Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday hosted lunch for visiting Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his official residence in Hyderabad. While the Telangana CM was praised for his welfare schemes, he was also in the line of fire as Vijayan lashed out at the Sangh parivar.
Vijayan, who is on a two-day visit to Hyderabad to attend various programmes, was all praise for the programmes and schemes launched by the Telangana government and for becoming number one state in the country in terms of ease of doing business.
They exchanged views on a host of issues, ranging from ease of doing business to law and order, Telangana welfare schemes, tourism and information technology.
Telangana Chief Minister took the opportunity to seek allocation of land for the construction of guest house for pilgrims from his state in Sabarimala. Both states have already signed a draft Memorandum of Understanding in this regard and the issue is pending with the Travancore Devaswom Board.
Rao told Vijayan that lakhs of devotees from Telangana regularly go on pilgrimage to Sabarimala, and requested the visiting Chief Minister to expedite the matter.
He explained the innovative and hassle-free industrial policy of the state and said this helped the state in achieving top rank in ease of doing business.
Vijayan evinced key interest in the land reforms and maintenance of land records in Telangana.
Telangana Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao, who is son of the Chief Minister and was present in the meeting, briefed Vijayan about the rapid strides Telangana has made in the IT, IT-enabled services sector.
However, the Kerala CM later on Sunday, lashed out against Narendra Modi and Sangh Parivar, making critical remarks.
Addressing a public rally of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in Hyderabad, he said that in the wake of the results of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, many people expressed the opinion that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are undefeatable. He, however, did not agree with this.
He alleged that in Goa and Manipur, the BJP used undemocratic means to form governments despite clearly being the losers while in Punjab it finished fourth.
He said even in Uttar Pradesh, the share of BJP votes had come down to 39.7 per cent from its 42.3 per cent in 2014. Thus, more than 60 per cent people voted against the BJP.
The CPI-M politburo member said the BJP won by spreading communal hatred, through heavy injection of money and deploying entire central government machinery in the state.
“The growth of right wing fringe groups and self-styled organisations in the name of protecting our culture is posing a threat to the freedom of commoners in the country. Minorities, Dalits and BCs are becoming the victims of Sangh Pariwar. Time has come for us to forge larger alliances with students, minorities, Dalits and other sections of people to counter the neo-liberal and communal forces,” The Kerala CM was quoted in Times of India.
He slammed the Congress for not staking claim to forming governments in Goa and Manipur despite winning the largest number of seats. He also cited the examples of Congress leaders joining the BJP in various states.
"Historically there are plenty of instances where the Congress was soft to communalism and thus they have lost their identity. Those who once used to call themselves guardians of secularism are not even a force to reckon with now," said Vijayan.
He went on to remark that the Congress has ceased to exist as political party as PR companies are taking political decisions for them.
He called upon people to be vigilant against the forces which pander to the right-wing.
"History has shown that any political party that goes soft on the right-wing was devoured by the right-wing itself. The Congress has dug its own grave and is no more a credible ally against communalism," he added.
However, a mild tension prevailed outside RTC Kalabhavan where the CPI-M leader was addressing a meeting of Malayalis living in Hyderabad, when Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP) workers staged a protest against his visit.
Raising slogans of "Vijayan go back" they tried to disrupt a meeting. Police, however, arrested the protesters including women.
Over 100 ABVP activists were reportedly taken into custody after they burned Vijayan's effigy.