PM Modi was addressing party delegates on the final day of the BJP’s two-day National Executive Committee meet, when he referred to the capital city as ‘Bhagyanagar’, triggering speculation of a name change.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public meeting at Parade Ground in HyderabadPTI
news Politics Monday, July 04, 2022 - 09:06

Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar while addressing party delegates on the final day of the BJP’s two-day National Executive Committee meeting. Modi said it was in Bhagyanagar that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel laid the foundation of "Ek Bharat" (United India) by integrating the region into the Union and it is the BJP's historical obligation to build 'Shreshtha Bharat'. BJP leaders in Telangana have been demanding that the capital city be renamed as Bhagyanagar, and the proposed name change is a contentious issue. Quoting the Prime Minister, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that Modi calling Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar was of significance for everyone. 

The name 'Bhagyanagar' comes from the legend of 'Bhagmati', who was said to be a woman dancer with whom Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, a ruler of Hyderabad in the 16th century, fell in love. The story goes that Hyderabad was first named Bhagyanagar after Bhagmati. When she married the king and converted to Islam, she is said to have taken the name of Hyder Mahal, and it is believed that that is where the city’s present name comes from. While the very existence of Bhagmati itself is debated among historians of Hyderabad, the city was not named after her.

Read: Renaming Hyderabad, and the legend of Bhagmati: Did the Queen really exist?

In a euphoric atmosphere, amidst chants of “Modi Modi” forcing the Prime Minister to pause his speech at least twice, BJP activists kept him enthused while he delivered his speech at the ‘Vijay Sankalp Sabha’ meeting at Parade Ground on Sunday, July 3. The public meeting, which took place after concluding the BJP’s two-day National Executive Meeting at HICC in Hitec City, formally turned into the beginning of the BJP’s election campaign in Telangana. The state will be going to polls in 2023. 

Read: 

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Sounding the poll bugle in Telangana, Prime Minister Modi said that the people of the state have given signs that they want a BJP government. “This was observed in the 2019 general elections, and a glimpse of it was again witnessed in the 2020 GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) elections when the BJP made significant gains. In other states wherever the BJP formed its double-engine government, the progress of those states and the confidence amongst those people have increased significantly. The people of Telangana too aspire for the same. Their aspiration for the BJP government is so strong that the people themselves are making way for us,” Modi said. 

While the BJP suffered a major setback in the 2018 Assembly elections as only one MLA — Raja Singh, the legislator from Goshamahal constituency — could retain his seat, in the subsequent Lok Sabha elections held just four months later, four of its candidates — G Kishan Reddy, Bandi Sanjay, Soyam Bapurao and D Arvind — were elected as MPs.  

Modi said that Hyderabad is a prime centre of the country’s self-reliance. “Telangana’s other cities and villages too have much potential. The farmers of this state have so much to offer to the country and the world. I want to assure you that when BJP forms its double-engine government in Telangana, every city and every village will progress even more rapidly.” He also said, “We need to increase the growth rate of Telangana even further.”

Expressing his gratitude for the people who had attended the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the all-round development of Telangana is the BJP’s priority. The PM said that in 2015, they had started the renovation works of Ramagundam Fertilizer Factory, and that the production of fertilizer had already begun. “Very soon it will be dedicated to the state. You can imagine how beneficial it will be to the farmers of Telangana and the country. This will decrease our reliance on foreign imports,” he said.

Stating that the BJP constantly strives to ease the lives of farmers of Telangana, he said that the Union government is working on five big irrigation projects in the state at an estimated cost of more than Rs 35,000 crore. He further said that in the past six years, the Union government had procured grain worth at least Rs 1 lakh crore. He also announced that the Union government is planning to establish seven mega-textile parks across the county, out of which one will be Telangana. “This will help the farmers, the labourers and the traders as well,” he said. 

The Prime Minister said that the BJP-led Union government is not just working for the farmers but also focussing on the urban infrastructure. At a cost of Rs 15,00 crore, the Union government is constructing 4-lane and 6-lane flyovers and elevated corridors, he said. “To relieve the problem of traffic jams in Hyderabad, the Union government is building a 350 km ring road in Parigi,” he said.  

He also claimed that the length of national highways increased two-fold in the past eight years under the NDA government. “In 2014, there were around 2,500 km of national highway in Hyderabad, which has increased to 5,000 km.” Apart from laying roads, the BJP government also sanctioned more than Rs 31,000 crore towards rail-related projects for Telangana, he said.

Interestingly, the PM while asking the people to vote for the BJP, promising development in the state, did not make any remarks neither against the ruling TRS government nor against Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.  

Speaking at the meeting earlier, BJP national president JP Nadda said the party was certain that K Chandrasekhar Rao will be leaving the CM’s seat and the BJP would be forming the government after the upcoming elections. Nadda said that he has been witnessing a change in the political scenario of Telangana. “I observed the political environment during the Assembly elections when I was in-charge of Telangana and I am witnessing it today too. Wherever I go, people are expressing their frustration against KCR’s government, its corrupt practices and dictatorial attitude. The people of Telangana have decided to dethrone KCR and bring BJP to the government,” Nadda said. 

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath on Sunday visited the Bhagyalakshmi temple abutting the historic Charminar. Yogi, who spent about 20 minutes at the temple, offered special prayers. Many BJP leaders have made the controversial Bhagyalakshmi temple a must-visit during their trip to Hyderabad.

"Yogiji was supposed to visit the temple when he came here to campaign for BJP during GHMC elections (in 2020). However, due to paucity of time, he could not visit that time. He told us that whenever he comes to Hyderabad next time he would visit the temple and offer prayers. So, to fulfil that he came today and offer prayers and aarti also," Raja Singh told PTI.

Read: Why the Bhagyalakshmi temple in Hyderabad has become centre of BJP's campaign

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