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Hyderabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao of ‘running away’ from the state to avoid meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he was ashamed to show his face to the Prime Minister. BJP’s BC Morcha national president Dr K. Laxman said the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government had thrown to wind even the basic protocol to be followed when the Prime Minister visited the state.

Speaking to the media at the Begumpet airport on Wednesday after inspecting the arrangements being made for a grand welcome to Modi by BJP leaders and workers on Thursday, Laxman mocked the reason for Chandrashekar Rao’s absence in the city on Thursday. He said the Chief Minister’s claim of having a prior appointment with former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in Bengaluru was just an excuse. “Is it that hard to get an appointment with him? Should the Chief Minister of the state be not here, at least as part of the official protocol to greet the Prime Minister?” Laxman asked.

He said irrespective of how hard the Chief Minister ran around the country, there were no takers for him. The reason why the Punjab Chief Minister was okay with Chandrashekar Rao’s visit was because he was going to give financial relief cheques to farmers’ families there. Meanwhile, people here were upset and angry that the Chief Minister was ignoring the local farmers, and their problems, Laxman said.

Laxman said BJP leaders and workers from Hyderabad and Secunderabad parliamentary constituencies would be at the airport to greet Modi. “There are no party meetings scheduled with the Prime Minister. Though he is coming here on an official visit, it is significant for the party workers in Telangana. His visit will give them more enthusiasm and there will be only a felicitation programme,” Laxman said.

The Telangana government, meanwhile, said that animal husbandry and cinematography minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav would be the ‘Minister in Waiting’ for Modi’s visit. Yadav, along with state officials, is expected to be at the Begumpet airport to receive Modi on Thursday afternoon, and also to see him off when he, later in the afternoon, will leave for Chennai.

Modi will be in the city for a few hours on Thursday to take part in the Indian School of Business convocation.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is scheduled to visit Bengaluru on Thursday and meet former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, and his son and former Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy.

The Telangana Chief Minister’s visit to Karnataka was scheduled as part of his tour to different states to discuss emerging political situations in the country, and creation of an alternate development agenda for the nation. He recently visited Delhi and Punjab where he met the Chief Ministers of both the states. In Punjab, he also distributed relief cheques to families of farmers who lost their lives in the year-long agitation against the Central government, and those who lost their loved ones in the Galwan border skirmishes with China.

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