“I’m A Warrior, Not A Beggar”: Telangana’s KCR Hits Out At Congress, BJP

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KCR's demand for Telangana was granted by the Congress-led UPA government.


Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who dissolved the assembly in his state so the state elections will not coincide with next year's national elections, today said he was firm on forming a federal front without the Congress or the BJP. "India needs to change and the beginning will be from Hyderabad," he told NDTV's Prannoy Roy.

KCR, as Mr Rao is popularly known, said he has already talked to some leaders including Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "I'm not doing this for the sake of becoming the Prime Minister. I'm doing this for the sake of a change in the country. I'm a warrior, not a beggar. Now I want change in Indian politics, I'll do my best."

Asked which of the two national parties are worse, Mr Rao said "Both are more than worse, they are about centralising powers. They are not doing what they should do. I am very clear in my mind, we will not align with anybody, we will align with the masses of India".

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The BJP, whose state leaders' overtures for an alliance to the ruling party had fallen flat, has hinted that the Chief Minister's move of advancing the elections indicated a lack of confidence. Local leaders of the BJP said he did not want his pitch to be overtaken by the BJP-Congress tussle in the campaign for the next year's general elections.

The Congress, which has forged an alliance with Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has called TRS the "B Team of the BJP".

Mr Rao, whose demand for Telangana was granted by the Congress-led UPA government, said he would not ally with Sonia Gandhi even if she asks. Sonia Gandhi, he admitted, was "not that bad… she was magnanimous", in what is seen as a hint of her role in the formation of Telangana.

In 2014, Mr Rao had said that no one can take away the credit for Telangana from Sonia Gandhi. But yesterday, his son KT Rama Rao said that it was political compulsion for the Congress that led to the creation of Telangana.

As for Mr Naidu, "he is doing some crooked politics," Mr Rao said.

Following the tie-up between the Congress and Mr Naidu, some opinion polls have predicted that the alliance may win the elections, or a larger number of seats than Mr Rao's the TRS. Questioning the few seats Mr Naidu is contesting, Mr Rao told NDTV that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister "has no policy at all".

"We will win this election. It will be a landslide victory," he added.

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