Sunday to see Congress, BJP tussle for piece of Telangana pie

Hyderabad: With Telangana now transforming into one of the fastest growing States in the country despite being the youngest, and Hyderabad establishing itself as the preferred destination for multinational companies across multiple sectors, there is a sudden rush, especially from Delhi, to grab a bite of the most sought after pie. For evidence, look towards Parade Grounds and further towards Tukkuguda on Sunday.

There will be saffron and tricolour festoons, all of multiple colours but with the same agenda – make their presence felt in Hyderabad and aim for power in Telangana, which is not what it was a decade ago but a State that is leading the country on multiple fronts.

The nonstop flow of large scale investments, announcements from global majors of setting up centres here, the launch of game-changing projects like the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme, medical colleges in every district and a booming IT industry all have made Telangana, where every BJP and Congress leader wants to be in power, though the BRS government that led this transformation is not in a mood to give up.

For the Congress, which has been reduced to a nominal presence not just in the Legislative Assembly but even in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation where it has just 2 out of 150 seats, it is a do-or-die situation, which explains why the entire top brass from Delhi has landed in Hyderabad for the Congress Working Committee (CWC), being held here for the first time. On Sunday, they will head to Tukkuguda, where Sonia Gandhi is slated to announce what the party calls its ‘Five Guarantees’, much on the same lines of what was promised in Karnataka and what the Congress government there is sweating it out to implement.

The Congress has a lot to do to stand straight in Telangana, especially after its TPCC president shot himself in the leg with the statement on a three-hour power supply for farmers instead of the 24-hour free power supply that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government here has been successfully extending to over 27 lakh farmers. It also has to find an answer to questions from women on why the party, despite being in power at the Centre for two straight terms from 2004 to 2014, did not pass the Women’s Reservation Bill. The mutiny within is another factor it has to tackle, and though it is something that the Congress has been synonymous with for decades, is a growing concern that the TPCC has not been able to push under the carpet.

The BJP too is trying hard to keep its flock together, especially with internal bickering continuing and multiple instances of senior leaders quitting the party. A change of guard has done little to quell the dissidence or to invigorate the cadre, with political activity on behalf of the party being reduced to a couple of dharnas led by G Kishan Reddy and with those too turning out to be just sound and fury.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to address a public meeting, organised by the Centre in the name of Hyderabad Liberation Day, at Parade Grounds, even as a majority of the public here prefer to call the day National Integration Day, which the State government is already celebrating on a grand scale.

The BJP’s continued insistence to call it Liberation Day with targeted barbs at the Nizam’s era, has more than what meets the eye since the event is actually an attempt to inject some life into the party cadre, who have gone completely mute over the last several months after the BJP was reduced to a spectator in the political arena, where the BRS still enjoys a clear upper hand and the Congress is scrambling to keep pace to end up at least a distant second.

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