Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya appealed to people to defeat the TRS and MIM in the GHMC elections. In an interview with Express, the senior BJP senior leader, who hails from the city and is spearheading the BJP’s campaign in the elections, explains about his party’s electoral strategy. Excerpts:
BJP is targeting both TRS and MIM. Who is your prime opponent?
Both TRS and MIM are working hand in glove. We are not sparing any one of them as their victory in Hyderabad will severely damage the reputation and development of the city. While the TRS is misleading and cheating Hyderabadis, MIM will bring back the days of Razakars in Hyderabad if it wins. We want to thwart its designs at any cost.
The state ruling party is conducting a high-pitched campaign to win the polls. How will you counter it?
TRS is going overboard in publicity. As it does not have any strength in the city it is creating a hype. It is also resorting to violations. But the situation on the ground is completely different. While the TRS is depending on leaders from other parties to field them as contestants, there is a huge demand for BJP ticket. The BJP has a big cadre and history in Greater Hyderabad. It has been associated with Hyderabad and taken up many local issues when all other parties ignored them. Our rapport with Hyderabad people and our work will make us win along with TDP.
What about seat-sharing with TDP? When will the contestants be finalised?
Preliminary discussions were over and we are working in close coordination with TDP leaders. Seat-sharing and candidate selection may be finalised in a couple of days. Our strategy is to win the highest number of wards in alliance. There are no differences between us.
What is your main poll plank?
Good governance and development, peace and harmony are our main poll promises. The BJP-led government at the Centre has taken many up many good schemes and projects in the past 18 months and sanctioned more than Rs 40,000-crore funds to Telangana state and Hyderabad city. The BJP government at the Centre has contributed to the double bedroom housing scheme. While the BJP is taking many initiatives for Hyderabad and Telangna, TRS is trying to mislead people by blaming us. We will explain all these to Hyderabadi voters and I am confident that they have faith in us. People of Hyderabad will not fall for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao’s tricks.
How many wards is TDP-BJP alliance targeting to win?
It is premature to talk on the number of wards we will win at this juncture. But I am confident that the BJP-TDP combine will post a win in the GHMC elections and teach the TRS, which is adopting unfair methods, a lesson. ‘Our Hyderabad, Our Mayor’ is our slogan and we will reach out to every home in the city with this slogan to keep the TRS and MIM out of GHMC.
‘It is misleading people on Hyderabad’s development. It has no base in city and is fielding leaders from other parties as its candidates.’
‘MIM will bring back the days of Razakars in Hyderabad if it wins. We want to thwart its designs at any cost.’