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As GHMC poll campaign turns ugly, cops warn of action over ‘provocative speeches’

The Chief Minister said the government has “definite information” that “anarchic forces” want to “manufacture riots”.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | November 27, 2020 1:42:52 am
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Amid a bitter campaign for elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Hyderabad Police Thursday warned of strict action against anyone trying to incite communal tension in the city. This came after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao gave a free hand to the police to act against “anti-social elements”, who are trying to derive political mileage through “conspiracies”, “false propaganda” and “provocative utterances”. The Chief Minister said the government has “definite information” that “anarchic forces” want to “manufacture riots”.

DGP M Mahender Reddy said they were watching social media posts and incendiary speeches of some political leaders and warned of action if they try to instigate communal violence. Heavy security has been deployed across the city.

The ruling TRS, BJP and AIMIM have launched a high-pitched campaign with the BJP — emboldened by the recent bypoll victory in Dubbak — bringing in several national leaders, including BJP chief J P Nadda, Bhupendra Yadav, Smriti Irani, and Devendra Fadnavis, who released the party’s manifesto Thursday. The manifesto promises Covid vaccine across the civic body, Rs 25,000 as flood relief to affected families, free metro travel for women and children, tablets for government school students, and flyovers, among others. PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah may also visit Hyderabad to boost the BJP campaign.

Meanwhile, police have booked BJP Karnataka MP Tejaswi Surya for allegedly trespassing on the Osmania University (OU) campus without permission. The MP had alleged that he was stopped by the police.

The campaign has seen several communal remarks by BJP leaders with sharp retorts from the AIMIM camp. While the BJP has accused the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party of sheltering “Rohingyas” and “Pakistanis” in Hyderabad, and called him “Jinnah’s new avatar”, the AIMIM has claimed it is fighting elections “only on the basis of its development efforts”.

BJP Telangana chief Sanjay Bandi said the “BJP will conduct a surgical strike on Rohingyas and other illegals living in Hyderabad”. Asaduddin Owaisi said the “BJP does not have the strength to carry out a surgical strike against China”. A war of words also erupted between Sanjay and AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi after Sanjay called for demolition of all “illegal structures” in the walled city. AIMIM then dared the BJP to pull down the memorials of P V Narasimha Rao and N T Rama Rao on the banks of Hussain Sagar, claiming they were on encroached land. Sanjay then threatened to send BJP workers to demolish the party headquarters of AIMIM.

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