The Telangana minister pointed out that several parties had left the NDA.
Barely an hour after Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao wanted to join the National Democratic Alliance and that he had "refused him entry", state Minister K T Rama Rao has clapped back and said that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi was "not mad enough" to join the alliance.
Mr Rao, who is the working president of the BRS and the son of chief minister KCR, said his father would never want to work with the BJP.
"This Prime Minister is so inconsistent. On the one hand, he says BRS has funded Congress in Karnataka and then he says he has not allowed us into NDA. Have we been bitten by a rabid dog that we will go and join the NDA? So many parties are leaving your alliance. The Shiv Sena left you, the Janata Dal (United) left, and so did the Telugu Desam Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal," the minister, who is also called KTR, said in a mix of English and Hindi.
Taking a dig at the ruling alliance, he said, "Who is with you? Who do you have in the NDA except for the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department?"
The allegations and counter-allegations will come as a shot in the arm for the BJP, which was seen to have lost momentum after Bandi Sanjay was removed as the state president. It will also put the focus back on a BJP vs BRS fight in the upcoming Assembly elections and could hurt the Congress, which is fancying its chances this time around.
At a rally in the poll-bound state's Nizamabad earlier on Tuesday, the Prime Minister had claimed that K Chandrashekar Rao made multiple attempts to join the NDA after the municipal elections in 2020
"These were personally rebuffed. I said, 'we won't cheat people of Telangana'. After that, his mind was rattled," the PM said.
The PM's remarks also included a dig at KTR and 'dynastic politics' within the BRS.
"They (the BRS) got angry (after being refused entry). But then he (KCR) came back... told me he now wants to give all responsibility to KTR. 'I will send KTR, you please bless him', KCR told me," the Prime Minister claimed.
"I said, 'KCR, this is democracy. Who are you to give KTR everything? Are you a king?' After that he never came before me. He is unable to face me," the Prime Minister declared.
'Don't Need Your Permission'
Reacting to the last remark, KTR asked why the BRS would need the Prime Minister or BJP's nod if it wanted to effect a change in the party. "Our MLAs or politburo would decide. Why would we need his permission?" he said.
The minister also hit out at the Prime Minister and asked him where his investigation agencies were when KCR had allegedly sent money to the Karnataka Congress.
Challenging the BJP, KTR claimed that 105 BJP candidates had lost their deposit in the 2018 Assembly elections and 110 candidates would do so this time.