Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s announcement that the state legislature will pass a resolution to seek India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna for former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao has further annoyed Muslims groups already angry over the government organising the late leader’s birth centenary celebrations.
The series of announcements made by the Telangana Rashatr Samithi (TRS) including development of a memorial for the former Prime Minister, naming Hyderabad’s Necklace Road after him and the proposal to the Centre to change the name of University of Hyderabad as Narasimha Rao University.
The groups, including those who had extended support to TRS in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, questioned KCR’s sudden love for Narasimha Rao. They said Muslims could never forget the fact that it was during his regime that Babri Masjid at Ayodhya was demolished.
The latest announcements by the government came amid ongoing movement by various Muslim organisations against the demolition of two mosques in the state secretariat. The mosques were razed during the demolition of various existing blocks to construct a new secretariat complex.
Demanding reconstruction of the mosques at their original sites, the groups have targeted the TRS government for taking no steps in this direction even a month after the demolition.
Eminent cleric Moulana Hussamuddin Saani Jaffer Pasha went to the extent of describing Chandrashekhar Rao as the real successor of Narasimha Rao. “KCR is acting like the successor Narasimha Rao,” he said referring to demolition of mosques at the state secretariat.
This is a major shift in the stand of Muslim leaders, who till recently used to hail KCR as a leader with true secular outlook.
Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjed Ullah Khan questioned KCR about his sudden and so much love for Narshimha Rao who was involved in demolition of Babri Masjid and foisting of TADA cases on thousands of Muslims during his regime.
Khan wondered why KCR government was celebrating the centenary celebrations and demanding Bharat Ratna for Narasimha Rao when it is a fact that he was not in support of statehood to Telangana.
“If Narasimha Rao had so much love for Telangana, he would have formed a separate state when he was the Prime Minister,” Khan said.
He challenged KCR to show one scheme or project announced for Telangana by Narasimha Rao during his rule.
KCR announced last week that the state legislature, whose monsoon session is beginning on September 7, will pass a resolution demanding the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna on Narasimha Rao.
The state government also decided to install a portrait of Narasima Rao in the Assembly and said it will request the centre install his portrait in the Parliament.
Through a resolution to be passed in the State Legislature, the Centre will be urged to rename the Central University of Hyderabad as PV Narasimha Rao Central University.
KCR also announced establishment of P V memorial in Hyderabad. He said Necklace Road abutting Hussainsagar lake will be renamed as PV Gnana Marg.
It also decided to develop Laknepally, the village where PV was born and Vangara where he grew up as tourist spots.
The government also plans to propose to UNESCO to confer awards in the name of PV to those made rich contributions in the fields of literature, science and technology.
“PV Narasimha Rao is a symbol of Telangana existence. He was a reformer who initiated several reforms in the country. He was recognised as a great intellectual all over the world. He was the Telanganite who rose to the level of the country’s Prime Minister. We will discuss the greatness of PV and his achievements in the Assembly. We have decided to have a comprehensive debate on PV. We will pass a resolution urging conferring of Bharat Ratna on PV,” said the chief minister.
Last month, an umbrella group of various Muslim organisations had appealed to KCR to withdraw the decision to celebrate birth centenary celebrations of Narasimha Rao, saying the move has hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.
United Muslim Forum (UMF) said KCR’s move to organise year-long programmes to celebrate the centenary had hurt the sentiments of those sections of people who believe in secularism and especially Muslims.
UMF is headed by Moulana Raheemduddin Ansari, who is the chairman of Telangana Urdu Academy, a government body.
The group comprises organisations and leaders considered close to All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a friendly party of TRS.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the stand AIMIM will take when the State Legislature takes up resolution seeking Bharat Ratna for Narasimha Rao. The party led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has seven members in 119-member Assembly and is the second biggest group after TRS.
AIMIM has still not reacted to the series of announcements made by KCR as part of Narasimha Rao’s centenary celebrations. Its critics have been questioning its silence over the issue.
In February 2005, AIMIM had refused to support a condolence motion in the state assembly of then undivided Andhra Pradesh to pay tributes to Narasimha Rao, who died on December 23, 2004.
The party legislators led by floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi MIM members walked out of the assembly after the motion was moved.
This was perhaps the first time in the parliamentary history of India that a party had refused to endorse a condolence motion to pay tributes to an ex-PM.
“We cannot, or even history will not, forget the demolition of Babri Masjid, which was caused due to his political inaction,” Akbaruddin Owaisi had then said.
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