Cashing on a divided opposition

Cashing on a divided opposition

THE HANS INDIA |   Aug 07,2017 , 03:51 AM IST

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Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is back at his virulent best. Or so it seems. In keeping with his intent to always silence his detractors and position voices, this time around, Rao launched a scathing attack on the State Congress unit in a diatribe that is typically the no-holds-barred KCR.

Making his intentions clear-exposing the sinister anti-people designs of the Congress-the Chief Minister is to tour the entire State carrying precisely this agenda. In a recent interaction, he went hammer and tongs while the denouncing the opposition party and charging that it stooped down to such levels that it was using public interest litigation (PIL) to stall whatever development activity the government was taking up.

Branding Congress as the State’s Villain No one, Rao asked them to “forthwith stop this nuisance and nonsense.” He ridiculed the contention of the opposition parties that the Nerella incident was an attack on Dalits. Using his oratory skills to optimal levels, Rao has always connected directly with the people and succeeded in giving no space to the opposition to take on the government. 

Despite all-out efforts made by the opposition, they have not been able to create an atmosphere that could create problems to the functioning of the government. However, there is reason to believe that the Nerella issue has a potential to invite the ire of the Dalits and create a major challenge to the ruling party. 

While the argument to the extent that police had arrested some people for torching the buses is understandable, the very fact that they were tortured using typical police style third degree methods is something that the government will find difficult to answer.

If it was a fact that those people had indulged in torching of trucks, they should have been presented in the court within 24 hours. The government, while defending the police action, did not say anything about the alleged torture of those arrested. It has not ordered any probe into the tragic incident. People are already wondering if this is how self-proclaiming friendly-policing works.

Although, the government perhaps feels that the opposition parties took up the issue to catch the government on a sticky wicket, it remains to be seen to what extent they would be able to sustain the tempo. For the present, though, an impression has been created that the government stood by the Sand mafia and did not shed a tear for the Dalits.

Even if the government firmly believes that it was just a law and order incident, it should have launched a damage-control exercise by deputing a team of leaders to visit the affected Dalit families to take stock of the ground-realities. A probe should have also been ordered without any delay. 

Whatever be the political implications of the Nerella incident, it was interesting to note that two important leaders lost their cool and used language that is outright condemnable.

While the Chief Minister used certain words against the opposition leaders particularly Congress leaders which did not go down well with the party as well as people in general, the leader of the opposition in Andhra Pradesh received a notice from the Election Commission seeking explanation for inciting people to publicly shoot the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. 

Taking a cue from KCR’s comments that Telangana was subject to humiliation before the separate state was carved, the opposition now wants to go to people with the same slogan that they have been subject to several problems and humiliation in the new state. 

However, in the absence of a united leadership in the opposition camp, it remains to be seen to what extent they will be able to gain advantage of the situation.

By V RAMU SARMA

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