Hyderabad: Mr Mohammad Mahmood Ali is only the third Muslim home minister of the Telugu states. Mir Mohammad Ali Khan served as home minister from 1964 to 1967 in the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Cabinet. M.M. Hashim was home minister from 1978 to 1980 in the Marri Chenna Reddy Cabinet.
Mr Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the only minister to take oath along with Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, said he wanted to be a “friendly home minister”.
He spoke about the possible withdrawing of cases against those who had taken part in the Telangana movement, and what changes can be brought into the Home department.
Despite the fame, he remains grounded. “If I had not been in politics I would have continued in the dairy business. I have more than 100 buffaloes. My son is carrying on the dairy business after I became Deputy Chief Minister in 2014,” he said.
“Chaiwala has become PM and doodhwala has become HM,” quips Mr Mohammad Mahmood Ali, the first home minister of Telangana state. His family has been in the dairy business they own the famous Babu Miya Dairy for the last 100 years.
Mr Mahmood Ali said that he wanted to be a “friendly home minister”. In an exclusive interview to this newspaper, he said “there will be no political victimisation. During the elections political leaders criticise each other. Now that the elections are over, everyone should work for the development of Telangana.”
He spoke about the possible withdrawing of cases against those who had taken part in the Telangana movement.
Excerpts from the interview
Why and when did you enter politics?
I love Telangana. I entered politics in 2001 after KCR launched the TRS. Before that I was in the dairy business. My family has been in the dairy business for the last 100 years.
If KCR had not launched the TRS what would you have done?
I would have continued in the dairy business.
Why has KCR taken only you in the Cabinet along with him?
He is God’s gift to Telangana people. I am loyal to KCR. Due to his confidence in me, he decided to induct me.
In the previous KCR Cabinet you were revenue minister and in the new Cabinet you are home minister. Which portfolio do you prefer?
Whatever the Chief Minister asks I am ready to do. Whichever portfolio KCR allots me I will work sincerely.
Are you planning to bring any changes to the police department?
As revenue minister I brought several revolutionary reforms under the leadership of KCR. Just in four years the TRS government did wonders in the Revenue department which had not happened in the last five decades. I will take charge as home minister on Thursday. After Telangana state was formed, the law and order position has improved. KCR made police people friendly. I will try to further improve on that.
Is there any difference in people’s lives after formation of Telangana state?
In the combined state the then Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and others said if Telangana state was formed there will be darkness and law and order issues will arise. What happened in the last four-and-a-half years? No darkness. The TRS government is supplying 24x7 power supply to all sectors, the farm sector is being supplied free power 24x7. There was no law and order issue, everyone in the state is living peacefully.
Are you number two in KCR’s Cabinet?
In the TRS or in the government there is number one only, that is KCR. There is no number two or three.
You are loyal to KCR. Are you also loyal to K.T. Rama Rao?
Yes, I am loyal to KCR. I am also loyal to KTR. I congratulated KTR when he was appointed TRS working president. Everyone should be loyal to the party and its leader.
There is speculation that it was on the advice of the MIM that KCR allotted you the home department. Is that correct?
KCR knows what to do; he does not need any advice. I am secular; in fact I have more friends among Hindus than Muslims. My dairy business depends on Yadavas who belong to the Hindu community.
Do you still have the dairy business?
Yes, after I became minister, my son is looking after it.
Will you miss any of your previous colleagues in the new Cabinet?
I don’t know. It is the CM’s prerogative to select ministers.
Are you going to withdraw the cases registered during the Telangana movement?
After taking charge I will hold a meeting with the Director General of Police and other police officials to discuss this issue. After discussing with the Chief Minister, the government will take a decision.
Will the TRS government withdraw all the cases?
We have to discuss case by case and its seriousness. Depending on the merit of the cases we will take a decision.
Is the government withdrawing the cases registered against TRS leaders and workers or all others also?
There will be no political victimisation in the TRS government. We will withdraw the cases depending on merits whether they belong to TRS or any other political party.
Are you going to reopen the cash for vote case?
I have to discuss all these issues with police officials after taking charge.