Hyderabad: The All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) boycotted assembly proceedings on Tuesday, following the introduction of a resolution seeking to award by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) a resolution seeking the Bharat Ratna award for the late Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao (PVNR).
While this was expected, what does it mean for the AIMIM and TRS’s “friendly” relationship which both have maintained since 2014?
For the ruling TRS, the appropriation is nothing but a simple matter of consolidating Hindu votes in the state. According to TRS leaders the move to stake claim over PVNR’s legacy is nothing but a political move, as there is a real danger of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing the same. However, it puts the AIMIM in an uncomfortable spot as PVNR was the Prime Minister when Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992.
“It won’t affect how we are with the TRS in any way. They will do what they have to do, and we will register our non-acceptance of the year-long centenary celebrations,” said a senior AIMIM leader, who did not want to be quoted.
Moreover, many in political circles believe that AIMIM chief and Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s move to speak with Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao over the issue of rebuilding the secretariat mosques was done to avoid public ire from the AIMIM’s voter base, which is primarily Muslim. The AIMIM represents 7 assembly segments in and around the Old City area, and dominates it.
“Muslims also need to realise that PVNR’s centenary celebrations are being held to ensure that the Hindu vote does not slip away from us. KCR is here to do politics,” said a TRS leader, who did not want to be quoted. While the AIMIM is likely to raise its voice against the appropriation of PVNR’s legacy, it is unlikely to be an issue. Moreover, having burnt its bridges with the Congress, it has no other option but to stick with the TRS as well.
Political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy said that the TRS’s appropriation is nothing but a move to appropriate all symbols of Telangana. “Narasimha Rao is one soul the Congress forgot, and the TRS does not want the grand old party to revive. KCR wants to spin the narrative that it cares for the legacy of such personalities. Even the BJP will have to do it if has to grow in south India, it has to recognise certain symbols, be it PVNR or N. T. Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh,” he pointed out.
As far as rebuilding the mosque in the secretariat is concerned, Reddy stated that constructing one at site where it already existed not a huge problem. “It is easy to politicise everything, but is there a need to make an issue of it? It is the state government which has taken a call, and not the TRS,” he added.