Hyderabad: Development of Hyderabad be damned, in ‘battleground GHMC,’ it is now all about polarisation of votes for the BJP and the AIMIM, calling for division along religious lines and seeking demolition of structures aimed at creating controversies to lead people away from real issues that concern their daily lives.
If State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar spoke of carrying out surgical strikes in old city on Tuesday, it was MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s turn to spark a major controversy late in the night when he sought demolition of PV Gnana Bhoomi and NTR Ghat, claiming that they were encroachments on Hussain Sagar. The two structures are memorials to two Telugu stalwarts former Prime Minister late P V Narasimha Rao and former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh N T Rama Rao.
“I challenge you to go and demolish those samadhis. We will see if you have any guts to do it. If the poor construct houses on tank lands, you come to demolish them,” Owaisi said at a campaign meeting late on Wednesday night. He also claimed that the GHMC office too was built on the nala of Hussain Sagar, but failed to explain why MIM, which has a stake in the GHMC, did not take up this issue in the Council meetings for the past few decades.
In a swift and sharp response, TRS working president and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao, in a tweet, said that PV and NTR were the pride of Telugu people who had served as Prime Minister and Chief Minister respectively for a long period. “We strongly condemn these remarks. Any derogatory statement to belittle the contribution of these two Telugu stalwarts is deplorable and have no place in a democracy,” Rama Rao said. The Minister had gone to great lengths on Wednesday to explain that controversial statements like the surgical strikes by Sanjay Kumar serve no purpose, and instead, asked the opposition to focus on unemployment and state of the economy, among other issues.
Not to be left behind, Sanjay too waded into the controversy and adding fuel to fire, stating that BJP activists would bring down Darussalam in no time if any attempt was made to demolish the memorials.
“Today, the MIM leaders are threatening to demolish the NTR Samadhi. Is it your father’s jageer or your grandfather’s jageer? If you have guts, go try and lay your hands on the statues of PV or NTR. Within two hours, BJP activists will be ready to demolish your Darussalam. PV is a Hindu icon. Do you have guts to lay your hands on his samadhi or NTR samadhi?” he asked.
Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav also slammed the MIM leaders who, he said, were speaking from a high pedestal and even threatening to dislodge the TRS government. “Do we look that easy and simple? The MIM leaders should first look at their strength in the Assembly, before making such silly statements. They hardly have 10 per cent votes in the total 74 lakh votes in GHMC area,” he pointed out.
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