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IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday described the BJP and Congress as “notional parties” rather than national parties, and sought to clarify that there were only regional parties and larger regional parties in the country now.

Buttressing his argument with the political situation in the southern States, the Minister said: “We have six States in the south. Where is the BJP except in Karnataka?,” he asked, and wondered if a party that has only a meagre presence in South India can be called a national party in the true sense of the description. “I don’t think so,” he added.

Stating that regional parties were emerging a strong forces in various States, Rama Rao, who was participating in the Times Now Summit in New Delhi, pointed out that a viable and credible national alternative was building up. “The time has come for India to take a call since both the BJP and the Congress have failed the people of the country in delivering the goods. Both the parties have let down the country,” he said.

When asked about the perception that the TRS was an ‘untrustworthy’ ally, the Minister said everything in the world is not black and white. “It is not a toss up between Congress and the BJP. Such misconception are actually an insult to the people of Telangana State and amounts to questioning their intelligence. We do not belong to the ideological camp of either the Congress or the BJP,” he asserted, adding that people were the ultimate boss.

He also made it clear that TRS was the ‘A-Team’ of Telangana and neither BJP nor Congress were enemies of TRS but were mere political opponents. “If Delhi thinks I am their enemy just because the TRS opposed some bill, I would call it immaturity, nothing else,” he said.

On the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Minister said the Union government has bigger issues like economy or jobs to tackle and should focus on them. “We vociferously rejected the Bill. Our stand on the CAA has been clear,” he said. He pointed out that India is known for unity in its diversity and the Bill deliberately excluded people belonging to a certain religion i.e. Muslims. “Why do you want to change or question the very idea of India?” he wondered.

In a candid admission, Rama Rao conceded that the State government had made a mistake in supporting the demonetisation. “Yes, we regret it now. We trusted the BJP government and extended support in good faith, after Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed his concerns. The demonetisation has made a severe dent in our economy and has hampered growth,” he said, adding that one had to live with it but would make sure that the same mistake is not repeated.




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