Blame game on medical colleges; TRS exposes BJP's conflicting claims

A new blame game has erupted between the TRS and BJP, this time centering around the medical colleges in Telangana


HYDERABAD: A new blame game has erupted between the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this time centering around the medical colleges in the state. In a flurry of statements on Twitter, Telangana IT Minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) and Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya took jabs at each other for their indifference while claiming credit over the issue.

However, the BJP's contention, going in different directions, drew flak from the TRS and a section of the netizens. They called out the saffron party for coming up with conflicting statements and exposing its 'confuse-when-you-cannot-convince' trait.

It all started with a tweet on Sunday by Telangana IT Minister Kalvatuntla Taraka Rama Rao, who, while complimenting his father and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's decision to set up 13 more medical colleges in the state, took potshots at the Narendra Modi government.

"Hon'ble Telangana CM #KCR Garu scripting History in medical education. Prior to 2014, in 67 years only 5 Govt medical colleges were setup in #Telangana. In the last 8 years, 16 new Medical colleges sanctioned & 13 more to be setup making it one medical college per Dist (sic)."

Replying to his own tweet in an afterthought, KTR took a swipe at the Modi regime, saying: "Now, let me tell you how many medical colleges our PM Modi Ji sanctioned to Telangana — zero."

The taunt received its quick retort from Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya. Taking to his official Twitter handle on Monday, he tweeted: "How many proposals for medical colleges have been sent by your Telangana State Government? 'Zero'." Taking the issue a bit further, he claimed that "the Prime Minister had sanctioned the highest number of government colleges in the shortest time without partiality, to those states who made proposals".

But KTR was sharp enough in returning the volley with full power. In his response, the TRS Working President tweeted written replies from two former union health ministers to the Telangana Government in 2015 and 2019. "Wish you had a review before you chose to respond. Attached are responses of your predecessors to the requests from Telangana Health Ministers from 2015 and 2019", read KTR's tweet. He ended the tweet with this parting shot: "Telangana Govt has consistently requested for medical colleges but the fact is your Govt delivered ZERO".

Mandaviya too shot back posting an earlier missive (August 2019) written by his predecessor Dr Harshvardhan. The letter sought a detailed project report from the Telangana Government on its request for upgrading two district hospitals into medical colleges in the state.

As if to bust the hollowness of the claim, KTR merely retweeted the response of Putta Vishnuvardhan Reddy to Mandaviya's earlier tweet. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, in his tweet, listed out the chronology of events and advised the Union Health Minister to take cognisance of it.

"Mansukh ji, Chronology Samjhiye

21 Jun 2015: TS Govt wrote to Union HM @JPNadda for new Med Colleges.

26 Nov 2015: GOI replied: TS is not included in the list.

08 AuG 2019: TS requested then Union HM @drharshvardhan

30 AuG 2019: GOI replied: TS is not included in the list".

Vishnuvardhan Reddy also attached recent vernacular media reports to expose the BJP-led NDA government and its alleged tong-twisting to confuse the public on the issue. The news reports pertained to Union Minister of State for Health Bharti Pawar going on record on the floor of Lok Sabha to state that there were no proposals received at all from the Telangana government for the setting up of medical colleges. The reply came in response to a member's query as to why Telangana was not granted any new medical colleges by the Centre.

The media reports also showcased Telangana Health Minister Harish Rao's strong rebuttal of the Centre's claim in Parliament. Harish Rao described it as a heap of lies and accused the Centre of being constantly evasive on the issue.

Interestingly, similar sentiments were echoed by many twitterati, who alleged that the Centre was using misinformation as a tool to cover up its failure to grant the medical colleges to Telangana. They said that the bandwagon of BJP leaders was only trying to confuse the public since their line of argument was far from convincing.

TRS Social Media Cell Convenor Krishank too shared a screenshot of the Centre's list of proposals and wondered why the data on proposals from other states was kept in hiding. He called out the NDA government for conveniently concealing information on other states' proposals.

Conflicting claims, made by a few BJP stalwarts, also came in for sharp attack for their alleged duplicity and deceit.

Putta Vishnuvardhan Reddy, in another tweet, vividly pictured the way the BJP leaders' claims were flying in different directions.

"Sri @kishanreddybjp said that the Modi Govt gave 9 medical colleges to TS

BJP appointed Guv said Telangana started to get new Med colleges

Sri @mansukhmandviya says Telangana didn't submit proposals for new Med colleges

BJP mantra-> if you can't convince people, confuse them", his sarcastic tweet said.

It has become a pattern for the BJP to rake up procedural issues whenever Telangana complains of injustice. Many a time, these turnout to be mere ploys to deflect the public opinion.

They tried this trick with the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR). Several times, the Union Ministers accused the State Government of not submitting the DPRs. This was blatant as the Telangana Government submitted the DPR twice. Minister KTR penned numerous letters precisely on this subject to then Minister Ravishankar Prasad and Ashwin Vaishnav. They never responded to the request and, on the other hand, they announced on the floor of the House that they were scrapping the ITIR project.

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