SM Fasiullah for BeyondHeadlines
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) received a major blow just before elections when its politburo member Zahid Ali Khan, who gave strong competition to Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in 2009 elections, quit the party on April 7, 2014.
In his resignation letter faxed to TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, Mr. Khan said that he quit in protest to the party’s electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Mr. Khan, who is also the editor of Hyderabad-based Siasat newspaper, resigned from the membership of TDP and its politburo. In 2009 elections, he was second highest scorer for Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat, which was won by Mr. Owaisi.
Noted intellectual and popular figure in the Muslim community in Hyderabad, Mr. Khan was quoted by Siasat as saying that he did not wish to say much after the TDP-BJP alliance.
“As a secular leader, you [Mr. Naidu] had promised that you shall not hurt the feelings and emotions of minorities in general and Muslim community in particular by supporting or making alliance with non-secular and communal parties whoever they may be,” he said in the resignation letter.
“Although your proximity with communal party i.e Bharatiya Janata Party was being discussed in the media for a long time but now since you have formally forged an alliance with BJP, it has left no room for me to remain in TDP as my family from generations have stood for Communal Harmony and National Integration.
“Therefore, I resign from the membership of TDP which in term is also a resignation from politburo membership.”
In a TCN interview in 2009, he told that his goal was to uplift Muslims particularly those from the old city area of Hyderabad. His vision, as he put it precisely, was to “prepare the community for the challenges of the century”.
Mr. Khan has decided not to contest elections this time. The move has apparently left his fans and voters in bewilderment. His next plan would be eagerly awaited by his voter base.
Meanwhile, TDP and BJP have already worked on the seat sharing. TDP has reportedly left 47 assembly and seven Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, and 15 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra for BJP.