Ahead of GHMC polls, former TRS leader Swamy Goud joins BJP

Hyderabad: Ahead of the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) received a minor jolt when former party leader Swamy Goud, who was the state’s first chairman of the Legislative Council, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of its national president JP Nadda on Wednesday in New Delhi.

Goud was associated with the TRS from many years, and was also the president of the Telangana Non-gazetted Officers Association. He played a crucial role during the Telangana statehood movement led by TRS supremo and chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). Goud’s departure however will not make any difference to the TRS, Given that he had been in active during recent times and is not a mass leader of sorts. However, his departure will add to the BJP’s rhetoric of giving the TRS a challenge in the GHMC polls. 

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The ongoing campaign for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections has taken a sharp communal turn, all thanks to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) blitzkrieg of Hindutva aggression. Oddly, the saffron party’s poster boy in Telangana, BJP’s Raja Singh, has however been missing in its entire campaign. 

In fact, the two notable faces who have now assumed the roles of agent provocateur are Telangana BJP president (and member of Parliament from the Karimnagar seat) Bandi Sanjay and Nizamabad MP D. Arvind. Both have been indulging in inflammatory speeches right from day one, unlike earlier when only Raja Singh would be doing the same, while rest of the leaders would talk about development. 

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In the previous GHMC elections, the TRS won 99 seats, while the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, won 44. The TDP, BJP and Congress were left with scraps. However, it may be noted that the TDP then still had some support base, and was in an alliance with the BJP. “Swamy Goud joining the BJP will not make any difference to the TRS, but It adds to the BJP’s leverage, so it can show that it is attracting leaders from the ruling party at such a time,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy. 

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