Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has sought to strike an emotional chord with the residents of Hyderabad ahead of the municipal polls, appealing to them to “save the city from divisive forces”, hinting at the BJP which has staked much in the city elections.
The Chief Minister’s reference to “divisive forces” came hours ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s arrival in the city today to attend various poll-related programmes.
“…some divisive forces are trying to enter Hyderabad and create havoc…Are we going to allow it? Are we going to lose our peace?” the Chief Minister said on Saturday. He appealed to the intellectuals and professionals of the city to “come forward, vote, and educate people. “It is to save Hyderabad. It is to save our history. It is to save the peace of Hyderabad,” he said.
Mr Rao was speaking at a public meeting at the city’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium as part of his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s (TRS), campaign for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Council polls scheduled for December 1.
His reference to “divisive forces” follows frequent talk by the BJP’s top leaders in recent days about the city harbouring infiltrators from Pakistan and Myanmar.
BJP State President, Bandi Sanjay, recently even threatened a “surgical strike to flush out Rohingya and Pakistanis” in Hyderabad, while Bengaluru South MP, Tejaswi Surya, called his Hyderabad counterpart, Asaduddin Owaisi, a “modern Mohammed Ali Jinnah”. These utterances have been denounced by the TRS, the Congress, and Mr Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
Such has been the vitriol during the campaign that Hyderabad Police had to issue a warning last week against anyone inciting communal trouble.
Campaigning for the BJP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath even hinted at changing the city’s name to Bhagyanagar. Mr Rao on Saturday responded by pointing at the north Indian state’s ranking in terms of per capita income, PTI reported. “As a fellow Chief Minister I welcome him (Mr Adityanath). The person who is in 28th rank is trying to teach the one with fifth rank.”
On Saturday, Chief Minister Rao said, “Their’s (BJP’s) is a very dangerous proposal…Hyderabad is a truthfully cosmopolitan city…We have been living here, my dear brothers and sisters of Hyderabad…I’m appealing very earnestly…Please support TRS, which is a progressive thinking party.”