Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Ramchander Rao was taken into preventive custody while several other party members were detained by the Hyderabad Police on Monday, ahead of the saffron party's planned protest march against Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, ANI reported.
— ANI (@ANI) March 5, 2018
Rao had sparked controversy by his alleged "abusive" comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a recent public meeting in Karimnagar. The BJP leaders took strong exception to the remarks made by Rao. Meanwhile, Rao, on Saturday, strongly condemned the charges levelled by the BJP and asserted that he had not abused the prime minister by calling him 'Modi gadu' (considered to be an abuse in Telugu). He claimed that the BJP had intentionally misquoted him to skirt away from serious issues.
BJP MLC Ramchander Rao taken into preventive custody by the #Hyderabad Police ahead of BJP's protest march against #Telangana CM KC Rao over his alleged abusive comments against PM Modi pic.twitter.com/UmjpZh0XVv — ANI (@ANI) March 5, 2018
"This is BJP's creation. I only said Modi Garu. But they deliberately made it as 'Modi gadu' with the malicious intention of sidelining serious national issues that I raised in the public meeting with regard to agriculture and farmers. I have utmost respect and regard for Modiji. If their party men themselves want to insult the prime minister by misquoting me, there is little I can do. I am helpless," Rao reportedly said.
Exploring the possible reason behind the BJP misquoting him, Rao told Deccan Chronicle: "I raised a national issue of distress among farmers and warned that a national-level agitation will soon come up if the prime minister fails to address the agricultural issues. I also talked about Cauvery-Godavari river interlinking saying that it’s the drama enacted by the BJP for ensuing Karnataka polls. To sideline these issues, they created this fake controversy."
Interestingly, in 2016 Modi had tweeted to KCR and used the expression Garu. Abuse or not, at least Rao's claim that he, and Modi, have used the word Garu to address each other appears to be true.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 10, 2016
'Rao acting like a despot'
Reacting to the comments, BJP Warangal urban district president Rao Padma had led a large number of workers and staged a demonstration at Hanamkonda chowrastha on Thursday. As a mark of protest, they burnt an effigy of Rao though the police tried to stop them, The Hindu reported.
Speaking to the media, Padma strongly condemned Rao's remarks and demanded an unconditional apology from him. "While the whole world praised Modi for his initiatives, the Telangana chief minister was acting like a despot and launching a false propaganda against the Opposition parties. Rao still dreams that he can cast a spell on people by his caustic remarks and bitter attack on other leaders. People are vexed with his rhetoric and want him to deliver on promises rather than making speeches," she said, as per the report.
The BJP Telangana has also demanded that Rao withdraw his words against Modi. Dr K Laxman, Telangana BJP president was quoted by ANI as saying: "Today, we have called for 'gherao' of Pragati Bhawan. Police in Hyderabad has house arrested me. My fundamental rights have been curtailed by this government."
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday promised support to her Telangana counterpart, a day after he expressed keenness to participate in national politics to bring about a "qualitative change", according to The Indian Express. She had telephoned the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and supported his plan of forming a third front. The move takes significance as it comes amidst the controversy over his remarks.
According to a report by IANS, Banerjee had said that she fully agrees with Rao and is ready to work with him. "Ham aapse ek mat hain. Aap ke saath rahengey (I am in agreement with you. I will work with you)".
Updated Date: Mar 09, 2018 18:05 PM