Telangana Rashtra Samithi working president KT Rama Rao on Sunday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections, saying it only knew how to make false promises and incite violence, the Hindustan Times reported.
Voting will take place in 150 municipal constituencies, or wards, of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on Tuesday. The results will be announced on Friday. The saffron party has led an aggressive campaign for the civic body polls to make inroads in wards with a significant Hindu population. There is a triangular contest between the BJP, the TRS, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, or AIMIM.
Addressing rallies on the final day of campaigning at Goshamahal, Sanath Nagar and Secunderabad constituencies, Rao asked what the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had done for the city in the last six years.
“Who brought the prestigious Apple, Amazon, and other major IT companies to Hyderabad,” he asked. “It is the BJP government which cancelled the ITIR [Investment Technology Investment Region] project sanctioned by the UPA government for Hyderabad and acted against the hopes of youth in Telangana. BJP knows only two things, first is jumla [make false promises] and second is hamla [violence].”
Rao, who is the son of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, also retorted sharply to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks that the BJP would free Hyderabad “from the shackles of Nizam, Nawab culture” if elected to power in the civic body polls.
“Union Minister Amit Shah is saying ours is Nizam culture,” he said. “Mahatma Gandhi, who is from your own Gujarat in 1920 said Hyderabad culture is Ganga-Jamuna ‘tehzeeb’ and people coexist here peacefully and the city stands as an example to India.” Ganga-Jamuna is an Awadhi phrase for a distinctive and syncretic Hindu-Muslim culture.
The Telangana minister also dismissed Shah’s statement that no communal clashes took place in India, reminding him about the February riots in North East Delhi. He said the incident, which claimed 53 lives and injured hundreds, was also reported by international publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, damaging the national Capital’s image.
“Hyderabad has been peaceful for the past six years,” Rao told the people. “There has not been a single incident of communal tension. Today, they only want to divide people in the name of religion. I urge you all not to support such parties.”
‘Who is stopping you from removing Rohingya,’ Owaisi asks Amit Shah
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that Shah was the first home minister of India to seek permission from an MP to remove illegal immigrants, PTI reported.
His comments came hours after Shah asked Owaisi to give in writing that people from Bangladesh and Rohingya have to be evicted. The home minister in a rally also accused Owaisi of siding with the Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees in the Parliament.
“When has it started that the home minister will take action after asking an MP,” the AIMIM chief questioned. “It is his work. He is the first home minister who is asking for permission to remove illegal Pakistanis and Afghanistanis. It is his party that said that there are 30,000 Rohingyas on the voter list. If they are living illegally, Home Minister Amit Shah should explain how they can live here. He should take action.”
Shah said the saffron party was “insulting” people of Hyderabad. “Your party wants to do a surgical strike in old Hyderabad,” he said. “Is it your culture?”
Even though the polls are for electing a city mayor, the high-decibel campaign has witnessed comments on Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, allegations of Rohingya infiltrators and one focused on Hindu-Muslim narrative. The BJP had brought in several heavyweights, including party chief JP Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, for campaigning.