Hyderabad, March (IANS) The war of words between the ruling TRS and opposition BJP over the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) intensified with state IT minister K. T. Rama Rao on Wednesday demanding an apology from the saffron party for shelving the project.
Rama Rao, who is also working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), hit back at state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar a day after the latter shot off an open letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao alleging that the TRS government advertently failed to implement the ITIR project.
Rama Rao slammed Bandi Sanjay for what he called his 'ignorance' and pointed out that Union IT and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made a clear statement in the Parliament that the ITIR scheme has been shelved in the country.
KTR, as the IT minister is popularly known, alleged that the the BJP leadership was adopting double standards on the issue. He wondered how BJP can blame TRS for shelving the scheme. He pointed out that the Centre did not sanction the ITIR to Bengaluru despite being in power in Karnataka.
The minister said the BJP should apologise to the unemployed youth in Telangana for stepping back from the ITIR project. If the BJP leaders have any honesty left in them, they should make the Centre issue a statement on the subject, he demanded.
KTR offered to provide all the letters written by the State government from 2014 onwards as well as the detailed project reports submitted to the Centre to Bandi Sanjay and dared him to get ITIR to the state. "Does the BJP leader have the guts to get the ITIR or its equivalent project to Hyderabad city?" he asked and alleged that Bandi Sanjay was spreading lies to mislead the people.
Bandi Sanjay, in an open letter to the chief minister on Tuesday, alleged that the TRS government advertently failed to implement ITIR project for Hyderabad only to divert the antagonism against the TRS.
Responding to KTR's recent letter asking the Centre to announce an alternative scheme for Hyderabad, he said the state government has not taken any initiative from 2014 to 2017 in this regard. "TRS leaders are writing letters to the Centre to cover up their own faults," the BJP leader said.
KTR on February 28 wrote to union minister for information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad that since it is clear that the union government is not inclined to continue the ITIR scheme, he may consider providing a scheme/initiative in its place to ensure that cities like Hyderabad continue to flourish and provide employment to youngsters.
KTR wrote that the youth of Telangana are eagerly waiting for new employment opportunities that could be created with the support of the union government in the IT sector.
KTR recalled that the state government made numerous appeals during the past six years to sanction funds for ITIR but unfortunately there was no response whatsoever from the union government.
The two parties are indulging in mudslinging on ITIR issue ahead of March 14 elections to two graduate constituencies of Telangana Legislative Council.