Modi embarks on visit to AP, Telangana with a dash of 'power' politics

Narendra Modi's visit to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, starting from November 11 (Friday) is assuming significance, also for political reasons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

HYDERABAD: Contrary to earlier expectations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, starting from November 11 (Friday) is assuming significance, also for political reasons.

Even in a tightly-packed schedule of a slew of official engagements, Modi appears to be inclined to squeeze some time out and play a bit of politics, of course in the larger interests of his party, the BJP. The buzz that the Prime Minister would be meeting Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan in Visakhapatnam either on Friday or Saturday (November 12) morning, has aroused enough curiosity in the Andhra Pradesh political circles.

As far as the official itinerary is concerned, Modi will launch a host of developmental projects during his visit to both the Telugu states. The Prime Minister will touch down in Visakhapatnam at 7:25 pm on November 11 (Friday) and head to Eastern Naval Command for his night stay at the Chola suite.

Interestingly, leaders of both the BJP and the YSRCP are moving heaven and earth to make a grand spectacle out of the visit in an apparent attempt to impress the Prime Minister. While the BJP is preparing to organise a mammoth roadshow from INS Dega to Naval Dockyard in the port city after the arrival of Modi, the leaders of YSRCP too are going all out in their efforts to accord a memorable welcome to the Prime Minister.

YSRCP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan will receive the Prime Minister upon the latter's arrival.

But a lot is also anticipated to happen on the political front before the Prime Minister hits the bed at the Chola suite. News about a recent telephone call to Pawan Kalyan's office from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) reportedly asking the Jana Sena chief to be available in Visakhapatnam between Friday evening and Saturday morning has come in as confirmation of a meeting between Narendra Modi and the actor-turned-politician.

This sparked the speculation that the BJP top leadership was keen to continue its bonhomie with Pawan Kalyan and his Jana Sena, which has shown a few cracks in the recent past. The Jana Sena chief, who has suddenly become the most sought-after for both the TDP and the BJP, was speculated to impress upon Modi on the need to forge an alliance including the TDP to fight the ruling YSRCP in the state.

Ironically, the Modi-Pawan Kalyan rendezvous is destined to happen around the same time when the YSRCP president and Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy would be in the city to welcome the Prime Minister.

Modi is also expected to hold deliberations with key leaders of the state BJP during the night.

At 10:30 am on November 12, the Prime Minister will commission various projects during a programme at Andhra University Engineering College grounds. Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and his cabinet colleagues will be present at the event. Modi will subsequently be addressing a public meeting at the same venue and fly to Hyderabad for his brief Telangana visit.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made all across the port city for the visit of the Prime Minister.

Unlike in Visakhapatnam, Narendra Modi is likely to be welcomed in a contrasting mood on his arrival in Hyderabad on Saturday. The Prime Minister's visit to Telangana comes at the height of bitter political animosity between the ruling TRS and the BJP which was only exacerbated by the high-octane by-election contest in Munugode and the sensational expose of the alleged poaching scandal targeting TRS MLAs.

Given the frostiness in relations, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) is widely anticipated to ignore protocol and skip the tradition of receiving the Prime Minister upon the latter's arrival.

From Begumpet airport, Narendra Modi will hop over to Ramagundam in Peddapalli district by a helicopter. The Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the Ramagundam Fertilisers and Chemical Limited (RFCL) plant during an event at Mahatma Gandhi Stadium in the NTPC township there. After addressing a public meeting there, he is scheduled to fly back to Hyderabad by 12:05 pm.

A swarm of protests are likely to greet Narendra Modi on the Telangana leg of his southern tour. 'Modi, No-Entry' protests have been going on in several parts of the state in the last two days even as flexi-banners mocking the Prime Minister over his government's unfulfilled promises and betrayal of Telangana have sprung up in Hyderabad and elsewhere.

Students' Joint Action Committee, trade unions and even the Left parties have announced their protest plans coinciding with Modi's visit. The Left parties even threatened to block his visit to Ramagundam.

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