Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) launched a scathing attack on the BJP on Monday, ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. Speaking after releasing the TRS manifesto, KCR asked the voters of Hyderabad to take a call between peace and development and curfews that come due to communal violence.
Stating that there are intellectuals, students, IT professionals and employees among the voters who should decide the future of Hyderabad, he said, "We have to preserve peace and harmony. It is in your hands to decide what kind of Hyderabad you want. Whether you want the existing Hyderabad which is inclusive and co-existential or something else."
"Take a call whether you want TS-bPASS Hyderabad or a Hyderabad with curfews and religious riots," he said, highlighting a scheme recently unveiled by the TRS. He urged people to think about sustaining the development of the city with its distinct and diverse features, and not to fall for the “temptation of the madness.”
KCR said that Hyderabad is a diverse and inclusive city, which allows everyone to earn a living, irrespective of their identity. While stating that Hyderabad is a secular city and a cosmopolitan one, he warned, "Voting easily and recklessly will be nothing but punching our own eye,” further adding, “If clashes, riots and curfews take place, real estate will go down. The market will be affected.”
KCR appealed to the people of Hyderabad to be wary of forces that divide people on the basis of religion. He claimed that his government in the last seven years, had taken several measures to maintain law and order and curb anti social elements.
KCR's battle for a “secular Hyderabad”, came amidst a high decibel campaign led by the BJP. With BJP leaders like Bandi Sanjay, Dharmapuri Arvind and others making communally charged statements. BJP’s win in the recent Dubbaka Assembly bye-election in KCR’s home district Siddipet, has seen it positioning itself as an alternative to the TRS. The ruling party is fighting back with a narrative of peace and development versus communal bigotry.
As many as 150 divisions are going to the polls on December 1. All main parties in Telangana, including the TRS, BJP, Congress and AIMIM are in the fray and the results will be announced on December 4.