As the year comes to a close, here are some of the important political events that Telangana witnessed in 2019.

BJP makes inroads rape accused encountered and more Major events in Telangana in 2019
news Telangana Monday, December 30, 2019 - 18:30

2019 was an eventful year for India’s youngest state. K Chandrasekhar Rao, who won a massive victory in the assembly elections in 2018, was faced with one of the longest RTC strikes in the history of the Telugu states. The year also saw KCR’s dreams of sweeping the Lok Sabha elections come crashing down after BJP won four important seats in the state. There were politicians jumping ships, issues of land grabbing and the gruesome rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad which triggered debates on women safety nation-wide.

As the year comes to a close, here are some of the important political events that Telangana witnessed in 2019:

BJP makes inroads into Telangana: Of the 17 parliamentary seats in Telangana, BJP in a first won four seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. All the seats where TRS candidates lost were perceived to be party strongholds in a state that witnessed Assembly elections barely six months ago in 2018. The biggest blow to the TRS was the loss of the Nizamabad Parliamentary seat held by K Kavitha, daughter of KCR, to BJP’s Aravind Dharmapuri. BJP’s win also shattered KCR’s dream of building a federal front- a coalition of regional parties minus the BJP and the Congress.

Read: How KCR’s aspirations for a national role were rejected in his own backyard

The RTC strike: Beginning from October, the Telangana Road Transport Corporation employees staged one of the longest RTC strikes in the history of the Telugu states. The protests ended after 50 days, though none of their demands were fulfilled. A few employees killed themselves during the course of the strike. KCR did shower the employees with sops and a promise to not privatise RTC, but not before the employees called off the strike in front of an unrelenting CM and agreed to return to work. KCR’s cold response to the strike invited criticism from various quarters, many reminded him of the Telangana agitations which helped carve India’s youngest state.

Read: KCR's actions in TSRTC saga: No space for dissent in his autocracy?

Tehsildar burnt alive: Mandal Revenue Officer Vijaya Reddy, in a ghastly incident, was set on fire outside her office in Hyderabad in November. An alleged land issue was cited as reason behind the murder, the accused Suresh being one among the many who staked claim on the disputed land. Suresh’s family members said that there was a delay in processing their query for pattadhar passbooks and the case had been pending for years. The case however left the state in shock with a woman government official killed in broad daylight.

Forest Range officer attacked: Forest officer Anitha was attacked by an angry mob with sticks during an afforestation drive in Sarsala in June. The mob was led by TRS leader Koneru Krishna, the brother of Sirpur MLA Koneru Konappa, who was later booked and taken into police custody. Though the Forest Department claimed that the local residents had carried out the attack as they had a ‘mala fide intention’ to occupy Reserve Forest land, the villagers claimed that they have been cultivating the land for decades and they had riparian rights over it. 

Read: Encroachers or rightful cultivators? Why there’s unrest among Telangana's forest dwellers

Police encounter on Disha rape accused: The four accused in the gruesome rape and murder of Hyderabad veterinarian Disha (name changed) in Hyderabad was killed in an alleged encounter on December 6. The Telangana police claimed that the accused were shot down while they tried to escape while recreating the crime scene. The encounter came amid demands of death penalty for rape accused on social media and the move by Telangana police was termed brave by citizens across country.

However, a section also claimed the killings were extrajudicial, prompting the National Human Rights Commission to set up an enquiry committee to look into the alleged encounter. Speculations were triggered as the encounter was headed by VC Sajjanar, also known as the ‘encounter cop’.

 

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