In a surprising accusation that even left Telangana minister KT Rama Rao flabbergasted, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday claimed that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had changed the name of his party from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on the “advice of tantriks” (occultists). She hit out at Rao, popularly also known as KCR, alleging that guided by “tantra and numerology” he had even stopped going to the state secretariat and did not induct women into his cabinet for a long time.
“KCR follows a Tantrik, who had earlier warned him against appointing women cabinet ministers as it would bring him bad luck. He has failed Telangana and hurt the sentiments of the people by changing his party’s name to BRS to enter national politics. Guided by tantra and numerology, he also stopped visiting the secretariat. The people of Telangana are suffering from the injustice he is inflicting on them,” Sitharaman said even as her remarks were met with derision from KTR, who said the finance minister had “lost it”.
#WATCH | Telangana CM KCR, on the advice of Tantriks, stopped going to the Secretariat, and now believing in tantra and numerology has changed the party’s name (from TRS) to BRS: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to ANI pic.twitter.com/b8WMFDTEkV
— ANI (@ANI) October 8, 2022
Opposition parties, such as BJP and Congress, have slammed KCR and his son KTR for changing the party’s name. Earlier this week, KCR renamed his TRS as Bharat Rashtra Samithi, or BRS, as part of his national expansion plans ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Sitharaman seemed to be mimicking the views of fellow BJP leader and Telangana unit president Bandi Sanjay, who is often known to make controversial remarks targeting the ruling party and KCR at a personal level.
“KCR has been performing tantrik pujas for years now. The tantrik had clearly instructed saying he will lose elections if he went with TRS, so out of fear, KCR changed the name of his party to BRS,” Sanjay told media persons during a press conference.
— BJP Telangana (@BJP4Telangana) October 8, 2022
Sitharaman’s statement, however, caused more amusement than uproar in the ruling party that was evident from KTR’s response. He said the finance minister had “lost it” and was suffering from the “disastrous side effects of jumlanomics”. The minister retweeted a video by news agency ANI, in which Sitharaman is heard making the accusations against the CM.
I thought only the Rupee was on a free fall
Madam FM seems to have lost it completely!! What a fall ♂️
Disastrous Side effects of Jumlanomics https://t.co/bgw2uIV6Ld
— KTR (@KTRTRS) October 8, 2022
In the video, Sitharaman is also heard alleging that when Telangana was formed, KCR had talked about women empowerment “but for four years, from 2014 to 2018, there was not a single woman minister in the TRS government”. Even after the TRS was re-elected to power in the southern state, there was no woman minister in the cabinet for almost a year, Sitharaman is heard saying.
She said under the rule of the TRS, Telangana had become a revenue-deficit state from a revenue-surplus one, adding that it had borrowings of Rs 3 lakh crore with the debt-to-GSDP ratio touching almost 25 per cent.
With inputs from News18, PTI