The bonhomie witnessed between the BJP and TRS during demonetisation, introduction of GST, Presidential and Vice-Presidential polls appears set to end now with the saffron party readying an offensive against the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led government.
The bonhomie witnessed between the BJP and TRS during demonetisation, introduction of GST, Presidential and Vice-Presidential polls appears set to end now with the saffron party readying an offensive against the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led government. State BJP President K Laxman will be leading a week-long ‘Telangana Vimochana Yatra’ from Friday primarily to mount pressure on the TRS government to officially celebrate September 17 as “Hyderabad Samsthan Liberation Day”.
BJP president Amit Shah is slated to pay a three-day visit to Telangana from September 10. Shah had visited Telangana in May with an aim to strengthen the party in the state ahead of the 2019 elections. “The guidance from Amit Shah this time is going to be purely electoral, political,” state BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said. On September 17, Union Minister Rajnath Singh will address a public meeting proposed to be organised by the BJP state unit to celebrate ‘Telangana Liberation Day (or Hyderabad Samsthan Liberation Day)’.
The ruling TRS had backed the NDA government’s move on the demonetisation and the GST, as also its nominees for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections, leading to speculation in some quarters on whether it is coming closer to the BJP. Saagar Rao said Laxman’s yatra and visits of Shah and Singh would give a clear picture about the way forward and the ambition and goals of the BJP in Telangana. “The (BJP) president is going to set the goal clearly… no confusion…we are going on our own…no tie-up with TDP and TRS, that will be established very, very clearly.
“Instruments of winning–resources, leaders, electoral plan, manifestation of these plans into action, all that will be discussed, lot of committees will be formed within the party (in September),” he told PTI here. Laxman said during the agitation for separate Telangana state, which picked up momentum after 2004, the TRS had also demanded observation of official celebration on September 17.
In fact, during the run up to the elections in 2009 and 2014, the TRS head and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao stated several times that the non-observation of official celebration on September 17 had been the “conspiracy of the combined state (undivided Andhra Pradesh)”, he said. Chandrasekhar Rao had also said when the TRS comes to power, it would officially celebrate September 17 as ‘Telangana Liberation Day’, he said. “But, after coming to power in 2014, obviously buckling under pressure of the MIM, who are actually the descendants of Razakars, who committed heinous crimes on the people of Telangana during the liberation struggle between 1945 and 1948, the TRS government took a ‘U-turn’ and put the issue on backburner,” Laxman alleged.
Razakars had fought against Hyderabad integrating into India and wanted the Nizam rule to continue. “It is obvious that the TRS government has shelved the issue, intimidated by the MIM and of course for vote-back politics,” Laxman claimed. The BJP believes celebration of September 17–the party has been demanding it since 1998–is an issue close to the hearts and minds of the people, inextricably linked to the self-respect of the people and a “historical imperative”.
As part of the yatra, Laxman would visit “all those historical places which were witness to the brutality of Razakars and valour of the martyrs”. “The objective of the tour is three-fold: to expose the chicanery of the TRS government; to press the demand of official celebration of Telangana Liberation Day on September 17 and to revive the memory of Hyderabad liberation struggle and pay tribute to the martyrs,” he added.