In an interesting development, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday jointly campaigned with foe-turned-friend TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Telangana.
Addressing a rally at Khammam, the Congress president asserted that the 'People's Front' will not just come to power in the southern state but will also defeat the Modi-led BJP in 2019.
Calling the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) the "B-team" of Prime Minister Modi, Rahul Gandhi flayed the K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR)-led government for farmers' distress and rising unemployment in Telangana.
Simultaneously attacking Modi and KCR, Gandhi alleged that both the BJP government at Centre and TRS government in the state were insensitive to the plight of farmers and workers. He promised to waive farm loans and providing minimum support price for 17 crops if the Congress was voted to power in the state.
"This fight is not just for Telangana but for the future of India. In Delhi Modi is busy destroying democratic institutions one after the other -- be it the Supreme Court, or the Election Commission and the Reserve Bank of India.
"While in Telangana on one side is KCR and his family and on the other are the masses -- farmers, workers, women and the youth.
"First the Grand Alliance will defeat Modi's B team TRS in Telangana and then in Delhi we will defeat the A team, the BJP," said Gandhi.
Exuding confidence of the alliance coming to power in the state, Gandhi said the Khammam public meeting was not just historic for the state but also for Indian politics.
Besides the Congress and the TDP, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) are constituents of the 'People's Front'.
Among others to share the dais were CPI leader S. Sudhakar Reddy, TJS leader M. Kodandaram, revolutionary Telugu balladeer Gummadi Vittal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar and Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) leader Manda Krishna Madiga.
Earlier addressing a rally in Kosgi of Mahbubnagar district, Gandhi accused the Telangana government of "failing" to keep its promises and attacked Modi for calling Congress "the B team of TRS."
"When we were fighting over land acquisition Bill in Parliament, the TRS was helping BJP. TRS helped RSS and Modi in every Bill. TRS is not Telangana Rashtra Samithi, it is Telangana Rashtra Sanghpariwar. It is the 'B-team' of Sangh Pariwar. TRS' aim is that Congress should not oust the BJP at the national level," he said.
Gandhi blamed the Rao-led government for giving employment to his family members while failing to give jobs to crores of unemployed youths.
"KCR promised to provide 22 lakh double bedroom houses. But the reality is only 5,000 houses have been built. He promised land to SC/ST which has turned out to be a hollow promise."
If the Congress came to power, Gandhi said people would get land and houses. "Our Chief Minister will give youths employment or Rs 3,000 allowance. In the first year, our government will give employment to 1 lakh youths in private and government sectors."
Gandhi assured people free medical treatment up to Rs 5 lakh and said a 30-bed hospital would be set up in each 'Mandal'.
Elections for 119-member Assembly are scheduled for December 7. The Congress has fielded candidates in 94 constituencies, leaving the rest for its allies. The TDP is contesting 13 seats.
(With IANS updates)