the common man,” he said and sought to nail the Centre’s lie that it was raising the price because price of crude oil was going up in the international market which was not true. “If the cess that it is imposed on diesel and petrol is withdrawn, the price of the petrol would revert to `77/litre and diesel to Rs 68/litre which were the prices ruling when the State was formed in 2014. Since then the price of the crude in the international market, in fact, had gone down and even touched as low a mark as $33 per barrel,” he said.
‘Huzurabad defeat a minor blip’
CM KCR tried to play down the setback the TRS suffered in Huzurabad, saying, “It is a minor blip. In byelections, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. It means nothing.” Taking exception to the campaign that the winds of change have already begun, he said: “The same BJP had lost Nagarjunasagar bypoll. What about it then? It lost other bypolls in the country. Despite loss in Huzurabad, he said that the TRS govt “would implement Dalit Bandhu all over the State”.