Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao reached Patna on Wednesday and met his counterpart Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.
At an event, Mr. Rao also pledged financial assistance to the family members of five Galwan valley martyrs and 12 migrant workers who were killed in a fire accident in Hyderabad on March 23 this year.
“We are citizens of two great rivers of the country Ganga and Godavari. Godavari is known as Ganga in South India. I wanted to visit Bihar earlier but couldn’t come due to lack of time,” he said.
“Now, when got an invitation, I reached here to honour those martyrs and the workers killed in a fire accident in Hyderabad,” said Mr. Rao during the programme.
Nitish praises KCR
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also addressed the audience at the event held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, and praised Mr. Rao for his contribution in making Telangana a separate state.
“You had been fighting for Telangana as a separate state for long and you make it happen more than others. We all have been witness to it but I wonder how and what some people keep saying something against you,” Mr. Kumar said.
He also said that “for some time we also had gone there (making oblique reference to the BJP) but have come back again.”
“We had been demanding for special status to Bihar but they (BJP) kept refusing it… had it been done, Bihar would have made more development and progress,” Mr. Kumar said.
Earlier, both the leaders had paid homage to those five Army men martyred in Galwan valley and those killed in a fire accident at a scrap godown at Bhoiguda near Hyderabad on March 23, 2022.
Mr. Rao handed cheques of ₹10 lakh each to the next kin of five Army men and ₹5 lakh financial assistance to family members of each of 12 migrant workers from Bihar killed in Hyderabad.
Significance of the meeting
Mr. Rao’s meeting with Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav assumed significance amid the ongoing political slugfest between the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) and the BJP in Bihar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently had severed ties with BJP and since then has been projected as Prime Ministerial candidate against PM Narendra Modi in 2024 by his party leaders and workers.
Mr. Rao, who is popularly known as KCR, too has been appealing for Opposition parties unity and pushing for a “BJP and Congress- mukt Bharat” (BJP and Congress free India).
At a public meeting in Telangana recently, Mr. Rao tore into the NDA government at the Centre saying people should pledge to make a BJP- mukt Bharat. He also called Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a golmal PM (chaotic PM).
“Whatever he and the Central government say are blatant lies,” said Mr. Rao.
Political situation discussed
Sources from the ruling party in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United), told The Hindu that both Chief Ministers also discussed the current political situation of the country.
“KCR’s visit to Patna and his meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today is a strong indication that process to recognise Mr. Kumar as a possible national leader has begun,” said JD(U) leader and party spokesperson Arvind Nishad.
Mr. Kumar, though, has been refusing to nurse national ambition.
“Two daydreamers”: BJP
However, on August 30, senior state BJP leader and party Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi had taken a dig at the meeting of two Chief Ministers, calling it a “get together of two daydreamers”.
“It was a meeting of two leaders who are losing their base in their respective states and desiring to become Prime Minister of the country,”, Mr. Modi said. “It has been a latest comedy show of Opposition unity.”
Later in the day, Mr. Rao will also meet Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.