Retired Osmania University professor and Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman, M Kodandaram, is leading mass movements against TRS government.
They fought shoulder to shoulder for Telangana statehood once, now they do not see eye to eye.
HYDERABAD: For Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s government, his former ally M Kodandaram today is a suspected Maoist sympathiser. Additionally, KCR (as the chief minister is popularly known) describes Kodandaram, a retired Osmania University political science professor, as “a Congress agent”.
Kodandaram, chairman of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) formed in 2009 to fight for statehood, has been leading mass movements against KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi government for the last three years. He accuses KCR of nepotism and betraying the “spirit of Telangana”.
Kodandaram recently gave a call to people to dethrone KCR in the next elections. The TJAC, which basked in the glow of Telangana’s formation in 2014, remains an influential pressure group even as KCR stays the face of the statehood movement.
The government is not amused. According to Telangana home minister Nayini Narasimha Reddy, police have information that Maoists are supporting Kodandaram’s mass movements.
Reddy said he directed the police not to allow the TJAC chief to tour the districts.
In the last one year, Kodandaram has extensively toured different parts of the state under a movement titled Amarula Spoorthy Yatra (tour to revive the spirit of those who lost their lives for achieving Telangana statehood).
On Saturday, police detained Kodandaram at Medipally on the outskirts of Hyderabad when he was on his way to Jangaon district to participate in yet another event under the Amarula Spoorthy Yatra banner. Police released him after seven hours.
KCR is dismissive of Kodandaram and accuses him of conspiring against his government. “He was just one of the lakhs of Telangana activists I groomed. Now, he has the audacity to give a call to the people to dethrone me. He does not have the ability to win even as a sarpanch, let alone running a party to fight against me,” the CM said at a recent press meet.
Kodandaram dismissed allegations of being a Maoist sympathiser and working for the Congress “First, let the government decide whether I am working for the Congress party or the Maoists. I have no personal agenda, except to fight on issues concerning the people, which the TRS government is ignoring.”
He added, “The spirit of the Telangana is completely lost and the state has become a personal property of KCR and his family. He is trying to suppress every voice of dissent, giving the go-by to democratic traditions.”
Kodandaram said TJAC’s agenda was to involve people in governance and fight for their rightful share in the state’s development process.