Senior Congress leader and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir today accused Home Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali of "misleading" the Muslim and the Hindu communities regarding the official date of the reconstruction of the two mosques and a temple that were demolished in July 2020 by the state government to make way for the new Secretariat wing.
Referring to a statement issued by Mahmood Ali, where the latter had claimed that the date for the foundation stone laying for the three places of worship had been postponed, Shabbir Ali said that the former had intentionally been vague about the actual date.
"Mahmood Ali should clarify whether the TRS government has officially fixed a date for the laying of the foundation for the two mosques and the temple. How can an official statement be made before an official meeting on the matter has been convened? Of course, three ministers and a few other leaders of the ruling party did hold an informal meeting with a bunch of hand-picked representatives of a few religious outfits. But, they did not even issue a formal statement on the results of the meeting. Instead, the leaders reportedly coerced the religious bodies' representatives to release a statement saying that the foundation stone would be laid on February 26. The Home Minister's statement was just a feeble attempt to pacify the Hindus and Muslims in the state ahead of the upcoming MLC elections and the Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly by-election. His failure to protect Muslim places of worship despite being a believer himself is plain shameful," he said.
"Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao too has been lying on the issue since the demolition took place. In the first statement, which was issued on July 20, 2020, the CM had claimed that the three religious sites had sustained only minor damage. Just three days later, however, the state government had told the Telangana High Court that all the structures in the old Secretariat area, including the places of worship, had been razed to the ground. The CM had then promised a delegation of religious leaders that the demolished mosques and temple would be reconstructed at the same place within a month. He repeated this lie on the floor of the state's Assembly, and said that the foundation stone for the structures would be laid by the first week of October, 2020, after the conclusion of the Assembly session. As is obvious, he has not kept his word, and has cheated both the Muslims and Hindus of Telangana. He should stop dragging his feet over the reconstruction now, at least," Shabbir Ali asserted.
He also faulted the government for prioritising the construction of the new Secretariat and not taking any steps towards the reconstruction of the demolished structures, and complained that the CM was "insincere" in his promises to rebuild the places of worship.
"Though it is clear that he does not want to rebuild the three structures, the CM is using various lies to buy time to suppress the inevitable agitation regarding the issue," Shabbir Ali alleged.
The Congress leader then demanded that the CM stop avoiding answering questions on the issue and release a statement clarifying his plans regarding the reconstruction once and for all, and advised Mahmood Ali not to mislead Muslim believers only to please the CM.
Shabbir Ali has been flaying the government's "failure" to rebuild the religious sites for quite some time now. Just last month, he had lambasted the CM for making false promises about the reconstruction
to the Hindus and Muslims in the state.