Was he, was he not?
Telangana Home minister Mahmood Ali found himself in the midst of an embarrassing situation, having to clarify that he was not denied permission to enter Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of the chief minister, to meet K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday.
This happened after local media and opposition politicians reported that when Ali reached Pragati Bhavan at 4 pm, he was stopped by constables at the entry point. They reportedly pointed out that they did not have clearance to allow him inside. The New Indian Express reported that at the same time, DGP Mahender Reddy was let inside to attend the meeting.
But Ali’s office later pointed out that he left without entering the CM’s residence because KCR was on his way to meet the Governor at Raj Bhavan. It was also added that the Home minister had some important visitors waiting for him at his office.
What are the facts?
It is true that KCR had to go to Raj Bhavan and he was accompanied by the Health minister, DGP Reddy and other senior officials to the meeting. At the same time, though Ali has been touring areas in the old city area of Hyderabad in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, it is pretty apparent that in matters of policing, the CM relies more on the counsel of the DGP.
It is not as if Ali’s defence is being bought completely. There is a sense of unease within the Telangana government over the fact that 603 people from Hyderabad travelled to Delhi to attend the meeting in Nizamuddin. There is a feeling that the party’s local political intelligence should have fared better and alerted the leadership.
Last year, during a meeting with a Muslim delegation led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi with the CM, Ali had to sit on a side chair and that provoked sniggers about how the Home minister and the most prominent Muslim leader of the TRS was treated.