Protest Groups Question KCR Govt on Nod to Amit Shah’s Pro-CAA Rally in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started gearing up for Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Hyderabad on March 15.

Those protesting against the legislation have, however, raised questions about the intentions of the Telangana government that has recently passed an anti-CAA resolution during a state Cabinet meeting.

The city police has granted permission for Shah’s rally, where he is slated to address a large group of people, at the Lal Bahadur Shashtri stadium in the heart of Hyderabad. State BJP leaders have asked their cadres to ensure a large gathering at the rally.

Groups leading protests against the amended citizenship law that was passed in Parliament in December last year are wondering how the K Chandrashekhar Rao government gave its nod to Shah’s rally, while not permitting anti-CAA gatherings.

Majlis Bachao Tehreek leader Amjed Ullah Khan told News18 he was keen to know on what basis consent was granted for the Union home minister’s rally at a time when an anti-CAA gathering could not be organised due to non-availability of permission. The rejection led him to approach the Telangana High Court, said the leader.

A spokesperson and social media in-charge of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Krishank, said anybody in the state can conduct peaceful meetings. “Permission has been granted in the past for anti-CAA rallies too, however, with some restrictions,” he said.

“When police give permission, they take care of it. The speeches should not be provocative. The government of Telangana monitors everything,” Krishank added.

Telangana BJP’s chief spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, “There is no truth in arguments that permission has not been granted to anti-CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens) rallies in Hyderabad.”

“Civil groups have held several such marches. If permission was being denied by the state government, how did they conduct the protest rallies?” said Rao.

Rallies in favour of and against the CAA and NRC have been held in the city over the past few months. While the anti-CAA gatherings have seen mass attendance, a BJP rally at Darnachowk in Indira Park did not attract as many people. The saffron camp is hoping to ensure a huge crowd at Shah’s upcoming rally.

During his two-day visit to Hyderabad from March 14, the home minister is slated to create awareness on CAA and galvanise the BJP cadres in the state. Some anti-CAA and NRC protesters are planning to observe March 15 (the day of Shah’s rally) as a “black day” and may even give a shutdown call.

So far, the groups are yet to take a call on the strike. They are also planning to submit a representation to the city police for a counter-rally on the same day.

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