By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Sep 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) Aiming to capture power in Telangana, the BJP has been trying to exploit some sensitive issues for political mileage.
Be it the friendship of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), 4 per cent reservation for Muslims, Urdu as second official language of the state or the demand to rename Hyderabad as Bhagynagar, the leaders of the saffron party seem to be always trying to look for issues which may lead to communal polarisation.
On many occasions, the BJP leaders made sensational allegations about the Old City of Hyderabad, the political stronghold of AIMIM. They tried to project this part of the city as a den of anti-national activities.
The BJP has been on the offensive ever since it bagged four Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 and scored victories in two Assembly by-elections and significantly increased its tally in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
Projecting itself as the only viable alternative to TRS, the BJP leaders see a realistic chance of coming to power in the state when it goes to the polls in 2023.
Political analysts say that historically, BJP has been raking up emotive issues which could help in garnering votes of the majority community, especially in constituencies in and around Hyderabad and other urban pockets of the state.
They say Muslim rule in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, the tumultuous developments of post-Independence leading to Hyderabad's accession with the Indian Union (September 17, 1948), the political domination of AIMIM in parts of Hyderabad and the alleged appeasement policies of successive governments -- all these provide ammunition for BJP's polarisation politics.
After Bandi Sanjay became the BJP state president in 2020, the party has gone into an overdrive to draw political mileage from sensitive issues. In what is seen as an attempt to challenge AIMIM on its home turf, he launched his state-wide Praja Sangram Yatra from the Bhagyalaxmi temple abutting historic Charminar.
In fact, this temple, whose legality was questioned several times in the past sparking communal tensions, has become the focal point of BJP's politics over last couple of years.
BJP launched its poll campaign for the GHMC elections in 2020 from the same temple. It was also visited by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during GHMC polls and by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in July during BJP's national executive committee meeting held here.
BJP MLA Raja Singh's suspension by the party after he uploaded a video containing derogatory remarks about Prophet Mohammad last month was seen as an attempt by the saffron party's central leadership to avoid another embarrassment at the international level after Nupur Sharma's offensive remarks.
Analysts point out that Raja Singh was a habitual offender, who tried to create communal disharmony with his provocative statements.
As his derogatory video sparked massive protests and even led to disturbances, the TRS government cracked the whip by sending him to jail after invoking Preventive Detention (PD) Act.
The MLA from Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad has 101 criminal cases registered against him since 2004. According to the police, he was involved in 18 communal offences.
The tone and tenor of BJP leaders at public meetings in recent months show that Raja Singh was not just a flash in the pan. Bandi Sanjay and other state BJP leaders too have been making provocative statements.
Sanjay, who is also a Member of Lok Sabha from Karimnagar, allegedly delivered a hate speech in May. Police complaints were filed against him at various police stations in the state for making provocative remarks against mosques and madrasas.
The BJP leader had demanded digging all mosques, alleging that Muslim rulers in Telangana demolished several temples and built mosques over them. He claimed that there was a possibility of finding Shiva Lingams underneath.
The BJP MP also stated that if BJP comes to power in Telangana, it will abolish all madrasas, do away with reservation for Muslims, and remove Urdu as the second official language.