By Sushil Kutty
Politics is dirty business. A lot of dust and dirt sticks to politicians. BJP Telangana unit Chief Bandi Sanjay will testify. Bandi Sanjay was dragged on a road by uniformed police officers and taken into custody, yet another “casualty” of the ongoing war between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi and the world’s single largest political entity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BRS-BJP war of attrition and one-upmanship is actually unequal confrontation. The BRS could be age-wise, and resources-wise, a pygmy but in Telangana size does not matter. In Telangana, the BRS calls the shots. And the Telangana police are at the beck and call of the KCR-led BRS government. Therefore, Bandi Sanjay’s fate.
Bandi’s friend and Union Minister, G Kishan Reddy, did not like it. The Telangana Police shouldn’t have treated Bandi Sanjay with such nonchalance. Dragging the BJP’s state unit Chief on a dirty Telangana thoroughfare and then slamming and locking the bars behind him was not civil behaviour. Without doubt, politics was getting dirtier and dirtier, messier and messier, with every passing day.
G Kishan Reddy flayed the, what is now called, ‘Bandi treatment’, saying the more the BRS bruises the BJP, the tougher the BJP skin will emerge from the harrowing experience. People in the know, people who know the BJP well enough, are not fooled. It’s playacting, the BJP kind. Forgetting insults is not in the BJP’s nature. Ask the Mughals! And Rahul Gandhi. And…
That said, the BJP does not give zilch when party cadres and their families get killed, jailed and what have you not? Like after the West Bengal exodus of Hindu supporters of the BJP following the BJP’s defeat in the assembly elections. The terrorised BJP supporters couldn’t elicit even a simple meow from either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
But Bandi Sanjay is not a mere BJP cadre, he has bigger and better credentials. He was the BJP equivalent of a regional party satrap, he was the head of the state party unit. G Kishan Reddy, who holds the ‘Tourism portfolio’ in the Modi government, has promised repayment in the same coin, saying the “more BRS tries to corner BJP in Telangana, the more the Bharatiya Janata Party will get stronger.”
Muscle-flexing, eh? But how can the BJP fight back, and retaliate with what? G Kishan Reddy has only ‘Tourism’. So, he spoke of “a legal battle, and a political battle”. And striking a tough stance, he added, “We are ready to fight even if more leaders of BJP are arrested. Unless we free the state from this arrogant government, we will not rest.”
So more arrests will be courted. The BRS/KCR government should refuse to let this BJP tactic succeed. It shouldn’t drag BJP leaders by their collars on the roads of Hyderabad like so many stray Tommys and Jimmys. There are better ways to get a point across. The KCR police should consider picking up errant BJP politicians and dropping them like sacks of potatoes in Naxal-infested areas of the state.
Bandi Sanjay was arrested for an alleged scam. He was dragged into custody for having a WhatsApp chat with an ex-journalist. There must have been something self-implicating in the chat, but G Kishan Reddy isn’t bothered to dwell into the details. He is numb, and he’s stumped. “What’s a WhatsApp chat got to do with ‘scam’?” he asked.
Reddy called up Telangana DGP Anjani Kumar, wanting to know the reasons for Bandi Sanjay’s arrest. Anjani Kumar failed to convince Kishan Reddy that the arrest was in order. There is a lot of distrust between the Telangana Police and the BJP. The BJP says while it’s “busy rebuilding the country”, BRS was conspiring to “leak question papers” to implicate BJP leaders.
So Bandi Sanjay is in the can for “leaking question papers” and now he will have to answer for his alleged involvement. However, KCR and KCR’s police need not worry. The BJP says it doesn’t have any intention to topple the KCR government. Instead, the BJP will wait for the elections to defeat the BRS. Bottom-line: The Bharatiya Janata Party is a bunch of “Good Fellas” though it‘s another matter that “Good Fellas” was a Hollywood crime film.
The ‘Big Fight’ between the BJP and the BRS is fully political, with eyes trained on 2024. Everything else attached to it are gimmicks and shenanigans. The fight between the two isn’t going to end with Bandi Sanjay’s arrest and jail. The Karimnagar MP has been accused of plotting to “defame” and topple the KCR government. The sections under which he has been arrested are non-bailable. If convicted and sentenced to more than two years of hard labour, it will be a case of another Lok Sabha MP convicted for defamation, and another ‘disqualified MP’ crying foul. (IPA Service)