GHMC & Unmasking Of Secularism


(MS Shanker)

Finally, the results are out for the most bitterly fought to battles to capture the cash-rich and one of the biggest civic bodies, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).  Emergence of the saffron brigade, BJP, as the second single largest party and its efforts to prevent the ruling TRS (55) to get an absolute majority to stake claim for all prestigious Mayor post, seems to be accomplished to perfection.  That apart, the results also exposed how rank communal is the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul ul-Muslimeen, and also the true colors of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao and his party’s.

If appeasement of only minority Muslims and aligning with such party to win a poll and share the spoils is the new connotation of “Secularism”, then the threat to the national internal and external security looks like a reality, if such a theory is to be allowed any more in Indian politics. This also reminds the famous dialogue of a film in which the hero says; “meeru cheste samsaram, adhe memu cheste vebhicharama?” and the AIMIM or any other party other than BJP talking about Secularism means the same.

This was well established as the AIMIM, with hatred speeches against the Hindu Gods and Goddesses helped them retain their 44 seats in the predominantly Muslims dominated Old City.  And it had adverse effect on the ruling TRS, which tried retain its already annoyed majority Hindu voters in the new city, where as many as 110 of the 150 wards are located in the GHMC peripheries.  That the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao’s brazenness to accord needed legal teeth to Wakf Board for prevalence of Shariat Law has what caused irreparable dent to his Car symbol in the polls.  Undoubtedly, it benefited the BJP, which though tries to come out of the “Hindutva” tentacles with the new slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vishwas and vikas,” a panicked majority Hindus appears to jump onto its bandwagon.  This was evident as the BJP could manage to win close to 50 of the 150 wards.

With a hung verdict in communally divided GHMC polls as none of the parties succeeded in getting the magic mark of 75 in the 150 divisions, the TRS is yet again trying to align with their all-weather ally, AIMIM.  With this act of TRS for its thrust to retain power by hook-or-crook is bound to herald it’s down fall in the newly formed state.  This is in the wake of the fact that the ‘regional sentiment’ no more works and it also got evaporated in thin air, if the polls in which the BJP could use as ladder to conquer the state.  The BJP shockers to the TRS after the 2018 assembly polls are; losing seven of 16 Lok Sabha seats it held in the 2019 general elections of which the BJP grabbed four and the recent Dubbak bypoll.  However, the ruling Kalvakuntla family can ill-afford to forget in their lives, is the massive defeat of none other than the chief minister’s daughter K Kavitha.  However, she got entry into state politics to continue with the family rule, as MLC.

In that back drop, many feel that the BJP’s ‘Tsunami’ to make inroads in the South has finally arrived in the form of GHMC polls.  BJP’s marvelous performance not only rattled the ruling TRS, but also threatened to wipe out the very existence of the so called nationalist Congress party, as many of their seniors are waiting in their wings to cross over to the saffron brigade.  This was also evident from a visibly frustrated Pradesh Congress chief Capt Uttam Kumar Reddy’s decision to quit as his efforts to rebuild the Congress party shattered, may be due to callous attitude of the central leadership, which is reluctant to provide logistic support.  A soft-spoken Uttam has also failed to keep his flock together even after winning 17 of the 117 assembly seats.  With the GHMC results seems to have further eroded his confidence and hence called quits.

As a result, the BJP seems to have accomplished his “Mission South”, partly by putting up emphatic performance in all important GHMC polls, which is bound to have a bearing in the Assembly polls, though it’s going to be a bit far off.  But, the cadres bubbling confidence will certainly create more problems to the ruling party, which their new party chief and MP from Karimnagar, Bandi Sajnay Kumar, hinted of a possible split in the ruling TRS, post GHMC polls.  His prophecy indeed has some logic.  If KCR and his son KTR thought they had the last laugh after the Dubbak polls, which were fought under the supervision of T Harish Rao, who has a become a ‘thorn in Kalvakuntla’s family’, but humiliating loss in GHMC elections, which were fought under the stewardship of the former(KTR), is bound to return back that ‘smile’ to the latter (Harish Rao).  Many a political analyst feel that retaining his flock together for KCR may become exceedingly difficult in coming days and the BJP may not leave any opportunity to exploit any such possibility, if it comes its way to grab.  That’s for sure!