Bengaluru Or Hyderabad? Challenge Accepted, Say Duelling Politicians


DK Shivakumar (left) and KTR featured in a Twitter exchange over Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

New Delhi:

Twitter woke up on Monday to a friendly joust between Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao and Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar over the crown of India’s top city for tech entrepreneurs with the divisive controversy surrounding Halal meat and the hijab making a cameo.

Picking up on a reply by Mr Rao, or KTR as he is popularly known, to Housing.com and Khatabook founder Ravish Naresh’s complaint about infrastructure in Bengaluru, Mr Shivakumar said the Congress would restore the IT city’s glory once it comes to power.

BJP-ruled Karnataka, home to IT and startup hub Bengaluru, has been increasingly in the news lately for growing right-wing religious activism that the opposition says has targeted Muslims for everything from what they wear, eat and where they trade.

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Christian groups have also come under attack in the state over accusations of forced religious conversion – allegations that have not been backed by data despite questions raised by the opposition and activists.

Last week, in the middle of a row over a call by right-wing groups to ban Muslim traders from temple festivals, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to “resolve the growing religious divide” in the state, warning that if the tech sector becomes communal it will “destroy” India’s global leadership in it.

A rattled BJP accused her of expressing a “politically-coloured opinion”.

Counted among the top centres for the technology industry in the Asia Pacific, Telangana’s Hyderabad and Karnataka’s Bengaluru have nursed a legendary rivalry to draw businesses and talent, offering vast incentives and resources to the sector.





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