Hyderabad: The opposition Congress and BJP in Telangana were engaged in a war of words Tuesday over their strength in the state in the wake of impressive gains made by the two parties in the Lok Sabha polls.
It began with state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy claiming that BJP getting a few seats in Telangana in the Lok Sabha polls was just a fluke.
Referring to comments of BJP leaders that their party would emerge as the alternative to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, he said it is only the Congress which would defeat the TRS and be the alternative to the ruling party.
"It is Congress which will defeat TRS and dislodge the TRS government in Telangana. BJP getting some seats was just a fluke. To say that BJP is strengthened in Telangana, it is a lie. We don't think it would be strengthened in future also," Uttam Kumar Reddy told reporters here.
The BJP pulled off a surprise in the Lok Sabha polls, winning four of the 17 seats in Telangana. The Congress secured three, while TRS bagged nine. Emboldened by the win, BJP declared that it would emerge as the alternative to the ruling TRS in the state.
"It is only Congress which would defeat TRS one day and be an alternative to TRS. Voters voted for BJP in certain constituencies as its candidates were considered strong in public perception and as they wanted to defeat TRS at any cost," Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
Secularism is deeply rooted in the psyche of people of Telangana and BJP would never have any future in the state, he said.
Countering Uttam Kumar Reddy, his BJP counterpart K Laxman said the Congress leader was only bragging about his party's strength as the Congress is on the decline all over the country.
Uttam Kumar Reddy should first look at how many MLAs his party is left with, Laxman said. He was referring to 11 of the 19 Congress MLAs, who won in the assembly elections in December last, announcing their decision to quit the party and join the ruling TRS.
The Congress was voted to be the main opposition in the Assembly polls but its MLAs chose to leave the party for selfish reasons, he claimed.
"Congress is like a rudderless ship," Laxman said, referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's insistence on stepping down from his post following the party's debacle in the Lok Sabha election.