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Telangana Assembly Elections: No Place for BJP’s Divisive Tricks

Prudhviraj Rupawat 26 Nov 2018

“There is an undeclared pact between the TRS and the BJP,” says Ajay Gudavarthy, Centre for Political Studies, JNU.

 
Photo: PTI
 
For the December 7 assembly elections in Telangana, the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be struggling to at least get hold of the constituencies the saffron party had earlier won. The saffron party has just limited itself to criticising the prime contesting parties - Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress-led Prajakutami, leaving to the corner its regular strategies of electoral polarisation and divisive politics in the name of caste and religion, while the state continues to remain inclusive – to be more precise, secular, an idea which was adopted during the separate statehood movement.

However, the saffron party’s compulsions in the state has made it forge an “undeclared pact” with the TRS said Ajay Gudavarthy, Associate Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. “There is an undeclared pact between the TRS and the BJP. Both, the regional compulsions of Congress being the primary rival and caste equations have pushed TRS and the BJP together, but since the Muslim vote is significant in Telangana, TRS avoided a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. While TRS has rolled out a string of welfare policies, it has also alienated a range of constituencies, and it is those that the Prajakutami wishes to consolidate. It is going to be a very closely fought battle with TRS still holding an edge,” Ajay told Newsclick. 

The BJP has fielded candidates in all 119 constituencies in the state.

In the previous 2014 elections, the BJP was in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the party won in one Lok Sabha (Secunderabad) constituency and five assembly seats. While the TRS won the elections winning 63 seats, with a vote share of 34.3%, the BJP registered 7.1% vote share, however, a large chunk of these votes comprised of those of TDP supporters.

Thus, the upcoming elections would reveal the actual strength of the saffron party in the south Indian state, as the party is going for a lone battle.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to campaign in the state beginning with a meeting in Nizamabad on November 27, as the party has been eyeing the Nizamabad assembly seat and Lok Sabha seat. In 2009, the BJP candidate Endala Laxminarayana had won the Nizamabad (Urban) seat. In 2014, he had contested for Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat and stood third place getting nearly 21% of the vote share. For the upcoming assembly elections in December, BJP’s Laxminarayana is again in the race for the assembly seat, who is pitted against TRS candidate and sitting MLA Ganesh Bigala, Congress’s Tahir Bin Hamdan, BLF (Bahujan Left Front) candidate HM Ismail Mohammed and AIMIM's (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) Mir Majaz Ali Shaik.

Hindutva Campaign
The state BJP in October had inducted the controversial Swami Paripoornanada into the party. Since then, he has become the face of the Hindutva campaign in the state. In one of his recent speech, Paripoornanada claimed that the BJP works for the welfare of the people. He said "While the Congress party is promising to bring Jesus’s rule in the state, the TRS party is praising the rule of Nizam.” However, commentators argue that the BJP’s state leaders are involved in internal conflicts among themselves and the socio-cultural conditions in the state has prevented them from adopting the saffron party’s strategies employed in the northern states of the country.

T Raja Singh, sitting BJP MLA from Goshamahal constituency, has been in news for his numerous controversial statements spreading communal hatred. Raja Singh has also been put in the race from Goshamahal constituency again, and is pitted against BLF’s transgender candidate Chandramukhi, TRS candidate Prem Singh Rathod and Congress’ Mukesh Goud.

September 17 Controversy
September 17 marks the day when Telangana was integrated into the Indian Union. The BJP has been protesting for the last four years, demanding that the day should be celebrated as “Telangana Liberation Day”, as the Nizam rule ended on that day. The BJP supporters and other affiliated groups such as Viswa Hindu Parishad are known for creating tensed situations at various places in the state on every September 17 for the past four years. It has been widely argued that the political motive behind this move is only to invoke hatred against the Nizamate and the Muslims.

Communal Tensions
Telangana’s capital Hyderabad has witnessed several incidents of communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the last four years, mostly during religious festivals. Although, the BJP affiliated groups were involved in several incidents of communal violence in the last decade in the region, the last major communal violence that occurred in the region was in 2008 in Vatoli village in Bhainsa Mandal, Adilabad district. An entire Muslim family of six, including three children, were burned alive, allegedly by members of the Hindu Vahini. The incident was followed by communal tensions in the state for several days. Earlier in April this year, the Adilabad Sessions Court had dismissed the case and released all the arrested due to lack of proper technical and scientific evidence produced by the state’s investigative agency.

Of the five states - Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana, where elections are going to be held in November and December this year, the BJP is a key contender in four states, but seems to be struggling in a battle for survival in Telangana. 

Courtesy: Newsclik.in

Telangana Assembly Elections: No Place for BJP’s Divisive Tricks

“There is an undeclared pact between the TRS and the BJP,” says Ajay Gudavarthy, Centre for Political Studies, JNU.

 
Photo: PTI
 
For the December 7 assembly elections in Telangana, the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be struggling to at least get hold of the constituencies the saffron party had earlier won. The saffron party has just limited itself to criticising the prime contesting parties - Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress-led Prajakutami, leaving to the corner its regular strategies of electoral polarisation and divisive politics in the name of caste and religion, while the state continues to remain inclusive – to be more precise, secular, an idea which was adopted during the separate statehood movement.

However, the saffron party’s compulsions in the state has made it forge an “undeclared pact” with the TRS said Ajay Gudavarthy, Associate Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. “There is an undeclared pact between the TRS and the BJP. Both, the regional compulsions of Congress being the primary rival and caste equations have pushed TRS and the BJP together, but since the Muslim vote is significant in Telangana, TRS avoided a pre-poll alliance with the BJP. While TRS has rolled out a string of welfare policies, it has also alienated a range of constituencies, and it is those that the Prajakutami wishes to consolidate. It is going to be a very closely fought battle with TRS still holding an edge,” Ajay told Newsclick. 

The BJP has fielded candidates in all 119 constituencies in the state.

In the previous 2014 elections, the BJP was in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the party won in one Lok Sabha (Secunderabad) constituency and five assembly seats. While the TRS won the elections winning 63 seats, with a vote share of 34.3%, the BJP registered 7.1% vote share, however, a large chunk of these votes comprised of those of TDP supporters.

Thus, the upcoming elections would reveal the actual strength of the saffron party in the south Indian state, as the party is going for a lone battle.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to campaign in the state beginning with a meeting in Nizamabad on November 27, as the party has been eyeing the Nizamabad assembly seat and Lok Sabha seat. In 2009, the BJP candidate Endala Laxminarayana had won the Nizamabad (Urban) seat. In 2014, he had contested for Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat and stood third place getting nearly 21% of the vote share. For the upcoming assembly elections in December, BJP’s Laxminarayana is again in the race for the assembly seat, who is pitted against TRS candidate and sitting MLA Ganesh Bigala, Congress’s Tahir Bin Hamdan, BLF (Bahujan Left Front) candidate HM Ismail Mohammed and AIMIM's (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) Mir Majaz Ali Shaik.

Hindutva Campaign
The state BJP in October had inducted the controversial Swami Paripoornanada into the party. Since then, he has become the face of the Hindutva campaign in the state. In one of his recent speech, Paripoornanada claimed that the BJP works for the welfare of the people. He said "While the Congress party is promising to bring Jesus’s rule in the state, the TRS party is praising the rule of Nizam.” However, commentators argue that the BJP’s state leaders are involved in internal conflicts among themselves and the socio-cultural conditions in the state has prevented them from adopting the saffron party’s strategies employed in the northern states of the country.

T Raja Singh, sitting BJP MLA from Goshamahal constituency, has been in news for his numerous controversial statements spreading communal hatred. Raja Singh has also been put in the race from Goshamahal constituency again, and is pitted against BLF’s transgender candidate Chandramukhi, TRS candidate Prem Singh Rathod and Congress’ Mukesh Goud.

September 17 Controversy
September 17 marks the day when Telangana was integrated into the Indian Union. The BJP has been protesting for the last four years, demanding that the day should be celebrated as “Telangana Liberation Day”, as the Nizam rule ended on that day. The BJP supporters and other affiliated groups such as Viswa Hindu Parishad are known for creating tensed situations at various places in the state on every September 17 for the past four years. It has been widely argued that the political motive behind this move is only to invoke hatred against the Nizamate and the Muslims.

Communal Tensions
Telangana’s capital Hyderabad has witnessed several incidents of communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the last four years, mostly during religious festivals. Although, the BJP affiliated groups were involved in several incidents of communal violence in the last decade in the region, the last major communal violence that occurred in the region was in 2008 in Vatoli village in Bhainsa Mandal, Adilabad district. An entire Muslim family of six, including three children, were burned alive, allegedly by members of the Hindu Vahini. The incident was followed by communal tensions in the state for several days. Earlier in April this year, the Adilabad Sessions Court had dismissed the case and released all the arrested due to lack of proper technical and scientific evidence produced by the state’s investigative agency.

Of the five states - Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana, where elections are going to be held in November and December this year, the BJP is a key contender in four states, but seems to be struggling in a battle for survival in Telangana. 

Courtesy: Newsclik.in

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