Hyderabad is new capital of ‘adda’ politics; Congress enjoys hosting Aaya Rams, Gaya Rams

Hyderabad: Hyderabad is becoming a new adda (camp) for resort politics.

Thanks to the return of Congress government for the first time after formation of the new State of Telangana in 2014, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy and Congress High Command are playing host to its supporters in trouble from other States to prevent poaching.

Camp politics is not new but it’s rare that Hyderabad is becoming a new hub of camp politics in the country.

In fact, elected local body leaders and MLAs from undivided Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State, were bundled off to Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ooty and other places regularly to prevent poaching. Now Hyderabad is becoming a new hub.

Numbers game

Camp politics gains notoriety when parties lack absolute majority and jumping of one or few MLAs or elected leaders could make or mar the party and lose power.

To keep the MLAs and others flock together, parties often shift/confine them to resort/hotels or move to other States. Most of them are kept in resorts outside the city and made incommunicado with outside world for couple of days while providing all the luxuries they want. Power deals are also struck in the resorts.

After a long time, Hyderabad is witnessing a new wave of camp politics from other states like Jharkhand and Bihar.

JMM MLAs in city

First 39 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) coalition MLAs arrived by a special flight on February 2 and stayed in a resort and spent the weekend fearing poaching rivals. Two planes took off from Ranchi and landed at Begumpet airport.

The JMM led alliance MLAs were brought to Hyderabad after Champai Soren took oath as the new Chief Minister of the state following Hemant Soren’s arrest in an ED case. He was given 10 days to prove majority.

In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, the ruling alliance has 47 MLAs—JMM 29, Congress 17 and RJD 1.  BJP has 26 members and AJSI 3, NCP, CPI ML one and two independents.

A Telangana Minister and a Congress leader escorted the MLAs all through their stay and police cordoned off the resort. A special dining area was kept for them to avoid mingling with other guests.

Bihar MLAs

After Jharkhand MLAs left Hyderabad, a day ahead of the floor test, a group of Bihar MLAs arrived in Hyderabad.

The Bihar Congress MLAs were taken to a resort in Kagazghat in Ranga Reddy District.

All but three MLAs of the Congress in Bihar which lost power last week flew down to Hyderabad amidst fears of poaching by the BJP led NDA.

Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, labelled Palturam made a somersault by dumping Congress and shifting allegiance to NDA and becoming Chief Minister.

Nitish Kumar became CM for the 9th time in alliance with BJP led NDA.

In the 243 member Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar government led NDA government now has 128 MLAs—78 BJP, 45 JD (U), 4 HAM (S) and one independent while Mahagathbandhan opposition has 115 MLAs including 79 RJD, 19 Congress, 16 Left, one AIMIM.

AICC Bihar in-charge Mohan Prakash said “rumours are being spread that Congress MLAs will break away, when the truth is that JD (U) legislators are under pressure due to voters’ anger against them, after their party’s switch to the NDA.”

Shiv Sena group camps in Guwahati

In 2022, Maharashtra, one of the biggest States and financial capital of India Mumbai, saw resort politics.
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde took 45 Shiv Sena MLAs and went to Guwahati in Assam, finally bringing down the MVA coalition government in the State. The breakaway Shiv Sena group joined hands with BJP and formed the Government, with Shinde as CM.

NTR, Naidu resort politics

In the undivided Andhra Pradesh, when then Chief Minister N T Rama Rao in 1984 had gone to US for a heart surgery, the Governor Ramlal appointed Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, one-time close aide of NTR and part of founding leaders of Telugu Desam which ruled the State subsequently.

Following revolt by some MLAs, NTR sent all the MLAs to Bengaluru in Karnataka and then to New Delhi to prevent poaching. He fought his way to power back.

Viceroy Hotel episode

Similarly, in 1995, NTR’s son-in-law and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, dumped NTR, shifted his loyal MLAs after a tiff with NTR and his newly wedded second wife Lakshmi Parvathi to Viceroy Hotel at Tank Bund Hyderabad and split the Telugu Desam party.

Though NTR went to the hotel and pleaded with MLAs to return to his fold, they did not. Naidu and his team feared NTR may appoint Lakshmi Parvathi as CM, hence they revolted.

Resort politics was seen in Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and other States.