Telangana’s political landscape has become increasingly dramatic as Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged on Tuesday that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, expressed interest in joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections. Modi cited KCR’s purported “corrupt deeds” as the reason for rejecting the proposal, making these remarks during a massive public gathering in Nizamabad.

Modi disclosed the alleged secret encounter, stating, “Let me reveal a secret. After the GHMC polls in which the BJP secured 48 seats, BRS needed numerical support. KCR approached me for NDA membership but with a condition of assistance in the GHMC. I firmly declined his offer due to his alleged corrupt practices. While we are prepared to be in the opposition in Hyderabad, we won’t betray the people of Telangana. Until then, he used to welcome me at the airport during my Telangana visits. He showered me with affection. However, following this episode, he ceased welcoming me. Corrupt individuals can’t align with me. He can’t even meet my gaze,” accusing the BRS government of misappropriating central funds intended for the state’s development.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections took place in 2020, witnessing a notable surge in BJP’s seats from 2 to 48. These comments came during Modi’s rally in Nizamabad, his second visit to poll-bound Telangana in just three days.

According to The Deccan Herald, the Prime Minister received an enthusiastic reception from BJP supporters, who chanted ‘Modi Modi.’ This visit marked his first appearance in Nizamabad since his announcement on Sunday about the establishment of a national turmeric board benefiting local turmeric farmers.

Modi further claimed that KCR aimed to transfer Telangana’s leadership to his son, Industries Minister KT Rama Rao. He questioned the democratic feasibility of such a move, stating, “I asked him how you can do this in a democracy. Are you a monarch to make such decisions?”

Modi did not spare the Congress either, accusing both the Congress and BRS of having a ‘secret pact’ to support each other. He alleged that KCR was aiding the Congress in Karnataka using ill-gotten wealth from Telangana, with the Congress reciprocating in Telangana.

Modi emphasized, “Even today, Congress and BRS are betraying the people of Telangana. In many states, Congress made grand promises, only to attach conditions to their fulfillment. The BRS made a false promise to provide allowances to unemployed youth. They are essentially the same.”

In response, BRS leaders, including senior minister T Harish Rao, dismissed Modi’s claims. According to an Indian Express report, Rao stated, “Modi can say anything at any place. There is no truth in this.” BRS Politburo member B Vinod also questioned the timing of Modi’s statements after almost three years, asserting, “Why did the PM not mention this until now? There is no truth in these claims.”

Counterattacking Modi, BRS spokesperson Manne Krishank challenged the Prime Minister to visit the Bhagyalakshmi temple at Charminar and swear to the truth of his statements. He added, “Next time a CM goes to meet the PM, he should take a camera to record it because Narendra Modi can resort to any level of falsehood for political gain.”

Sreenivas Janyala for The Indian Express writes that the GHMC polls highlighted the BJP’s growing influence in Telangana, following a poor performance in the December 2018 Assembly elections. The BJP subsequently won the Dubbaka Assembly seat from TRS in November 2020.

Although initially perceived as a neutral player in national politics, Janyala observed that the BRS has toughened its stance against the BJP. This shift coincided with the Enforcement Directorate’s expanded investigation into the Delhi excise scam, involving KCR’s daughter, K Kavitha, among others.

“Before the formation of the INDIA alliance, KCR was actively engaging with opposition leaders across the country. However, as INDIA took shape, KCR retreated and focused on regaining power in the state. The renaming of the party from Telangana Rashtra Samithi to Bharat Rashtra Samithi was seen as part of this broader national ambition,” Janyala further wrote.

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