The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has challenged Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) for a public debate over farmers' issues.
Participating as chief guest at the Farmers Coordination Committee meeting of north Telangana farmers in Karimnagar on Monday, KCR held successive Congress and BJP governments at the Centre for the present plight of the farming community in the country.
He said, "Since Independence only two parties viz. Congress and BJP ruled the country and neglected farming sector. Both the parties miserably failed to understand the farmers' problems."
He also dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central Government to react to his allegations.
Reacting on this, Telangana BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, "KCR's statements are completely baseless,untruthful, and they are to mislead the people of Telangana."
He added that "it is juvenile statement by CM KCR and also it is extremely untruthful and misleading statement. CM KCR seems to have become a lying machine."
Rao questioned: What KCR has done for the farmers?
"Even that one possibility of you (KCR) helping farmers through that Rs one lakh loan waiver scheme; you have done it in four parts, and today the farmers are still suffering without loan from banks and piled up interest," said Rao.
He asserted that many farmers have committed suicide but KCR never visited affected families to succour or support.
Rao said Telangana Chief Minister has been talking about fertiliser, power, and seeds but "all these initiatives are taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which have made farmers lives easier".
"The Central Government has increased crop losses compensation by 50 percent and KCR asks what did we (Central Government) do?" Rao said.
He said KCR has failed to keep promises made in his party's manifesto in 2014.
"We challenge you (KCR) for a public debate to explain to the people what the Central government has done for the farmers and what have you done in the last four years of your government," said the BJP leader.
The Congress, however, criticised both KCR and the BJP, and said, "KCR's utterances are actually a match-fixing between Prime Minister Modi and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to divert people's attention".
All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary and ex-MP Madhu Yaskhi questioned: has KCR woken up after four years?
"Has KCR woken up after four years? Where was KCR from the last four years? Telangana is second after Maharashtra in farmer suicides. Over 3200 farmers have committed suicide under KCR rule," said the Congress leader.
He said Congress President Rahul Gandhi visited Nirmal Telangana area where farmers committed suicides and the party helped affected families but KCR did nothing.
"KCR supported Prime Minister Modi for demonetisation, President's election, Vice President's election and termed Prime Minister Modi as the best Indian Prime Minister ever. Now, he is suddenly criticising Prime Minister Modi's policies," Yaskhi said.
The Congress leader said Rahul Gandhi is raising farmers' issues across the country and distressed farmers are looking at the Congress for their survival.
"Since people are supporting Congress, so Prime Minister Modi and KCR have fixed the match to divert the people's attention," Yaskhi claimed.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Spokesperson, Dr. Sravan Dasoju also cornered Telangana Chief Minister and said his statement is essentially to cover-up his failures.
Speaking to ANI, Dasoju questioned why did not KCR ask his Members of Parliament to raise Telangana farmers' suicides in the Parliament?
"Did you (KCR) ever ask Modi for special assistance for the Telangana farmers?
"If KCR is so sincere about Telangana farmers then why is he not helping 35 lakh farmers whose passbooks are kept in the banks for not paying interest on loan? You have to shell down hardly about Rs. 7000 crore. Go and get farmers' passbooks released. Why are you not doing that?" asked Dasoju.
The Congress leader said KCR's home minister says that the farmers are committing suicides just for the sake of compensation and it is ridiculous that he comes forward and levels allegations on Congress.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)