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Amit Shah, Rahul visit likely to heat up Telangana politics

BJP President begins trip on Monday, while Gandhi will visit on June 1

Gulf News

Hyderabad: Even as Telangana is sizzling under a severe heatwave, the visit of the leaders of the two major opposition parties is likely to set the temperatures soaring even further.

While the BJP President Amit Shah’s three-day hectic tour will begin on Monday, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will address a mammoth public meeting at Sangareddy on June 1.

During his three-day visit to Nalgonda, Munogode, Nagarjuna Sagar, Bhongir and Hyderabad Amit Shah will focus on mobilising the party’s workers and also strengthen the organisation right from the booth-level committees.

In a clear indication that BJP is ready to go to any extent to strengthen itself, Amit Shah will also dip into the past history of Hyderabad and rekindle the bitter memories of the Nizam’s rule. He will visit Gundrampally village in Nalgonda district and have lunch with the kin of 160 people who were believed to have died while fighting against the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad. This is likely to give a communal tinge to the BJP’s campaign in the state

This will be a new addition to the BJP’s strategy of targeting the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti over the alleged appeasement of minorities. The party has already decided to make the 12 per cent quota for backward Muslims an issue and Amit Shah was also likely to raise it during the visit.

Interestingly, Amit Shah will also address the party workers meeting in the Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency which the party could never win in the past and which remains a fortress of BJP’s bitter rival Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

It was perhaps part of the strategy to further stir the pot that the BJP’s floor leader in the state assembly, G Kishan Reddy, has alleged that 10,000 illegal migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh were hiding in Hyderabad. Alleging that Hyderabad was gradually turning into safe haven for terrorists, Kishan Reddy told the media that the MIM was backing such anti-national elements and the ruling TRS was dancing to its tunes.

Meanwhile, the Congress party — the main opposition in the state — has started gearing itself for the visit of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi on June 1.

As Rahul Gandhi will be addressing his first public meeting in the state since the formation of Telangana in June 2014, Congress is going all out to mobilise the public to Sangareddy town, about 50 kms from Hyderabad.

State Congress Committee president Uttam Kumar Reddy said Rahul Gandhi will kick-start the party’s campaign for the next elections. “He will release a charge-sheet against the TRS government highlighting its failures during last three years,” Reddy said.

Congress leaders were hopeful that Rahul’s visit and the public meeting named ‘Telangana Praja Garjana’ will infuse new life in the rank and file and set the party on the road to victory in the next elections.

Congress will also target the TRS charging it of nexus with the BJP because it has decided to support the BJP candidate in the Presidential elections.