HYDERABAD: As the election scene hots up, a war of words has broken out between the Congress and Majlis. With the former picking up the gauntlet, an otherwise one-sided affair is gaining semblance of a fight. Yet its vitriolic campaign shows that in most wards here the direct contest could be between the Majlis and Congress.
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has pepped up the campaign by terming the Majlis as ‘B team’ of BJP. According to him, the former Majlis president Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, was closer to people and away from Sangh Parivar. But it is the other way round with the present leadership. Shabbir squarely blames the Majlis for the backwardness of the Old City and wonders why this part of the city has not progressed when its MP, MLAs and corporators were in power for the last four decades.
Majlis president Asaduddin Owaisi dismisses the charge and says the Congress and TDP-BJP combine will not be able to halt his party’s progress. “Shahar hamara hai aur Mayor bhi hamara hoga” (City is ours and Mayor will also be ours), he declares addressing a series of meetings at Bholakpur, Musheerabad and Borabanda.
The Congress is placing lot of store by the defection of former Majlis corporators, Syed Ghouse and Mohd Meraj. But those who know the old city politics feel this is not going to cut ice with the people here. “The defectors will go into oblivion once the election is over,’’ says a Majlis leader.
It’s tit-for-tat between the Majlis and Congress. The latter reels out the efforts made by it during its tenure to develop Hyderabad. Development works worth `1 lakh crore were taken up in Greater Hyderabad and for the Old City a special package of `2,000 crore was approved. “What has Majlis done,’’ questions Shabbir while campaigning for Congress candidates at Laad Bazar, Syed Ali chabutra, Shakargunj and Lal Darwaza.
“We have a clear cut plan of action for development of Hyderabad. We always seek votes on the basis of our performance and people reward us,’’ asserts Asaduddin.
The sparring continues meeting after meeting. The crux of Congress attack is that people are sick of Majlis while the latter accuses it’s bête noire of having nightmares. Whatever be the case, the electorate is wise enough to take these statements with a pinch of salt.