It was a case of BJP proposes, Centre disposes. In what was an embarrassment to the BJP working president JP Nadda, his utterances on Kaleshwaram were completely negated by the Power Finance Corporation.
At a BJP public meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday, Nadda alleged that Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao increased the estimate of the Kaleshwaram irrigation project on the Godavari from Rs 30000 crore to Rs 80000 crore to get a commission. He said that though 45 lakh hectares was to be irrigated after the completion of the project (which was inaugurated by KCR in June), so far not a single hectare has been brought under cultivation. Accusing KCR of indulging in corruption, he mocked Mission Kakatiya, saying it has become Commission Kakatiya.
However, at more or less the same time, at a meeting with chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, PFC chairman Rajeev Sharma was reportedly all praise for the Kaleshwaram project. According to a note issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, Sharma said, “When we came to Hyderabad three and a half years back, the CM told us about the project and showed us on a screen how it would be. I was surprised after watching that and wondered if it would be possible. But when I visited the Kaleshwaram project yesterday, I saw barrages and the pump houses. I also saw the way water from the Godavari is being pumped. It is a sheer wonder. To complete such a project in a short span of time is not easy. The efforts of the chief minister bore fruit. At New York’s Time Square, Kaleshwaram is being projected as one of the rarest success stories.”
Though it can be argued that Sharma was talking only of the technicality of the Kaleshwaram project and not the cost, his praise coming on the same day as Nadda was picking holes in the project, will be used by the TRS to say the BJP is playing politics. In the past too, central ministers have praised Telangana projects and the state unit of the BJP had pointed out to the central leadership that this had to stop if it was to emerge as an effective opposition in the southern state.