HYDERABAD: In what is being seen as a sign of firming up his anti-BJP stand, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday expressed solidarity with the farmers who have called a Bharat Bandh on December 8.
Going for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s jugular for its anti-farmer legislations, Rao appealed to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party workers to make the bandh successful in the State. He described as just the farmers’ agitation against the farm laws and recalled the pink party raising its voice against these in Parliament. He felt that the farmers should continue with their agitation till the legislations are repealed.
In the past, Rao had come under fire from several quarters on the grounds that after he expressed token resistance to the farm laws that the Centre had brought forth in Parliament, there was no follow-up action in the State. On one too many occasions, the opposition Congress had accused the Chief Minister of having a soft corner for the BJP, though the public posturing of the TRS has been to the contrary.
Rao, after the BJP gave the TRS a run for its money in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election, seems to have decided to come out openly against the saffron party by throwing his weight behind the agitating farmers for the repeal of the farm laws.
As the byelection for the rural Nagarjunasagar Assembly segment is due — following the death of incumbent Nomula Narsimhaiah — the Chief Minister appears keen on retaining the seat, come what may, by stymieing the BJP’s attempts to wrest it.
The recent verdict of the GHMC election is also being viewed as the people’s disapproval to his ambivalent attitude towards the saffron party. On many occasions in the past, the TRS supported the National Democratic Alliance’s decisions in Parliament.
As the task for the pink party is now cut out — retain power in the next Assembly election by stopping the onward march of the BJP — the Chief Minister is understood to have taken an all-out anti-BJP stand and make a fresh bid to retrieve the lost ground.
His unambiguous stand which he has taken against the BJP is considered as an indication that from now on, the TRS’ political adversary would be the saffron party, with the Congress having been eliminated from Telangana’s political landscape. As the political milieu in the State is now bipolar, the pink party seems to be reworking its strategy to cut the BJP down to size, by winning the hearts of farmers, a very large constituency in Telangana, to its side.
Later in the evening, TRS working president KT Rama Rao followed up the Chief Minister’s morning announcement by drawing up a plan of action. After conferring with Ministers, MLAs, MPs and party functionaries at the Telangana Bhavan, he said: “Our agitation will be more intense than the Telangana struggle. All MPs, MLAs and party leaders will hold up traffic on national highways. Farmers are agitating in Delhi despite the severe winter. The BJP had the Bills passed using its brute majority only to facilitate corporate farming,” he said.
He appealed to the RTC management not to run buses till afternoon on the designated day and the business class to suspend their businesses for two hours in expression of solidarity with the farmers.
Make Bharat Bandh a success in TS: CM
Going for the BJP’s jugular for its anti-farmer legislations, KCR appealed to TRS workers to make Tuesday’s Bharat Bandh a success in Telangana. Meanwhile, MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao said the agitation will be more intense than the Telangana struggle. All MPs, MLAs and party leaders will hold up traffic on NHs, he said