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Southern front: BJP steps up heat on KCR government over Telangana Liberation Day

Krishnanand Tripathi
G Kishan Reddy, MoS Home Affairs, Telangana Liberation Day, KCR, TRS, TDP, AIMIM

Telangana Liberation Day: Top BJP leaders have stepped up their attacks on K Chandrasekhar Rao government over the state government’s decision not to celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day. The ruling party at the Centre has asked the TRS government in the state to declare September 17 as the Telangana Liberation Day. Previous Telangana governments and the present TRS government in the state have succumbed to the AIMIM’s pressure and this is the main reason behind the KCR government’s decision for not celebrating the Telangana Liberation day, said G Kishan Reddy, union minister of state for home affairs.

"We will organise grand celebrations across the state to celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day. It will be done to honour the memories of those freedom fighters who fought against the misrule of the Nizam," said G. Kishan Reddy.

The KCR government’s decision not to officially celebrate Telangana Liberation Day has provided the BJP enough ammunition to target the TRS government in the state. The saffron party, which bagged the second-highest number of Lok Sabha seats in the state, hopes to further consolidate its position on the basis of strong nationalistic sentiments in its favour. In the Lok Sabha elections, conducted in April-May this year, TRS won 9 of total 17 Lok Sabha seats, while BJP bagged 4 and the Congress won 3 and Owaisi’s party AIMIM won just one Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP’s electoral success in the state in the Lok Sabha elections surprised many as the party has strong support base in north, central and western part of the country but not in four southern states-Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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Despite a strong wave in favor of TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, BJP candidate D Arvind defeated chief minister KCR’s daughter K Kavitha from prestigious Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat.

Though the assembly and Lok Sabha elections are 4-5 years away but the BJP would not like to miss any opportunity to consolidate its Hindutva support base in the state.

"Before coming to the power, KCR promised the people of the state that his government will officially celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day. However, he is afraid to do so as he is supported by AIMIM, the party founded by Qasim Razvi, the founder of Razakar movement," said the Lok Sabha member from Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat.

Qasim Razvi was founder of the armed militia group known as Razakars. The group was part of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, the party founded by Nawab Mahmood Nawaz Khan in 1927. Razakars had launched an armed struggle to unite the princely state of Hyderabad with Pakistan but were eventually crushed by Indian Army who took control of Hyderabad on September 17, 1948.

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The party was later revived as All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in 1957 and is currently led by Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

"Five districts of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad went to Maharashtra and 3 districts went to Karnataka. These states are officially celebrating Telangana Liberation Day but the TRS government is not celebrating the state’s own liberation day ," G. Kishan Reddy told Financial Express Online.

The BJP has been celebrating the Telangana Liberation Day since 1996 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed his first government in May 1996 for 16 days. Last year, BJP President Amit Shah participated in Telangana Liberation Day celebrations and this year he is also expected to join the event.

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The Modi government’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 has also come as a big opportunity for the BJP to capitalise on strong nationalistic sentiment in the state in support of the decision.