Hindutva agenda for Telangana succeeds as BJP wins Mahbubnagar seat

By Mohd. Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net,

Hyderabad: BJP on Wednesday shocked the whole Telangana region by winning Mahbubnagar assembly constituency. The by-election for the seat was held on Sunday and results were announced at 1 p.m. today. BJP candidate Srinivas Reddy got 39,272 votes and defeated Syed Ibrahim of TRS by just 1897 votes. Ibrahim got 37375 votes.

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Many are suggesting the recent rise and surprise win of BJP to its smart campaign wherein it mixed Telangana sentiments with its all-time favorite Hindutva agenda against a Muslim candidate of TRS. BJP was tirelessly campaigning for the seat to make official their presence in Telangana. Senior BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Venkaih Naidu, and even Hema Malini campaigned tirelessly. The Mahbubnagar was the only assembly seat which BJP had contested. In all the by-election was held for 7 assembly seat.

That assembly segment became the spot of attention for the whole media when the differences between BJP and TRS regarding fielding of the candidate resulted in the break of alliance. BJP was reportedly not comfortable with TRS decision to field a Muslim candidate in a Hindu majority area.

Later the fight became a war of honor for BJP which was taunted by TRS, by referring to it as sub standard party. TRS did not do serious campaigning in Mahbubnagar due to overconfidence of winning it as TRS supremo himself represents that constituency in Lok Sabha. But unlike TRS, BJP left no stone unturned to win that assembly segment. The most significant strategy which BJP used was perhaps its mixing of Telangana sentiment with Hindutva. Its leaders while campaigning made inflammatory speeches by referring to the Muslim candidate and 40,000 strong Muslim population in the constituency as Razakars or Nizam’s army. Even at the day of casting vote on Sunday its state president referred to it as match between India and Pakistan.

The polarization which happened in the Mahbubngar by-poll once again raised the question about future of Muslims if Telangana is formed. With the BJP’s victory MIM’s stand has been vindicated that if Telangana is formed the region will become communalized and BJP will become powerful. The result of Mahbubnagar election is definitely going to impact the perspective of Muslims regarding the formation of separate Telangana state.

However, TRS has won majority of the 7 seats election for which was held on Sunday. Out of 7 assembly seats, TRS won 4 out of 5 it contested with landslide victory, BJP won 1 seat, Y.S.R. Congress made its debut outside Kadapa district by wining 1 seat in costal Andhra region, and 1 seat went to an independent candidate.

The ruling Congress and opposition TDP bit the dust as candidates of both of them lost even deposits in many constituencies.