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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Lone Muslim MLA in TRS all set to join BJP

Mohammad Shakeel, who represents the Bodhan assembly constituency in Nizamabad district, met BJP MP Dharmapuri Aravind on Thursday afternoon for over an hour and said the mood of the nation is in favour of the saffron party.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 19:50 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
TRS MLA Mohammad Shakeel  (left) with BJP MP Dharmapuri Aravind.
TRS MLA Mohammad Shakeel (left) with BJP MP Dharmapuri Aravind.(HT PHOTO)
         

Mohammad Shakeel, the lone Muslim MLA of Telangana Rashtra Samithi may soon to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shakeel, who represents the Bodhan assembly constituency in Nizamabad district, sprang a surprise on his party by meeting local BJP parliamentarian Dharmapuri Aravind on Thursday afternoon for over an hour.

“He is an MP from my district and I have every right to meet him to discuss the issues pertaining to my constituency. I have also discussed the prevailing political situation in the country as well as Telangana,” Shakeel told Hindustan Times.

He also dropped hints at joining the BJP. “I have not taken any decision yet. So, I can neither deny nor confirm the chances of my joining the BJP. But one thing is certain. The mood of the nation is in favour of the BJP,” Shakeel said, adding that he would decide by Monday.

Also read: Behind BJP choosing Tamilisai as Telangana governor, a Tamil Nadu plan | Analysis

The BJP which has been trying to make inroads in Telangana has only one MLA in the 119-member state assembly where the ruling TRS has 103 lawmakers.

The TRS MLA, who said he was ready to resign from his assembly membership if necessary. He said he was not able to adjust to the present conditions in the party and expressed his strong dissatisfaction over the way the party was neglecting minorities and other weaker sections.

“In the entire 18-member cabinet of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, there is only one Muslim – Mohammad Mahmud Ali, who is not an elected leader, but an MLC. Even this gentleman is just a dummy without any powers,” Shakeel alleged.

A two-time MLA of the TRS, Shakeel said he had worked hard for the party in Nizamabad. “Even in the recent parliamentary elections in Nizamabad, TRS candidate and KCR’s daughter K Kavitha got majority only in my Bodhan constituency. Yet, the party leadership has been neglecting me,” he lamented.

Kavitha lost the election to Aravind. The BJP won four of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana while the TRS won nine.

Also read: ‘Telangana isn’t Karnataka’: KT Rama Rao on Nadda’s 2024 poll target

The TRS leader said there was virtually no government in the state and the development had come to a standstill. “The government, which claimed to have allocated Rs 2000 crore for minorities in the last budget, did not spend even 50 per cent of it. This time, the budget for minorities’ welfare has been cut down by Rs 800 crore,” he pointed out.

TRS spokesman P Rajeshwar Reddy could not be reached for comment.

Disgruntlement has been brewing in the TRS ever since KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, expanded his cabinet last Sunday. Senior lawmakers like Nayini Narasimha Reddy, Jogu Ramanna, T Rajaiah and Mynampalli Hanumantha Rao expressed their anguish for being left out in the cabinet formation.

However, the TRS leadership quickly doused the revolt by promising them key positions in the party and the government.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 19:50 IST