Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao on Sunday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stating that the people of the state could 'outwit anyone with a divisive agenda'. KTR was responding to users on Twitter in an interactive session -- #AskKTR, on Sunday evening.
When one user pointed out that the BJP was trying hard to make inroads into Telangana in the next election, and had already bagged four Lok Sabha seats in the state, KTR said, "People of Telangana are smarter to outwit anyone with a divisive agenda."
When others raised their concerns about communal parties and politics in the state, KTR said, "Telangana is by far, without a doubt, one of the most peaceful states in our country. I assure you that we will do everything in our ability to maintain it that way."
Responding to a user who questioned the Hyderabad police's move to deny permission to citizens to hold protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), KTR said, "May I remind you that this is a city where both RSS and AIMIM held meetings within a span of few days."
Speaking about the Centre's performance and a growth of unemployment in the country, KTR said, "Diversionary tactics can only work temporarily, but in the long run, governments will have to answer tough questions about job creation and the economy."
When asked about the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) stand on the CAA, KTR said that Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao and the state cabinet would take a call "at an appropriate time." The TRS had opposed the CAA in Parliament.
KTR was also asked about his opinions on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the latter's recent decision to decentralise the capital from Amaravati, by shifting the executive capital to Visakhapatnam and the judicial capital to Kurnool.
"I think he started off well," KTR said, when asked about what he thought about the seven months of Jagan's tenure.
When asked to comment on the decision on the capital, KTR said, 'Well, that’s up to the people of AP to judge. Not me (sic)."
When asked if Hyderabad could face potential water scarcity in the future, KTR said, "Absolutely no truth in that. In fact, quite the contrary; Hyderabad will be one of the few cities in India that will not have a problem of water shortage; especially after successfully completing the Kaleshwaram project which also assures drinking water to the city."
KTR also commented on the contentious issue of Government Order (GO) 111, which prohibits construction activity within a 10-km radius of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, two balancing reservoirs at the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Given its proximity to Hyderabad’s IT sector, there has been a massive growth of real estate in the region and while many want the government to scrap the GO, environmentalists and activists argue that such a move would be a death knell for the reservoirs.
"Well it needs to be thought out carefully. We have to make sure the two lakes; Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar are well maintained even if we make changes to GO 111," KTR said in response to a question.