Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) may not receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter visits Hyderabad for a day long programmes on May 26, Thursday.
We should see this as a mark of protest by KCR towards the Centre’s recent moves like curtailing Telangana’s borrowing limits and not granting funds for any major schemes or shifting some prestigious projects from here to elsewhere in the country.
A CM receiving a PM at the airports is just a protocol, not a breach of Constitutional provison. Last time when Modi came to Hyderabad to unveil the Statue of Equality, KCR kept himself away from the programme. Sources in the CM Office mentioned some illness as the reason for CM not going to the airport. But the actual reason was stated to be not- so- cordial relations between KCR and Modi.
Of course, BJP leaders of Telangana have started questioning the propriety of the CM skipping the PM as violation of protocol and lack of confidence to face the latter. Here the question is, is it a must that a CM receive the PM when the latter comes to attend a private function. Now, Modi is coming to participate in the 20th anniversary of Indian School of Business (ISB), a private institution. Opinions are divided on this.
But, there are several precedents in our country on this. Begnal CM Mamata Banerjee had skipped Modi many times in the past. Former CM late Jayalalithaa too did it earlier. This happens usually, when the political atmosphere is charged or when a big controversy erupts between the different ruling parties – at the Centre and the State. This is understandable that a CM may not like to be seen with PM on such airport occasions.
KCR in his speech at Chandigarh on May 22, Sunday said that India is a country of states, not otherwise. It is clear that he is angry with the Centre’s insistence that all states should fix meters to agricultural power connections. KCR is also unhappy with the manner in which the Centre is twisting the hands of Telangana by restricting its borrowing powers, though it can afford to raise funds from the open market.
KCR returned Hyderabad on May 23, Monday night, after his 4 day Delhi and Punjab tour. Again he is likely to go to Bangalore on May 26, to meet former prime minister HD Deve Gowda for political talks. KCR will stay in Hyderabad on May 24 and 25 and attend some marriages.
Interestingly, sources also said that he may even go and receive the PM at the airport but not go to ISB, to register his protest. KCR has options to register his protest, mildly or loudly.