Mumbai: As Bharat Rashtra Samithi President and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao reached Osmanabad for his pilgrimage to the temple town of Pandharpur on Tuesday, the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) questioned his ‘intentions’ behind the garb of expanding his party’s influence in Maharashtra, here on Monday.
The MVA allies including Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and MLC Amol Mitkar, Congress state President Nana Patole, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut and others slammed Rao who zoomed into this state with an entourage of around 600 vehicles, all ministers and legislators, plus BRS leaders to pray at the Shri Vitthal Rukmini Temple in Pandharpur, Solapur district.
When questioned on the Telangana CM’s high-profile trip, Pawar merely said that “the impact of his (KCR’s) trip remains to be seen”.
Dubbing KCR as the ‘B-Team’ of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Patole said the trip will not create any political ripples in this state since the ‘Telengana Pattern’ is as deceptive as the ‘Gujarat Pattern’.
“He is only making big announcements through the media… People who work don’t need to advertise, but he has done nothing for the people of Telangana in the past 9 years. He is coming here to take political advantage from the Pandharpur pilgrimage which attracts over a million devotees from all over Maharashtra,” said Patole.
Raut questioned the “intentions behind KCR’s trip” and asked the Telengana CM to first decide whose side he’s on.
“KCR’s intentions don’t appear to be honourable… He’s trying to divide the Opposition votes in Maharashtra,” said Raut, adding that it won’t work here.
NCP MLC Amol Mitkari alleged that KCR and his team are eating mutton-chicken and coming to the holy pilgrim centre in Solapur.
“They are consuming royal mutton-chicken and now going to defile the sacred pilgrimage town of Pandharpur. They must think ten thousand times before coming there and playing with peoples’ emotions,” warned Mitkari.
In the past few months, KCR has come to Maharashtra several times and opened the BRS’s first office in this state in Nagpur last week, aiming for a national party status with presence in multiple states.
Political sources indicated that the BRS may plunge into the upcoming civic, Parliament and Assembly elections in Maharashtra, rattling the Opposition parties here as it could spell a vote-split benefiting the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.
Earlier, the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) fought and won several elections with representatives in Lok Sabha, Maharashtra Assembly and a few civic bodies in the past 7-8 years.
However, other outstation parties – barring Samajwadi Party – have not been embraced by the state electorate, and the political fights are restricted to the major state-level players.