Former PM PV Narasimha Rao’s statue to be unveiled at Necklace road

Hyderabad: The Telangana government will unveil the statue of former Congress Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao to mark the end of his year-long birth centenary celebrations, which will close on June 28. The statue will be unveiled at the newly rechristened PV Narasimha Rao Marg, earlier known as Necklace road.

A day earlier, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and Rajya Sabha member of Parliament K. Keshava Rao, state chief secretary Somesh Kumar, MLC and daughter of PV Narasimha Rao Vani Devi, Principal Secretary (MA&UD)Arvind Kumar and Mamidi Harikrishna, director of the state Culture Department visited Necklace road to identify a suitable location to erect the statue.

Last year, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government recently took everyone by surprise when chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) announced the year-long birth centenary celebration of former Congress prime minister PV Narasimha Rao (PVNR). Moreover, KCR’s daughter and ex-member of Parliament K. Kavitha has demanded that PVNR’s be conferred with the Bharat Ratna award. 

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The move was seen by many as an attempt by the TRS to appropriate PV Narasimha Rao’s legacy. The ruling party, led by chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), was looking to consolidate a chunk of the Hindu vote bank in Telangana, TRS leaders earlier told SIasat.com. It was also aimed at pre-empting the Bharatiya Jana Party (BJP) from doing the same in the state.

The TRS perhaps also wants to avoid the kind of appropriation that has happened with former union home minister and freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The BJP has always accused the Congress of neglecting Patel’s legacy. And given that PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, it will be easy for the BJP to co-opt him in Telangana.

It is to be seen what kind of an impact this will have on the TRS’s prospects, especially given the fact that All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and member of Parliament from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat Asaduddin Owaisi, who is on good terms with KCR, had campaigned for the TRS during the 2018 state polls and 2019 general elections. His praise for KCR is what is believed to have gotten the TRS a large chunk of Muslim votes in seats where it mattered. 

In fact, in the 2018 state elections, the AIMIM had contested only eight seats, leaving the TRS to gain Muslim votes in Telangana, where the minority community’s population is about 12.5 percent. It is to be seen what kind of an impact this will have on the TRS’s prospects, especially given the fact that the AIMIM, with which the TRS is on friendly terms, has always been opposed to any kind of elevation to PV Narasimha Rao.

Asaduddin Owaisi AIMIM president is also on good terms with KCR, and had campaigned for the TRS during the 2018 state polls and 2019 general elections. His praise for KCR is what is believed to have gotten the TRS a large chunk of Muslim votes in seats where it mattered. In fact, in the 2018 state elections, the AIMIM had contested only eight seats, leaving the TRS to gain Muslim votes in Telangana, where the minority community’s population is about 12.5 pc

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