Modi empathises with YS Sharmila, provokes YS Jagan; all to grapple with KCR

Though nothing out in the open, indications to this effect have emerged from two noticeable gestures by the Prime Minister in a span of 24 hours

Modi empathises with YS Sharmila, provokes YS Jagan; all to grapple with KCR

HYDERABAD: Is the KCR factor playing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mind even in his sleep? Is BJP breaking its head on how to crack the Telangana tough nut in its grand ambitions to hold power in the Deccan state? Though nothing out in the open, indications to this effect have emerged from two noticeable gestures by the Prime Minister in a span of 24 hours.

The reported telephone call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to YSRTP President YS Sharmila has created some buzz in the political circles of the two Telugu states on Tuesday. He reportedly enquired with the young leader about the recent attack on her in Telangana and the towing incident involving her, videos and pictures of which became viral. Hours before this, reports claimed that the Prime Minister also questioned Sharmila's elder brother and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy as to why he was silent on the treatment meted out to his sister in Telangana.

The news, widely talked about, is still in the realm of speculation as it is only being floated around by a section of media in the absence of any credible confirmation to this end.

As per these speculative reports, Narendra Modi was learnt to have had a 10-minute-long telephone call with Sharmila and spoke on several issues. While enquiring about her well-being in the wake of the recent alleged attack on her and her subsequent arrest in Telangana, the Prime Minister was also said to have expressed his solidarity with her and asked her to be brave in her future political endeavours. Modi was also reported to have invited Sharmila to Delhi, for reasons unspecified by the speculative media reports.

YS Sharmila, who was on her prolonged padayatra in Telangana, recently stirred up a controversy when she made some uncourteous remarks against the TRS leaders. The next day, her convoy came under attack wherein her bus was set ablaze and personal vehicle smashed by some unidentified miscreants. A case was registered against her by the Narsampet police before she decided to fuel the tension further by attempting to stage a protest the next day outside Pragathi Bhavan, the office cum residence of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).

In a dramatic turn of events, her car was towed away even as she was sitting inside. The spectacle, recorded by prying cameras, was quickly lapped up by the media, both in the two Telugu states and in Delhi. She was subsequently arrested and released late in the same night after a court rejected the police remand request and granted her bail.

Padayatra resumption hangs fire

The Telangana High Court may well have cleared the path for the resumption of YS Sharmila's Praja Prasthanam padayatra but the police are still circumspect amid fears of more law and order issues. Warangal Police Commissioner Ranganath, who reportedly sounded positive initially on the YSRTP request for permission, seems to have been forced into a rethink, still haunted by the violent images of the Narsampet incident. Citing law and order trouble, he issued a show-cause notice to the YSRTP president as to why permission should not be denied to her padayatra. Uncertainty hovers on the issue as the city police boss sought two days' time to decide after a round of persuasion by Sharmila's party leaders.

Narendra Modi's telephone call, coming at the height of a raging political tug-of-war between the TRS and the BJP in Telangana, is being viewed from many different prisms. For some, the show of empathy over the phone call was a blatant attempt to get closer to the adversary of a bitter political rival (read KCR). In a nutshell, it is simply fishing in troubled waters, looking for some sparse, political mileage. It could also be part of a plan to cobble together a wider, invisible alliance against KCR before the next elections. The last of the conjectures may sound convincing if there is truth in the recent talk that Telangana might as well head for the main poll battle by February, 2023 itself.

But what takes the whole cake in this is Narendra Modi's attempt, if there really was one, to reportedly instigate YS Sharmila's brother YS Jaganmohan Reddy to act against KCR and the TRS government in Telangana. As was reported in a section of politically-exuberant media, Narendra Modi used the sidelines of the G20 preparatory meeting held in Delhi on Monday night to corner YS Jaganmohan Reddy on his sister's so-called travails in Telangana.

Modi was speculated to have himself brought up the topic and wondered what is Jagan's reaction to it and why he has been silent on the 'ill-treatment' meted out to his sister. The YSRCP chief reportedly responded to this merely with his trademark grin and nothing more. If this is true, then the Prime Minister himself stoking the brother-sister sentiment at such a high-profile meeting for a show-piece international event clearly shows how much space that KCR and his Telangana have eaten up in Modi's mind.

It also sparked a debate if the Prime Minister was using the bait of sister sentiment to actually try and provoke an unwarranted fight between KCR and Jagan. While YS Sharmila's long-term political goals are still a mystery, her brother has been steadfastly calibrated in sustaining his relations, be it with Modi or with his neighbourhood 'peddanna' KCR. In this context, Narendra Modi's reported attempts since Monday night, if really so happened, would only go down as mere streetside stuff, not befitting the stature of a Prime Minister and highlights his party's desperation to somehow alter the political status quo in Telangana.

Next Story

Similar Posts