Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday expressed confidence that the BJP would form the government in Telangana after the next Assembly elections – scheduled for 2024 – and will emerge as a serious political contender in the state.
He was speaking at a function in Nirmal town to commemorate Liberation Day – when the erstwhile state of Hyderabad state, ruled by the Nizams, was merged with India in 1948.
Shah trained his guns on the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) during his address and alleged that the Asaduddin Owaisi-led party is working with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). “We are not scared of AIMIM. TRS and AIMIM are together and the Congress cannot take on AIMIM. Only BJP can counter AIMIM. The CM does not even celebrate Liberation Day. Why not? What is he scared of? He does not want to recognise and honour the sacrifices of freedom fighters?” Shah remarked.
The BJP has been demanding that Liberation Day – September 17– be officially renamed as Telangana Liberation Day.
Shah said that the liberation of Hyderabad was only possible due to the efforts of then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “When BJP comes to power we will celebrate the Telangana Liberation Day because we are not afraid of AIMIM. Telangana gained freedom 13 months after India got Independence,” Shah said.
Shah’s visit is being seen as a morale booster for the state BJP unit ahead of the Huzurabad bypoll. The seat fell vacant after former Health Minister Eatala Rajender resigned as he was dropped from the Cabinet following allegations of land grabbing. He subsequently joined the BJP.
During his visit, Shah also made an appearance in the ‘Praja Sangram’ Yatra held by BJP Telangana president Bandi Sanjay – who is also the Lok Sabha MP from Karimnagar.