BJP’s southern victory march will begin from Telangana: Shah

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 11, 2018

Eyeing power BJP President Amit Shah at a rally in Nalgonda district of Telangana, on Tuesday   -  Singam Venkataramana

BJP President Amit Shah has dropped enough hints of his party making a serious bid for power in Telangana in 2019, when the State goes to the polls next.

At meetings in Nalgonda district, Shah indicated that the party would go it solo in the State, while stating that the BJP’s southern victory march would begin from Telangana.

On the second of his three-day visit to the State on Tuesday, Shah evaded questions on a possible tie-up with the Telugu Desam Party. “We are the Opposition and are expanding our base with the intention of forming the government here. For the moment, I can say that we have an alliance with the TDP in Andhra Pradesh.”

Prior to Shah’s visit, there was speculation that the BJP chief’s motive in visiting Nalgonda was to target the weakening Congress by choosing Nalgonda, where the Grand Old Party has its best presence of an MP and 5 legislators.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi is believed to have been cozying up to the Narendra Modi government, backing it on policies such as demonetisation, GST, etc. Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao had met Modi in Delhi recently and discussed with him a wide range of issues. The BJP needs the support of regional parties such as the TRS, TDP, YSR Congress, among others, in the upcoming elections for President and Vice-President.

On Tuesday, The BJP President held a meeting with a gathering of intellectuals from across the State in a big effort to seek support and accelerate the growth of the party in all 31 districts of Telangana. He also visited a few villages and interacted with the public.

On public platforms, the BJP chief took potshots at the KCR government on development issues, faulting it for failing to utilise nearly ₹1-lakh crore of Central funds, including those provided for programmes such as Swachh Bharat and poverty alleviation. Consequently, several villages are languishing without toilet facilities and drinking water, he alleged.

Shah said the Centre had increased manifold the fund flow to Telangana through the devolution of funds as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission, grant-in-aid and other schemes. The BJP, he claimed, had played a key role in ensuring that separate statehood was granted to the region. If voted to power, the fund flow from the Centre to the State would increase much more, he promised.

Answering questions at a press conference, the BJP chief said the BJP has always been against reservations on religious basis, and criticised the TRS government for the move to hike reservations to economically backward Muslims and SCs.

Shah said the Centre had been resorting to searches by its agencies to shut shell companies, stem money laundering and control black marketing in a big way.

Published on May 23, 2017

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