HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday made it clear that he was never an ally of the BJP nor a part of NDA, dismissing allegations that he had sailed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi covertly for the last five years and later broke up with him.

“I was the first person to call Narendra Modi a fascist after the Centre transferred seven mandals from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh immediately after the bifurcation of the State in 2014,” a combative Chief Minister said in reply to a question at a news conference at his official residence of Pragati Bhavan here on Tuesday.

The Chief Minister went on the offensive when asked why he had not invited the Prime Minister for the inauguration of the State government’s flagship project Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). “There is no need for inviting him for everything. I have invited him for laying the foundation stone for Mission Bhageeratha. As far as Kaleshwaram project is concerned, I am the achiever and I will be inaugurating it on June 21. The Chief Ministers of AP and Maharashtra would attend as chief guests,” Rao said.

When asked why he had skipped NITI Aayog meeting at Delhi recently, the Chief Minister shot back: “We have our own priorities in the State. It is time for the grand inauguration of Kaleshwaram and I had to review arrangements for it since two Chief Ministers are going to attend the ceremony. I did not have time.”

Asserting that he had never veered towards the Prime Minister at any point of time, the Chief Minister said that he was committed to pushing forward his concept of Federal Front which he had enunciated in the past to empower the states.

“I have not forsaken Federal Front. I am with it. I am not overly enamoured by the BJP or Narendra Modi,” he said and pointed out that the relations with the Centre would be at government to government level. If we had supported Ram Nath Kovind when he stood for election for the office of the President of India, it was because we had adopted a policy of extending support to the Centre basing on issues and Kovind’s election appeared appropriate to us,” Rao  said.

KTR, instead of KCR, to attend PM’s meet today

Hyderabad: TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will not be attending the meeting called by Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the ‘one nation, one election’ policy of holding simultaneous polls across the country. Instead, TRS working president KT Rama Rao will attend the meeting. The reason cited was inauguration of Kaleshwaram project scheduled on Friday, for which the CMs of Maharashtra and AP are expected to attend. Rao, however, said at a news conference that he was game for simultaneous polls.

He reiterated that on issues that have a bearing on Telangana, the TRS would surely fight, indicating that the NDA was neither a foe nor a friend and that his party would support the Centre or struggle against it solely based on the merits of the issue at stake. 

He recalled bitterly the step-motherly treatment the Centre had meted out to the State. “We did not get even one rupee for Kaleswaram Project from the Centre. We have funded the project entirely. For Mission Bhagiratha, the NITI Aayog had recommended that the Centre  release Rs 24,000 crore to Telangana but the State received nothing.”

When his attention was drawn to Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy’s observation that Hyderabad had become haven for terrorists, Rao said that the people were laughing at him for his ignorance since they knew that Hyderabad is the most peaceful city in the entire country.