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The exit of former minister Eatala Rajender from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) marked the end of a cold war between him and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and sparked a debate on the impact the former would have on the ruling party with his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
A month after being dropped from the state Cabinet following allegations of land encroachment, Rajender Friday announced his decision to quit the party and also resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly.
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Though Rajender’s announcement to end his nearly two-decade-long association with the TRS and decision to join the saffron camp may not have any immediate impact on the ruling party, the development may encourage others unhappy with the leadership of Chandrasekhar Rao aka KCR to raise their voice.
The development came at a time when Telangana entered the eighth year of its formation under KCR, whose leadership so far remains unchallenged. “Exit of Eataly Rajender reiterated the fact that TRS is synonymous with KCR, and he is the sole proprietor of the party. The claims of multiple owners to the pink brigade can be put to rest. This development will re-establish the supremacy of KCR, and this is an answer to all future dissidents in the party,” said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.
While KCR and his party will defend the action against Rajender by citing his alleged acts of omission and commission, the bitter allegations by the former minister are likely to embarrass the TRS leadership and provide ammunition to the otherwise weakened opposition. KCR, who revived the Telangana movement in 2001 by floating the TRS, continues to have a vice-like grip over both the party and the government.
The action against Rajender, who has been his confidante since the formation of the party, is believed to be a well-calculated move to nip in the bud any possible rebellion or challenge to his authority. While there had been reports of a fissure between KCR and Rajender for more than three years, the TRS chief took everyone by surprise by ordering a probe against him after a group of farmers from Medak district complained that Rajender grabbed their lands for a poultry unit owned by his family.
The action came when the state was in the grip of a Covid surge and Rajender as the health minister was busy holding meetings with officials to review the pandemic situation. The chief minister himself was recovering from Covid at his farmhouse.
As the officials went on record that 66 acres of land encroached, KCR stripped Rajender of his health portfolio on May 1 and the next day dropped him from the cabinet. Rajender, a member of the Assembly from Huzurabad constituency in Karimnagar district, hit back at KCR and alleged that there is a conspiracy to defame him.
The former minister faced another probe as KCR formed a committee comprising four IAS officers to investigate encroachments and illegal transactions of Sri Sita Rama Swamy temple land at Devar Yamjal village in Shamirpet near Hyderabad. Rajender and his supporters had allegedly encroached 1,521 acres in the village.
Eataly, one of the founding members of the TRS and a six-time MLA, had entered KCR’s bad books a couple of years ago when he took potshots at him on a few occasions. “The minister’s post is not anybody’s pittance. We are the owners of TRS who have carried the party flag,” Rajender had said at one party meeting.
On another occasion, he remarked that he reached his position not because of his caste but by his sheer hard work. “I am not here because I am somebody’s son,” Eataly had remarked in what was believed to be an attack on KCR’s son and minister K.T. Rama Rao. Rajender said he quit the TRS because he did not want to continue as a slave. Alleging there is no freedom for ministers and MLAs to function, he said they are treated like slaves.
“In the past, I resigned several times from the Assembly for the sake of self-respect of Telangana. I am resigning again but this time for my self-respect as I can’t continue as a slave,” he said.
Interestingly, Rajender also claimed that Finance Minister T. Harish Rao too faced humiliation. Harish Rao is KCR’s nephew and there have been reports of a chasm between the two ever since the TRS started projecting his son Rama Rao as his political successor.
“The TRS was born from the movement and is not run like a family party like Lalu Prasad’s or Mayawati’s parties. Telangana state was achieved with sacrifices of thousands of people and not with a handful of people,” Rajender said while targeting KCR for promoting his son and daughter.
Political analysts say by raising the issue of self-respect and KCR promoting his family, Rajender may be encouraging other TRS leaders unhappy with the leadership to speak out. The counterattack by TRS on Rajender has been on expected lines.
“He is talking of self-respect after being dropped from the cabinet following allegations of land encroachment. How can he acquire the assigned land of the poor which is illegal? He has more respect for his properties than the law of the land,” said TRS legislator P. Rajeshwar Reddy. Now that Rajender has decided to quit his Assembly seat and sail with the BJP, all eyes will be on Rajender’s stronghold Huzurabad.
“By joining BJP, Eataly indicated that he needs a haven and support of the party in power in New Delhi. He did not show the might to start a party of his own or fight as an Independent to win the seat he currently represents,” said political analyst Raghavendra Reddy.
The by-election in Huzurabad will be the fourth in the state in three years and will provide the BJP with another chance to prove itself as an alternative to the TRS.
After wresting the Dubbak Assembly seat from the TRS and posting an impressive performance in the elections to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) late last year, the BJP suffered humiliation in recent elections to two graduates’ constituencies of the Legislative Council and a by-election to Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly seat.
Analysts say the BJP may gain in the narrative by projecting itself as the real alternative to the TRS. With Eataly joining its ranks, the BJP will be hoping to garner more votes.
The TRS, which appears to have bounced back after the shock defeat in Dubbak, is likely to go the whole hog in Huzurabad to check both the BJP and Rajender. (IANS/AD)
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
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Also read: Gemstones: Fashion Statements
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