Tejasvi Surya

Decoding Hyderabad polls: And the meaning it carries for Indian politics

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

Hyderabad and its municipal elections would carry a deeper political meaning in days to come.

All this while we wondered why BJP was investing so much of its political campaign on a piddly elections. After the results are out, and BJP has been spectacular, we must read its meaning.

One of course is that Asaduddin Owaisi must watch his back. It’s no good saying that we didn’t contest all seats. But BJP won even in your backyard. It limits your options.

One, any party which aligns with you would think twice. It would be seen as pandering to the Islamist theme which in today’s terms is seen as secessionist, jihadis and standing on an anti-Hindu platform. Call it polarization if you must but that’s the ground reality. You might think you are speaking for minority Muslims but majority feel you are masking Rohingyas, trouble-makers everywhere.

Two, the likes of Mamata Banerjee, Pinaryi Vijayan etc would be back in the drawing room if they are fancying a tie-up with AIMIM post assembly elections. They would be loathe to declare Owaisi as their partner before the elections and BJP would keep pressing its thumb on that sore wound: That its rivals are hand in gloves with Islamist forces and must come clean.

Third, it doesn’t bode good for KCR at all. He faces a double whammy. One of course is that in order to control the 150-seat civic body, he would have to align with Owaisi. There is no other option. Congress with two seats is wretched and BJP is out of bounds. It compromises him ahead of the 2023 assembly elections.

Fourth, the days of dynasty politics are over in India. KC Rao was blatant in promoting his son and daughter. The nation is no longer interested in surnames, your kitchen dwellers. There was a reason how BJP cashed in on the frustration of youth—the very force which had led to creation of Telangana in the first place.

Fifth, spare us this concocted myth that BJP is nothing but a two-man show. The first man to show up in Hyderabad was Tejasvi Surya, still in his 20s; and the man in charge on ground was Bandi Sanjay Kumar, BJP state unit head, not yet 50.

It would interest readers to know that Modi had been calling up Bandi Sanjay Kumar to know which way the wind was blowing. Kumar wasn’t being treated as dirt like Congress does to its long-standing pillars, Khushboo for instance. And Kumar doesn’t carry any political heritage. Son of ordinary parents, he went through the grind of RSS, ABVP, BJP Youth Morcha etc. He twice had tickets for assembly elections and he lost on both occasions. But he wasn’t dumped. He returned with win in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. That’s how talent is spotted and invested in in the BJP.

Further, Bandi Sanjay Kumar isn’t just Telangana BJP head. He was in-charge of the BJP in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, both of which go under assembly elections in next few months. He has been kept in eye since 1996 when LK Advani, during his 35-day Suraj Rath Yatra, relied on then 19-year-old Kumar for the seamless movement of his vehicle. After a quarter of a century, he is ready.

The critics could cry themselves hoarse. They could term it brute majority, polarization, poll-machine etc but the fact is BJP is unstoppable. People are convinced of their sincerity and integrity and the benefits they could spot in their changed lives.

You want to believe you own propaganda, please go ahead. But the voters know better.