Opposition parties in Telangana joined hands on Thursday to complain to the Governor about the state government’s move to shift “dharna chowk”, a main venue of protests in Hyderabad.
With the government deciding to shift the venue to the city outskirts citing law issues, leaders of the opposition submitted a joint representation to Governor ESL Narasimhan, terming the government’s move an attempt to suppress the voice of dissent.
“Dharna chowk” near Indira Park in the heart of the city has been the venue of thousands of protests by political parties, people’s organisations, employees’ unions, students’ groups and others for over two decades.
Leaders of main opposition Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) and organisations met the governor.
Condemning the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government’s decision to shift the chowk, state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said that if the government goes ahead, all opposition parties will unitedly fight against it.
The opposition leaders alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was acting in an autocratic manner and trying to suppress the democratic rights.
They recalled that during Telangana movement, Chandrasekhar Rao led protests in the heart of the city but was now trying to gag the voice of the opposition.
Earlier in the day, BJP legislators marched from Indira Park to the assembly to protest the move. BJP leader Kishan Reddy said as the people’s opposition to the government was growing, it was resorting to undemocratic methods to suppress it.