Hyderabad, Nov 29 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the Bharat Biotech facility on Saturday was to draw political mileage for the BJP in the Greater Hyderabad municipal elections, said Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Working President K. T. Rama Rao on Sunday.
He said people of Hyderabad know that the Prime Minister's visit definitely had political overtures.
"People are smart. Don't think they are so innocent. People are watching everything. People are understanding their desperation," said Rama Rao, a day after Modi visited Bharat Biotech facility as part of three city tour to take stock of the development of vaccine for Covid-19.
"Mr Modi came for second time in six years and that too exactly two days before the elections. People understand it," he told a select group of journalists hours before the campaigning for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election was to end.
KTR, as the TRS leader is popularly known, said that the BJP remembers the vaccine when it comes to elections in Bihar or in Greater Hyderabad.
KTR, who is also the Minister for Industry, Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, recalled that he had visited Bharat Biotech three months ago.
"In fact Bharat Biotech, Biological E and Indian Immunologicals all had clearly said that no Central government official even spoken to them about the vaccine development and distribution," he said.
The minister said PM's visit reaffirms and endorses that Hyderabad is the vaccine capital of the world and that the TRS government supported expansion of life sciences ecosystem in Hyderabad. "His visit is a testimony to the good work being done here." The TRS leader, who is son of TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao, found fault with the PM for conveying to the Chief Minister that he need not come to the airport to receive him.
"I don't want to lower the repute of the institution of the Prime Minister but there are some courtesies and traditions you have to follow as they are for the good of institutions and in the larger interest of the nation," he said.
"The Chief Minister was ready to go and welcome. What was the harm in it. They lowered their own dignity. We have not lost anything," he added.
During an hour-long interaction, the TRS leader came down heavily on BJP for pushing forward their Hindutva agenda strongly during GHMC elections by invoking Osama bin Laden, Akbar, Babar in the campaign and using words like "surgical strikes".
KTR said in every election BJP raises the issue of Hindu-Muslim and Pakistan because it can't speak on the real issues of development, economy and jobs.
"Your politics and theatrics to demonise a community is not good for country. In a country with 132 crore population, there are 30 crore Muslims. If you project the entire community as villains, and terrorists and isolate it on religious lines, fill hate in the minds and hearts of majority people... what will happen to the country. You are poisoning minds for a few votes and few seats," he said.
KTR said the BJP won the elections in various places by raking up issues like Hindu-Muslim and Pakistan but it will be able to hide long behind this agenda as a time will come when people will ask questions about development, economy and jobs.
"Why do you remember Pakistan at the time of elections. It was you who had gone to Nawaz Sharif's house to eat biryani," he said referring to Modi's visit to Pakistan in 2015 to meet his Pakistani counterpart.
Stating that people of Hyderabad are wiser and smarter, he exuded confidence that they will re-elect the TRS in the GHMC with an absolute majority. He said people want peaceful Hyderabad and will prefer decisive government over divisive politics.
Recalling that TRS fought hard for statehood to Telangana and ensured peace and development across the state and in Hyderabad, he said the government would not allow anybody to create hurdles in the path of development or incite people to violence. He made it clear that the government will deal firmly even if a leader from TRS is found spreading hatred and inciting violence.