Monday, August 12, 2013

Narendra Modi shines in Telugu desam

New Delhi:Monday, Aug 12, 2013(7STARNEWS) Gujarat CM Narendra Modi struck a positive inclusive note in his southern debut in Hyderabad as BJP's national election campaign committee chairperson on Sunday. He reached out openly to the opposing sides of Telangana and Seemandhra — a difficult thing to do when tempers are running high over the bifurcation of the state.

Modi recalled the time when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government carved out Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand from Bihar and Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh and pointed out that there was jubilation in the new states as well as in the mother-states then. He was referring to the ineptitude of the Congress which created a bitter rift between Telangana on one hand and Seemandhra (Andhra and Rayalaseema) on the other.

BJP leaders have always enjoyed popularity in Hyderabad because they could connect with the people at large through Hindi, the last point in the South where it is understood because Deccani Urdu has been the lingua franca of the city for more than a century.

Modi showed that he could connect with a large gathering outside Gujarat and outside North India, which could be music for the BJP. The party is keen to spread its presence in places other than Karnataka, where despite bickerings and splits, it is a party to reckon with. The BJP is sure to win more than a couple of seats in the Telangana region as it did in 1999.

After many years, Modi invoked NT Rama Rao, matinee idol-turned-politician and founder of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), who successfully created an anti-Congress alliance in the 1980s through conclaves. The resultant National Front formed the government with VP Singh as the prime minister in 1989. The Gujarat CM said the best way to honour the memory of NTR would be to rid the country of the Congress government. Modi overlooked the fact that in 1994, NTR went to the old city of Hyderabad and apologised to the Muslims for the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

It was a clear hint that Modi and BJP are keen to reach out to Chandrababu Naidu and TDP in the Lok Sabha elections.

The TDP supported the BJP-led NDA government from 1999 to 2004 from the outside. The BJP has a limited footprint in Hyderabad and Telangana, and none in Andhra. Possibly, Modi would want to bring TDP back to the NDA fold.

It was an American-style contributory rally, where those who attended — estimated to be over 100,000 — paid Rs5 each.

The money collected will be given to the Uttarakhand relief fund. It should not come as a surprise that in the run up to the assembly elections in Delhi, Chhattisgrah, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the Lok Sabha polls next year, if Modi were to try out the contributory rally method, which will be a transparent way of collecting election funds.
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