Cockfighting advocates: Telugu Desam Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, YSR Congress Party

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– Gameness til the End

PS

Telugu Desam Party

Telugu Desam Party (“Party of the Telugu Land”), abbreviated as TDP, is a regional political party active in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The party was founded by N. T. Rama Rao on 29 March 1982. Since 1995,[7] the party is headed by Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the incumbent Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The party’s headquarters is located at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.

N.T. Rama Rao became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1983 within nine months of the party’s formation, thus forming the first non-Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. TDP also achieved the rare distinction of being the first regional party to become the main opposition party in Lok Sabha from 1984 to 1989.

Bharatiya Janata Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party (pronounced [bʱaːrət̪iːjə dʒənət̪aː paːrʈiː] ( listen); translation: Indian People’s Party; abbr. BJP) is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2016, it is the country’s largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world’s largest party in terms of primary membership. The BJP is a right-wing party, with close ideological and organisational links to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The BJP’s origins lie in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. After the State of Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party; it defeated the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election. After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP. Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, it grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victories in several state elections and better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the parliament in 1996; however, it lacked a majority in the lower house of Parliament, and its government lasted only 13 days.

After the 1998 general election, the BJP-led coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed a government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for a year. Following fresh elections, the NDA government, again headed by Vajpayee, lasted for a full term in office; this was the first non-Congress government to do so. In the 2004 general election, the NDA suffered an unexpected defeat, and for the next ten years the BJP was the principal opposition party. Long time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi led it to a landslide victory in the 2014 general election. Since that election, Modi leads the NDA government as Prime Minister and as of August 2016, the alliance governs 15 states.

The official ideology of the BJP is “integral humanism”, first formulated by Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965. The party expresses a commitment to Hindutva, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. The BJP advocates social conservatism and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Its key issues have included the abrogation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and the implementation of a uniform civil code. However, the 1998–2004 NDA government did not pursue any of these controversial issues. It instead focused on a largely neoliberal economic policy prioritising globalisation and economic growth over social welfare.

YSR Congress Party

YSR Congress Party or Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu Congress Party (lit. Youth, Labour and Farmer Congress Party) is a regional political party in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The party is founded by son of former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in 2011. Both Y.S.R. and his son Y. S. Jagan had been members of the Indian National Congress. YS Jagan was also elected as the national president of the party.

Cockfights continue unabated in Andhra with new currency, and political support

Politicians belonging to the ruling TDP, its ally BJP, and main opposition YSRCP inaugurated cockfights.

TNM Staff | Sunday, January 15, 2017 – 08:24

Several crore rupees were bet on cockfights which began in parts of Andhra Pradesh on Friday despite court orders banning them and warnings by police.

On the first day of the three-day Sankranti festival, cockfights were organised on a large scale in dozens of villages in Krishna, West Godavari and East Godavari district of coastal Andhra.

At a few places, police stopped the cockfights but in a majority of the villages the organisers had a field day.

Punters including businessmen and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) visited their homes for the festival bet crores of rupees.

According to reports, it is estimated that the total turnover of this year’s cockfights in the two districts would be roughly Rs 1,000 crore, as several venues in the two Godavari districts saw betting ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per game, while other places saw wagers of several thousand rupees.

Many media cameras were also asked to stay away from the fights, as the organisers felt that the publicity did more damage to their game.

Politicians belonging to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), its ally Bharatiya Janata Party, main opposition YSR Congress Party and others inaugurated the cockfights at some places in the three districts.

One of the Vijayawada ACP’s told DC, that an MLA from Krishna district indirectly gave a warning, saying, “Please do not enter the premises of the cockfights from Friday 2pm onwards. We are not responsible if anything unpleasant situation happens with your arrival as we cannot control the public.”

A businessman created a flutter by opening fire in the air at a cockfight venue in Srinivaspuram village in West Godavari district.

The man, identified as Dayakar, opened three rounds from his licensed revolver to formally launch the cockfight. He was detained by police for questioning.

BJP leader Raghurama Krishnamraju, who had challenged in the Supreme Court the orders of Hyderabad High Court banning cockfights, inaugurated a fight in Bheemavaram in West Godavari district.

Citing cockfights as a part of Telugu culture, he said it was a rural sport being organised for centuries during ‘Sankranti’.

At few places including at Bheemavaram, the cockfights were organised without knives being tied to the legs of the roosters.

Wads of new currency notes could be seen in the hands of organisers and punters as well-trained cocks with small knives attached to their legs fought amid cheers by hundreds of spectators. The fight often ends with the death of one of the two birds.

Tents and fences were erected in fields and organisers made largescale arrangements for the cockfights.

The bird lovers have long been fighting for a ban on the cockfight to prevent cruelty to animals.

All the attempts by the police and court orders in the past to stop cockfights proved futile as the public representatives, irrespective of their party affiliations, openly support it on the ground that it is a part of Telugu culture.

The Hyderabad High Court on December 26 had upheld the ban on cockfights and directed the Andhra Pradesh Police not to allow it.

Raghurama Krishnamraju had approached the Supreme Court, seeking stay of the High Court order.

The apex court, while refusing to stay the High Court order, directed police not to seize roosters primed for the fights.

The petitioner had contended that the roosters are bred indigenously by farmers as a means of livelihood.

He also claimed that during 2012-13 and 2013-14, nearly 7,000 NRIs came to the state and spent over Rs 1,200 crore to see the cockfights.

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to pass any fresh orders on cockfights.

Gauri Maullekhi, a member of Animal Welfare Board (AWB), had moved the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the Andhra Pradesh government to implement the High Court order.




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