GHMC Polls: ‘Rohingya’ becomes catchphrase in war of words between BJP and MIM

Hyderabad: With only five days left for the Hyderabad civic polls and the campaigning for the same reaching fever pitch, ‘Rohingya’ has become a catchphrase in the war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

BJP state president Bandi Sanjay on Tuesday triggered a heated debate by vowing to carry out “surgical strikes” on Hyderabad’s old city “to weed out Rohingya Muslims and Pakistanis” if his party wins the GHMC elections.

The issue at hand began when BJP Yuva Morcha president and MP Tejasvi Surya on Monday said that Asaduddin Owaisi—the supremo of MIM, only allowed Rohingya Muslims in the Old City, but failed to allow development.

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Slamming Tejasvi’s comment, Owaisi on the following day, challenged if the BJP leaders could show even 100 Rohingyas on the electoral list.

Sanjay Bandi further alleged that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the AIMIM were trying to win the GHMC polls with the votes of the Rohingyas, Pakistani and Afghanistani people.

In a counter, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “BJP is saying that there are 30,000-40,000 Rohingyas in the electoral rolls… If there are 30,000 Rohingyas on the voter list, what is Home Minister Amit Shah doing? Is he sleeping? Isn’t this his job to see how are 30,000- 40,000 Rohingyas listed?” he asked, challenging the BJP to show names of 100 Rohingyas in the electoral list.

Furthermore, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party working president KT Rama Rao also took serious exception to Sanjay’s comment and asked if the leader had brains. He advised the BJP leader to carry surgical strikes on people who ruined the economy of the country.

The ‘Rohingiyas’ has not just elicited war in the state but also at the center, as Union Minister Smriti Irani, while addressing media in Hyderabad on Wednesday said that AIMIM and TRS are working in tandem to give illegal immigrants a place in the state’s voters list.

Nearly 8,000 Rohingyas – a stateless minority of Myanmar— live in Hyderabad. They are spread over the city and are settled in refugee camps at Balapur, Mehdipatnam, Jalpally and Kishanbag. Many usually work as laborers or sell vegetables in the city.

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