GHMC polls: Asaduddin Owaisi dares PM Modi to campaign in Hyderabad

Ahead of the GHMC polls, AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi challenged the BJP to bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to campaign in Hyderabad and "see how many seats they win in the old city".

AIMIM supremo and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi Wednesday challenged the BJP to bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to campaign in the old city of Hyderabad. “You (BJP) bring Narendra Modi to the old city and campaign here. We will see what happens. Bring the prime minister himself, why are you bringing others. Bring him. Organise his meeting here and we will see how many seats you will win over here,” Owaisi said.

Apart from Bangalore South MP Tejaswi Surya, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani had joined the electioneering in the city so far. National president JP Nadda, home minister Amit Shah, UP chief minister Adityanath are expected to campaign for BJP in the coming days. On Thursday, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is set to release the party’s election manifesto.

With BJP airdropping its senior leaders and union ministers for campaigning ahead of municipal polls in Hyderabad, KT Rama Rao said they should have visited Hyderabad during floods, and not only during elections.

“We welcome the top leadership of BJP to the state who are coming for campaigning for the local municipal election in Hyderabad. It would have been much better if the same leaders had come to Hyderabad when the city was facing heavy rains and floods. Instead of coming with empty hands, I request them to bring along the Rs 1,350 Crore financial assistance (for relief measures in rain-affected colonies) which CM KCR had requested for in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” KTR said.

According to him, Hyderabad has been peaceful for the past six years with not a single incidence of communal tension. “Today, they only want to divide people in the name of religion. I urge you all to not support such parties.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani, on Wednesday continued her party’s line of attack against TRS and AIMIM over the alleged enrollment of Rohingya refugees as legitimate voters in the old city for political benefits. She blamed the TRS for not taking action against the AIMIM which, according to her, has been issuing recommendation letters with the party’s letterhead for helping refugees obtain voter ID cards. Accusing TRS and AIMIM of having an unholy alliance, she asked why does the TRS government not write to the Center seeking deportation of illegal immigrants from Hyderabad. “Is it not the responsibility of the State government to take action against illegal immigrants who are getting help from AIMIM?”

Asaduddin Owaisi, responding to the continued ‘surgical strike’ jibe, demanded the resignation of Union Minister of state for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy. “Your(Amit Shah) party is in power for the last six years. Your MP(Kishan Reddy) has won from the Secunderabad Parliament seat. He is also a minister of home. If Pakistanis and Rohingyas are living here, was this minister from Secunderabad sleeping? Didn’t he know?… If your party is saying Pakistanis are living here, then I tell you that the minister has proved to be inefficient. He should resign to the post, how could he let Pakistanis and Rohingyas live here,” Owaisi said.

Owaisi: Remove PVNR and NTR memorials

The issue of encroachments of water bodies, and the cry for its removal, especially in the backdrop of October deluge in Hyderabad, took an ugly turn when Owaisi called former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao’s and former chief minister NT Rama Rao’s memorials on the banks of Hussainsagar lake as encroachments and dared the state government to remove them.

Responding to Akbar, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, addressing a roadshow later, threatened to retaliate by demolishing AIMIM’s party headquarters ‘Darussalam’ in two hours.

During a public meeting, Akbar blamed the TRS for allowing encroachments on the 460-year-old man-made lake. “Hussainsagar was 4700 acres when it was built and today it is not even 700 acres. So where did the 4000 acres go?,” He asked. “It went in Necklace road shops, it went in PV Narasimha Rao’s memorial and NT Rama Rao’s memorial in Lumbini Park. If there are houses of the poor in water bodies, they come to demolish these. I challenge you to go and demolish these memorials. I want to see if you have the guts or not,” he said.

The AIMIM has invoked the former prime minister on various occasions blaming him for not doing anything to prevent the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. Meanwhile, Bandi Sanjay Kumar has decided to visit PV Gyan Bhoomi on Necklace road on Thursday and pay his tributes to the former prime minister.

TRS working president and Municipal Administration minister KT Rama Rao condemned Akbar’s statement. “These two leaders (PVNR and NTR) are stalwarts who upheld the dignity of Telugu people. Inappropriate remarks on such great personalities are reprehensible. There is no place for such comments in a democracy,” he said. The state government had earlier in June kicked off the centenary celebrations of PVNR and the state assembly had passed a resolution seeking conferment of Bharat Ratna on the former PM.

Stern action against those inciting communal tensions: KCR

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Wednesday directed the police to take stern action against “certain anarchic forces, which out of deep despair and disappointment are trying to create clashes and incite communal tensions in the state”. He said the government has definitive information about these anti-social elements and declared that the police were given a free-hand to deal with the anti-social elements in the state, according to a press statement from the CMO. The CM held a high-level review meeting on the law and order situation in the state.

“During the GHMC polls, certain leaders are trying to get political mileage through several conspiracies. At first, they used social media to spread fake news. They tried to divert people with morphed photos. Later they have indulged in provocation through their utterances. But yet, peace-loving people in Hyderabad did not fall for their falsehoods. People are not reacting despite the attempts to whip up communal passions,” said the statement quoting the CM.

“They have realised that their attempts to get votes by throwing money did not work in Hyderabad. With this, they are stooping down to low levels to create communal clashes in Hyderabad and take political mileage of it. They want to create communal clashes in Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, and other places and campaign about them in Hyderabad. They want to create some trouble in Hyderabad and paint it communal and they want to ferment trouble at places of worship. With these acts, they want to whip up communal passions. They want to create such a communal disturbance so that the GHMC polls are not held and postponed. This is their actual plan. The state government has definite information about this plan,” the CM said in the statement.

Elections are scheduled for 150 wards of GHMC council on December 1. As many as 1825 candidates are in the fray and more than 74 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. In 2016 GHMC polls, the TRS had won 99 of the total 150 seats. The AIMIM secured 44 seats, leaving BJP with four, Congress with two, and TDP with just one seat.

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