No one could change name of Hyderabad in 100 years, says Mohammad Mahmood Ali

Hyderabad and Secunderabad are our pride, we won't even think of changing their names, Mahmood Ali said.

Hyderabad: Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the first deputy Chief Minister of Telangana and a member of the Legislative Council since 2010, is campaigning furiously for the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), especially amongst the Muslim community, seeking their support for a second term as Chief Minister for K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

A commerce graduate from the Osmania University, Mr Ali, who held the portfolios of stamps and registrations, relief and rehabilitation, urban land ceiling, in the first government of Telangana state, exudes confidence of returning to power with a far greater majority based on the good work done by the government.

Dismissing the charges of the Congress that the TRS was a clandestine partner of the BJP or would ever join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), who also holds the post of minority cell president for the party, argues that the people discern the difference between relationship of a state government with the Centre and a political alliance.

Articulating the cause of the oft-neglected senior citizens, whom he says Mr Rao as Chief Minister has guaranteed a life of dignity with his schemes, he says the Muslims would showcase their gratitude in the elections by defeating the Congress-led mahakutami.

In an exclusive interview to Deccan Chronicle, Mr Ali speaks on a range of issues that would be pertinent to the people of Telangana, and its minorities, in making a decision on whom to vote for in the elections slated for December 7.

Emphatically dismissing the charge of some Congress leaders that Mr Chandrasekhar Rao had assured the BJP top brass of changing the name of Hyderabad after coming to power, Mr Ali, said, “Congress leaders have understood that they will lose these elections badly, they are making wild accusations. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are our pride, we won’t even think of changing their names. No one can do it. Not in a hundred years.”

Denying that there was any anger in the farmers across the state, he said, “schemes like Rythu Bandhu and Insurance have ensured that we are on track to developing them. We have brought water through a combination of major and minor irrigation schemes”. He said it was not a fair criticism that the Rythu Bandhu was only for rich landlords, saying, after receiving the money, we have ensured that in most cases, the landlords have shared half of their money with kovulu rythulu (tenant famers) and the scheme has worked for the entire farming eco-system.
How do you see the mood in the state? Is there any truth that the people’s sentiment has moved away from the TRS towards the Congress in the last few weeks?
The mood in Telangana has been the same since March, 2014 everyone wants to vote for the TRS and support janaab KCR saab for the post of chief ministership. The support for Rao saab has only gone up in the last few years. The Congress, which had some support maybe a few months ago, has lost its face in front of the people of Telangana by partnering with Telugu Desam. People will ensure they lose their deposits.
Why will the people of Telangana vote for the TRS in these elections?
The government our party gave under the leadership of Rao saab has proven to be the best in India. Everyone remembers the last chief minister of Congress, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, saying Telangana will have power cuts, will be infested with law and order problems, Naxal problems and will have communal riots. What did we deliver but the exact opposite? Telangana is the only state that gives 24-hours power to farmers, not just cities and towns, but across villages. Not a single incident of violence anywhere. Development and growth on the one hand, welfare on the other.
Given the significant Muslim population, how do you think the minorities will vote? The Congress has made a huge dent with their accusation that the TRS and BJP are secretly married?
(Laughs). Not at all. As Chief Minister Rao saab has built good and respectful relationships with the Central government, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the development of the state. It was not a TRS-BJP relationship but Telangana government’s relationship with the Centre. We respect the chair of Prime Minister, but that does not mean we approve of their party. I assure you that the TRS will never join the BJP or become a partner in NDA ever. The Congress, which is bound to lose because of its shameful alliance with TDP, is making false accusations.
Why do you believe the Muslims will vote for TRS?
The Muslims have benefitted from schemes like the public distribution of ration, pension for senior citizens and extension of PDS items for all members of family, not just four as before. They are very happy with Shadi Mubarak scheme, which really is a big relief for any father who has to marry off his daughter. We have spent over Rs 340 crore just for this scheme. Rao saab has stood with poor Muslims families like an elder in the family. Look at the residential and social welfare schools and hostels. Previously we have a handful of Muslims boys and girls get good education. Now, we have over 50,000 student getting good education. Each year, over 250 students going abroad from our community are getting fees support of up to Rs 20 lakh. Each of these youth will become successful and role model for the community.
You have spoken about senior citizens a lot in your campaign.
Not just the Muslim community, but elderly people everywhere I go tell me that with pension, health and ration, they feel we have not only made their lives comfortable but gave it dignity. When the new government comes, the pension will go up further. Their blessings are with us.
There is a specific charge that your leader has agreed and promised the BJP top leadership to change the name of Hyderabad after winning the elections?
Look, the Congress leaders have understood that they will lose this elections badly. Their dream of coming to power in Telangana won’t come true for not just years but decades. They say such things. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are our pride, we won’t even think of changing their names. No one can do it. Not in a hundred years.
How many seats do you expect to win?
Around 100 seats. On the lowest side, somewhere between 90 to 99 seats.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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