It was just a slip of tongue but it had cost Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao three Lok Sabha seats. After he let out the two words — Hinduvulu, Bonduvulu — at a public meeting at Karimnagar in April, his daughter Kavitha in Nizamabad, senior leader B Vinod in Karimnagar and Godam Nagesh in Adilabad went down as if pole-axed to BJP nominees in the Lok Sabha elections.
Even as the TRS is now in the process of course correction and evolving strategies to keep the BJP at bay ahead of municipal elections, the saffron party after winning the three seats and retaining Secunderabad is now in an overdrive. It is raking up Hindu sentiment wherever possible to polarise the Hindu votes in its favour. The leaders now know that Hindutva kettle should always remain boiling in Telangana too for the BJP.
The BJP which has been biding its time for the right opportunity to go for the KCR’s jugular, appears to have decided to fire at TRS from the shoulders of AIMIM leader in the Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi after he addressed a public meeting in Karimnagar recently where he made a fiery speech in which he recalled his most controversial address ever, made in Nirmal in 2012.
Though he did not repeat his infamous “15 minutes” speech as such, he, however, made a reference to it. The AIMIM leader’s intention was apparently to rouse passions in sensitive Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Adilabad districts to polarise the Muslims in favour of the AIMIM and TRS. Akbaruddin’s appeal at the public meeting to Muslims not to vote for the BJP under any circumstances meant that they should vote for AIMIM and the TRS.
Since KCR is riding shotgun with AIMIM’s Asaduddin in the State, the BJP is going to town to woo Hindus by trying to establish that KCR was protecting Asad’s brother Akabruddin by not taking any action and that one could see clearly that they were wearing their anti-Hindutva agenda on their sleeves.
The BJP has been trying to taunt him into saying something against Akbaruddin’s “15-minute” address to unleash an offensive against KCR but he is too shrewd to walk into the BJP’s trap. As KCR keeps his words unsaid, the BJP is now targeting the TRS through AIMIM. Going forward, the BJP’s pummelling would be more severe, painting TRS’ political narrative with anti-Hindutva brush.
The BJP, which is in high spirits after capturing Karnataka, is now focussing on Telangana. The party leaders have been saying that they would do another Karnataka in Telangana though it is easier said than done, since, in Karnataka, the BJP is a party which has its roots firmly into the ground unlike in Telangana.
The BJP was in the second position in Karnataka after the Congress but in Telangana, it is in the third position. Nevertheless, the BJP leaders are riding the high horse that they would capture Telangana and are going aggressively in enrolling members.
Party chief Amit Shah too wants to renew his party membership from Telangana to enthuse the cadres and galvanise them into action. The party could make smart gains if KCR commits the mistake he did ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
As the Congress is rudderless now with Rahul Gandhi remaining adamant in not continuing as president and Priyanka saying a firm ‘no’ to take over the mantle, the BJP could occupy its space but they have to go miles before they could entertain the dreams of Telangana take-over. Winning four Lok Sabha seats is only the beginning. As American baseball legend Yogi Berra had said, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”