The much-anticipated showdown between TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj turned out to be a damp squib due to sudden showers that forced both the leaders to cut short their speeches at their respective public meetings in Warangal on Saturday.
Ms Swaraj attracted a large turnout despite the rain at BJP’s Telangana Poru Sabha at Hygreevachary Ground in Warangal city, while the TRS chief addressed a meeting at the Angadi centre.
The heavy downpour forced Ms Swaraj to wait in the car for an hour before she could finally make it to the dais at 8pm. The crowds waited patiently despite the rains and poor sound system.
Befitting the weather, she quoted appropriate lines from BJP patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem, Andhera Chhatega, Suraj Nikalega, Kamal Khilega (Darkness will fade, the sun will rise and the lotus will bloom).
In her half-hour speech, she avoided TRS bashing but chose to target the Congress for the impasse on Telangana.
“Telangana is a fight for identity of language, culture and the arts. It is not antagonistic to any region,” she said, while appealing to the Parkal people to do a repeat of Mahbubnagar by-poll.
While referring to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s pro-Telangana election speech in Karimnagar during 2004 poll campaign, she hit out at the former asking “Kahan gaya tera vaada
”(What happened to your promise
) Criticising Sonia Gandhi, she sought to know what happened to the December 9 statement made by Union minister P. Chidambaram on her birthday.
She urged people to be patient on Telangana. “Be patient for a few days, we will force the Congress to introduce a Telangana Bill. Otherwise, BJP will do so when it comes to power in 2014,” she said.