No place for saffron flag atop Golkonda Fort: Telangana minister KT Rama Rao

Telangana minister K T Rama Rao on Thursday said there is no place for the saffron flag atop Hyderabad’s Golkonda Fort. He added the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) would definitely unfurl its “pink flag” on the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) for which polls are being held on December 1.

Rao was reacting to state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bandi Sanjay’s comment that soon saffron flag would fly on the fort, where the state government has been hosting Independence Day celebrations. “He [Sanjay] might not be aware that chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already unfurled the national flag on the fort and there is no place for any saffron flag there. But it is certain that the TRS is going to unfurl [its] pink flag on GHMC office soon.”

The BJP is gearing for the GHMC polls after winning the by-elections to Telangana’s Dubbak assembly seat by defeating the TRS this month.

“Politics is not static. It is dynamic,” said Rao when asked why TRS was giving so much importance to the BJP in the GHMC polls even as the latter lost deposits in over 100 out of 119 assembly seats in the 2018 assembly elections.

Rao accused the BJP of seeking to polarise the voters in the name of religion. He added that some were trying to turn Hyderabad from a city for all to that for a few. Rao asked the people whether they wanted development or a communal divide. Rao said the TRS government would deal firmly with any divisive forces trying to create communal disturbances in Hyderabad. “Ours is a peaceful city making rapid progress. If anybody tries to create communal violence, the government will crush them with an iron hand.”

Rao said the TRS would not have any alliance with the All India Majils-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) for the GHMC elections. “As we had done in the past, we shall contest all 150 divisions. In the last elections, the TRS won five seats in the AIMIM strongholds. This time, we are aiming for 10 seats.”

He cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of “vocal for local,” and added going by it, the people should vote for the TRS. “Ours is a local party, while theirs [BJP] is not.”

Rao said their government has ensured uninterrupted power, daily drinking water supply, and effective maintenance of law and order over the last six years.

“Now, the entire world is looking towards Hyderabad as a potential investment destination. There has been a massive flow of investments in the Information Technology, pharma sector worth over Rs 2 lakh crore in the last six years. Top five giants in IT, including Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google, have set up their second-largest offices here.”

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