Telangana CM KCR and BJP state president Bandi Sanjay have been engaged in a debate over the issues of paddy procurement from Telangana and reducing cess on fuel prices.

Bandi Sanjay and Telangana CM KCR
news Politics Monday, November 08, 2021 - 19:54

The ongoing war of words between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and state BJP president Bandi Sanjay continued on Monday, November 8. KCR held a press meet for the second consecutive day on Monday evening, to respond to Bandi Sanjay’s comments to the media earlier in the afternoon. Referring to Bandi Sanjay’s threats to plough and even seize his farmhouse, KCR said, “Why do you want to plough my farmhouse, I’ve done nothing wrong. Lets’ see you try to step into my farmhouse, you’ll be torn into 6 pieces,” KCR said. The Chief Minister lashed out at the Union government for a second consecutive day. He demanded straight answers on whether the Union government will procure paddy from Telangana, and whether it will reduce cess on fuel, stating that he will continue to hold a press conference every day until these issues are sorted out.

On Sunday, November 7, while addressing the media over these issues, KCR had reprimanded Bandi Sanjay for encouraging farmers in Telangana to cultivate paddy this rabi season. Bandi Sanjay had announced that the state BJP would agitate against the TRS government for discouraging farmers from cultivating paddy. KCR has said that the problem lies with the Union government, which is not willing to procure paddy from the state. On Sunday, KCR said that Telangana BJP leaders including Bandi Sanjay were indulging in loose talk and warned that "we will cut your tongue."

Both leaders accused each other of lying about the fuel price issue and paddy procurement. He alleged that the chief minister was creating more problems for farmers by preventing them from growing paddy and cotton. KCR, on the other hand, insisted that farmers grow cotton this rabi season instead of paddy. 

Responding to this, Bandi Sanjay said that KCR was lying about the Union government refusing to procure paddy. He said, "The Food Corporation of India (FCI) wrote to the state government that paddy will be procured between October 21 and January 21." He also asked KCR to show evidence that farmers cultivated paddy on 62 lakh acres in the state. KCR responded by saying he was ready to take BJP leaders around the state in helicopters and prove his claim. “They say we don’t really have 62 lakh acres of paddy cultivation. How else do we interpret this attitude, other than that they’re trying to evade procurement,” he said. 

Earlier on Sunday, KCR had remarked that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was failing in preventing China from occupying India’s land near the border in Arunachal Pradesh. Demanding KCR's resignation and his apology to the nation, Bandi Sanjay on Monday alleged that KCR’s comments were in support of China and demoralised our soldiers on the Indo-China border. In retaliation, KCR on Monday said that anyone who questioned the BJP government is being branded as anti-national. “When we supported the NDA, we were not called anti-nationals.  When they asked for our (TRS) support for their Bills in parliament, we weren't called anti-nationals. But anyone who questions the Union government, or speaks truth, is branded as an anti-national or urban naxal,” KCR said, adding, “I just said Chinese occupation in Arunachal Pradesh must be stopped, how is that anti-national?”

He also said that the BJP had been gaining power in states like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh undemocratically and not through people’s mandate. “Even if people choose someone else, BJP is undemocratically bringing down the government and ruling. Isn't that undemocratic?” KCR said. Stating that the BJP’s approach was to brand critics anti-national, and then carry out raids by the Income Tax department or Enforcement Directorate, KCR said that he was not afraid of any such raids. 

While Bandi Sanjay slammed KCR for using objectionable language while criticising BJP, KCR said that the opposition has made personal remarks on his appearance and drinking habits in an objectionable way. 

KCR has been demanding that the Union government remove cess on petrol and diesel, saying it was unfair to ask states to reduce the VAT on their end. Bandi Sanjay on the other hand claimed that Telangana has the second highest VAT rate on fuel after Rajasthan. “For every liter of petrol, the union government gets Rs. 27 while the State gets Rs. 28. And from Rs. 27 which the Union government gets, the State receives Rs. 12,” he said. KCR rubbished these claims, and said that the TRS government has barely increased the VAT in the past seven years. 

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