The Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is moving forward cautiously with what seems to be a perfect political strategy to tackle any situation that may emerge against his interests ahead of the next General Election in 2023.
After seeing the successful completion of 20 years of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, he seems to be drawing a new political graph for securing the future of his party. With the TRS emerging as a viable political force in the new state of Telangana, KCR’s stature has grown substantially at the national level.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, while expanding its mass base across the country, has been playing hide and seek with regional political forces, leaving its own cadre confused. During Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime, the BJP had given freedom to its AP unit to fight against the Telugu Desam Party for the purpose of strengthening the state unit. But during the elections of 1999, to everybody’s surprise, BJP sought support of TDP in the form of seat-sharing agreement for furthering the BJP’s numbers game to grab power at the Centre.
Expectedly both parties were in a comfortable position during that particular term. But this arrangement damaged BJP’s reputation as the TDP shelved the issue of separate Telangana State for the purpose of getting power.
The TRS, during its 20-year journey, has seen ups and downs. KCR now foresees no further spell of positive wave for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 General Election.
The Telangana Assembly elections will be held ahead of the General Elections i.e. in 2023.
There has been talk in some quarters that, like in the case of the previous Assembly elections, the TRS could advance the Assembly polls so as to hold them before the General Election, given the party’s bright chances to register a third consecutive victory in Telangana State since the formation of the new state.
However, KCR has just ruled out early polls to T-Assembly this time. He had cleverly advanced polls for T-Assembly ahead of the General Election in 2018 with a view to avoid positive wave for Modi across the country.
For the General Election, the focus of attention of the electorate might be on national political forces, with the regional forces not getting ample attention of people.
BJP surprisingly bagged four Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana on its own strength. Going by those results, BJP missed the chances of winning as many as 28 Assembly seats — more than enough to get the status of principal opposition in the state legislative Assembly.
The TRS, within a few months of its inception, had participated in the local bodies’ polls of 2001 and got nearly 100 ZPTCs, including that of Nizamabad, paving way for expansion of the party.
TRS had taken birth on 27April, 2001 on the premises of ‘Jaladrushyam’, which is the residence of former minister Konda Lakshman Bapuji, a stalwart among the torch-bearers of Telangana agitation of 1969.
KCR then literally threw into the air his letters of resignation from the posts of Deputy Speaker of AP Assembly and Member of Legislative Assembly as well as the membership of Telugu Desam Party from the dais at the historic meeting that witnessed the birth of TRS for achieving a separate state for Telangana people.
This columnist was among the journalists who covered the inaugural event of TRS at ‘Jaladrushyam’ on that particular day.
Noticeably, most of the leaders who were present there on the formation day of the party are not in the party now. None of the members of KCR’s cabinet, except one or two like T.Harish Rao, were at his side on that day.
KCR’s son and IT and Municipal Minister K.T.Rama Rao was in America then. He joined the party six years after its inception.
KCR chose to leave TDP in protest against the treatment meted out to him at the hands of then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Chandrababu decided to accommodate former Director of CBI K.Vijayarama Rao, who defeated Congress giant P.Janardhan Reddy (PJR) in the Khairatabad constituency, in place of KCR as both leaders belongs to the same caste Velama.
Naidu ostensibly implemented the policy of allotting one cabinet post for one caste. But he chose to relax that norm in the case of Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy of Chittoor district as he was also kept aside on the lines of KCR.
Interestingly both Bojjala and KCR were very good friends and colleagues in TDP. This idea of ‘one cabinet post for one caste’ perhaps cropped in the mind of Naidu as Vijayarama Rao was his good friend.
Vijayarama Rao had helped Chandrababu Naidu a lot during the former’s tenure as Police Commissioner of Hyderabad in avoiding the arrest for inviting the wrath of the Legislative Council for objectionable writings against the Upper House at the state level.
KCR’s alleged adamant attitude had caused heavy loss of as many as 16 MLAs out of 26 it had in the AP Assembly as they deserted the party at the behest of then chief minister Dr.Y.S.Rajasekara Reddy. Challenges and counter challenges levelled against each other between KCR and Congress leaders led to the bye-election in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency. He resigned from that seat in response to a challenge thrown at him by then minister in YSR’s cabinet M.Satyanarayana Rao.
Nobody expected then that KCR would respond positively to such challenge.
KCR’s dwindling popularity got a boost in that bypoll with his thumping victory.
In other words, TRS was given a new lease of life by the Congress minister’s challenge. Otherwise, TRS would not have grown in popularity during the tenure of YSR.
KCR has since become powerful in the party.But the promises he had made, including those of making a Dalit the chief minister and allocation of 3 acres of land for the poor, are literally haunting him personally. Nobody in TRS would dare to question him regarding the same, but the principal opposition has initiated a tirade against KCR in this regard.
The Congress has received death blows from KCR in the two successive elections of 2014 and 2018, though it was the Congress that granted Telangana State. It will be interesting to see how KCR will handle the next Assembly elections. Will there be a magic like that of Nitish Kumar (Bihar) and Shivraj Singh Chowhan (Madhya Pradesh), who grabbed opportunity for the third time in a row, for him to rule the state of Telangana? #KhabarLive #hydnews