Why can't Hyderabad become Bhagyanagar? asks UP CM Yogi

Why can't Hyderabad become Bhagyanagar? asks UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ahead of GHMC polls

The name Bhagyanagar espoused by the BJP drew sharp criticism from the AIMIM as an attempt to communalise a non-issue for the locals

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with BJP State president Bandi Sanjay waves at supporters during a roadshow, ahead of GHMC elections in Hyderabad, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday took the BJP's electoral battle to the AIMIM's citadel and pitched the idea of changing Hyderabad's name to 'Bhagyanagar'.

Boosted by the recent Dubbaka bypoll victory claiming the TRS held assembly seat, the BJP is engaged in an aggressive electioneering fight with the TRS and the AIMIM in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls scheduled on Tuesday.

The name Bhagyanagar espoused by the BJP drew sharp criticism from the AIMIM as an attempt to communalise a non-issue for the locals.

Yogi, who officially renamed Faizabad 'Ayodhya' and Allahabad 'Prayagraj' during his tenure, asked what objection could be raised in the case of the Telangana capital.

“If Faizabad can become Ayodhya, Allahabad can become Prayagraj, then why can't Hyderabad become Bhagyanagar?” Yogi said while addressing a public meeting in the religiously sensitive Laldarwaza area of the old city, close to Charminar, where the AIMIM shows dominance.

During his campaign for the Telangana assembly polls in December 2018, the UP CM had said that the BJP, once in power in the state, would effect the name change.

Yogi's fresh pitch comes at a time when the city's civic body polls scene is already charged with communally polarizing speeches from the BJP and AIMIM leaders.

On Saturday, the Hyderabad police booked AIMIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi and Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay for inflammatory speeches promoting hate.

The suo motu case was registered at the SR Nagar police station. Bandi had threatened to launch surgical strikes on the old city to flush out the Rohingyas and other illegal immigrants.

Akbaruddin has challenged the TRS government to raze the memorials of late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and Chief Minister NT Rama Rao on the Hussain Sagar lake shores, pointing them as encroachments.

Bandi reacted to the controversial remarks by promising to tear the AIMIM headquarters Darussalam to the ground within two hours if the AIMIM dares to destroy the tombs of the iconic Telugu leaders.

On Monday, AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi equated the civic polls to a fight between Hyderabad and Bhagyanagar, asking the voters to choose between the two.

The Hyderabad MP's statement was apparently a reference to Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya's referring to the city as Bhagyanagar during his GHMC poll campaign.

As the Congress party seems to be faltering in the state, BJP leaders perceive the 2020 Hyderabad polls as their access to challenging K Chandrashekar Rao's might in the 2023 Telangana assembly arena.

The GHMC jurisdiction covers a whopping 24 assembly constituencies i.e. 20 per cent of the total seats. A good performance here, BJP leaders believe, would help them vastly in spreading the BJP influence statewide.

Towards that end, the BJP has roped in its national leadership for GHMC campaigning, including national President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.