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Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of conspiring to weaken the states financially.

He also alleged that the Centre was diluting powers and functions of states, which was against the spirit of federalism.

Addressing Telangana State Formation Day celebrations at the Public Gardens here on Thursday, he said that the Centre was imposing financial restrictions arbitrarily, thereby undermining the economic freedom of states. He said that when Telangana was a part of Andhra Pradesh, the then rulers showed discrimination against the region and now the Centre was behaving in a similar spiteful manner from the day Telangana was created in 2014. The incumbent Union government is working on the conspiratorial and frivolous principle of ‘strong Centre-weak states’, he noted.

He cautioned that with the politics of hate besieging it, the country was in a precarious situation. He voiced concern that there was no other discussion or debate in the country other than the religious madness and how people’s needs have taken a backseat.

Rao warned that “this hatred will take the country back by 100 years. It will take another 100 years for the country to recover from this terrible situation. It is not important who will come to power at the Centre. What we need is a progressive agenda, which can steer the country away from its problems. There is a compelling need for a qualitative change across spectrums in order to make people’s lives better.”

He said that while his bounden duty was to protect people in Telangana till his last breath, it ‘is our duty to fight against the politics of hatred in order to protect the interests of the country. There is no question of any compromise at the cost of people’s interests. Had we compromised, we could not have achieved Telangana state.”

Rao said the Telangana agenda, which is distributing the fruits of development to all sections of people, should be implemented across the country. “Telangana people should be in the forefront while building an amazing India,” he said.

“People in this country need jobs, projects, water, and electricity. If the country needs to be on the progressive and development path, it needs new agriculture, industrial and economic policies. This requires a vibrant socio-economic and political agenda,” the Chief Minister said.

Rao alleged that the Centre was collecting taxes in the form of cess to deprive states of their constitutionally due share. He ridiculed that on the one hand the Centre was asking states to strictly abide by FRBM while on the other hand, it was indiscriminately resorting to borrowing giving a damn to rules.

“The Centre’s attitude has become a stumbling block for states like Telangana, which maintains financial discipline by managing loans and investment expenditure within FRBM limits. I demand the Centre to immediately lift economic sanctions imposed on states,” he said.

He said Telangana was losing Rs 5,000 crore every year as it had vehemently refused to implement the anti-farmers power reforms of the Centre.

“In five years, the state lost Rs 25,000 crore. If we wish to recover this amount, we have to install meters at wells of farmers and collect power charges. That is not our policy. We will not accept any policy that burdens farmers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rao’s 53-minute speech, of which 15 minutes were directed against the Modi administration, has generated much political heat in the state.

Contrary to his earlier speeches, which only highlighted the achievements of his government, Rao chose to target the Centre this time. His party leaders and cadre were upbeat after he spoke about national politics and the Telangana model. They opine that the speech clearly indicates that he is determined to play a key role in national politics and take on BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

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