HYDERABAD: The BJP's Telangana president K Laxman on Wednesday threw down a challenge to TRS working president K T Rama Rao asking if he was ready to quit politics if the NDA came to power on its own after the Lok Sabha elections.
Laxman claimed Rama Rao had said during the December Assembly polls that he would quit politics if the Telangana Rashtra Samithi failed to come to power.
Rao recently said during campaigning that neither the NDA nor UPA would be able to form a government on its own post Lok Sabha polls and that TRS should get 16 Lok Sabha seats (leaving Hyderabad represented by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi) to ensure a better deal for Telangana in release of funds and getting development projects.
"Let KTR (K T Rama Rao) take up my challenge. If NDA comes to power on its own, is (he) going to quit politics as he was saying during the assembly elections...Can he take up the challenge?" Laxman told PTI here.
He asserted that the NDA would come to power without requiring TRS support.
Laxman said though TRS had 15 Lok Sabha seats, it had done nothing for people.
"They are trying to misguide the Telangana people.Though they are 14 plus one, they have done nothing," he said.
Recalling that the TRS had only one MP during separate statehood agitation, he said Telangana state became a reality because of national parties and the key support given by BJP.
"I would also like to make it very clear. They had only one MP. But still, Telangana was carved out because of national parties.
Had BJP not (been) there at that time, not supported Telangana, where is the question of Telangana state," he said.
Though BJP did not fare well in Assembly elections in Telangana in December last year, Laxman expressed confidence that the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi would help the party gain good number of seats in Lok Sabha polls.
"We do accept that BJP did not fare well in Assembly elections.
Assembly elections were held for the state, Chief Minister and state government. Parliament elections are for the nation and the Prime Minister post. Narendra Modi has proved himself as PM for the last five years," Laxman said.
People feel that Modi alone can save the country, he said.
Even if the ruling TRS in Telangana wins all the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, it may not be able to form government and assume Prime Ministers post, Laxman said.
"People have voted for TRS and Chandrasekhar Rao in the assembly elections.
But, for now, the elections are for nation, national interest. We are confident that people will definitely vote for BJP in Telangana for parliament elections," he said.
BJP won only in a single assembly constituency among the 119 seats in the December polls in Telangana.
The party had one seat (Secunderabad represented by Bandaru Dattatreya) in the outgoing Lok Sabha.
Laxman, who had a meeting with BJP Amit Shah after the announcement of schedule for Lok Sabha elections, said the state BJP has assured the Central leadership that a good number of candidates would be elected from Telangana.
BJP is likely to announce its candidates after March 16, he said.
"Probably after March 16, we are going to announce the candidates. From March 18, our candidates will file nominations," he said.
Modi is likely to address three or four election rallies, while party president Amit Shah is expected to address four to five public meetings.
Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani are also likely to campaign in the state.
BJP has already announced that it would contest all the 17 seats on its own.
Telangana goes to polls in the first phase on April 11