An unanswered question tickled every knowledgeable political mind: Will KCR’s national position make efforts to unite opposition weaker? This move will directly effect the Telangana politics or this is a step towards self-distruction?
Despite all odds, KCR – a leader from a Telugu state is getting ready, with a lot of nostalgic dreams, to have an impact on national politics after over three and a half decades!
After building a name for himself in Telangana State, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao appears to be making a determined entry into national politics. He is anticipated to outline his action plan in front of the country on Wednesday, the auspicious festival of Vijaya Dashami. Before KCR, it was NT Rama Rao, his political mentor and the founder of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a four-time chief minister of an united Andhra Pradesh, who had made overt attempts to bring the split Opposition together.
Under NTR’s direction, KCR developed into an unrivalled leader and won his first election in Siddipet by defeating P. Madan Mohan, the then-leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). KCR’s rise in politics started when he was appointed to the combined AP cabinet a quarter of a century ago, during the Chandrababu Naidu administration. During his first term as chief minister in 1997, Naidu appointed KCR to the position of transport minister.
Subsequently, he kept KCR aside and inducted former director of CBI K. Vijayarama Rao due to caste equations. KCR could not digest his exclusion from the cabinet. He did not accept the post of Deputy Speaker of AP Legislative Assembly on offer.
Instead, he launched Telangana Rashtra Samiti with the sole aim of achieving separate statehood for Telangana. He deftly managed to convince the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party to agree for bifurcation of AP. People saw a ‘true warrior’ of Telangana in KCR. The anti-Andhra sentiment in the Telangana region facilitated his victories in the Assembly elections of 2014 and 2018. Now, ahead of facing the third consecutive Assembly elections, he has chosen to launch a new political party (probably named ‘Bharatha Rastra Samithi’) at the national level.
Aside from the prospects of KCR’s new party, there are questions over what is in store for TRS in the forthcoming bypolls to the Munugode Assembly seat in the combined Nalgonda district. The bye-election was necessitated by the resignation of Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy (Congress) from the seat.
Interestingly, Rajagopal is now contesting on BJP ticket. As BJP has been projecting itself as a viable alternative to TRS in Telangana, the government has focused on the movements of BJP. The BJP is hopeful of bagging the Munugode seat, emboldened by its victory in the Huzurabad Assembly seat a few months ago. Winning the Munugode seat would be a booster dose for BJP. For TRS, a victory in Munugode would cement its win in the next Assembly elections. It is not clear how many seats KCR’s new party (subsuming TRS) would get in the next Assembly polls in Telangana.
Will the new outfit get 6% of the votes across the country — a key requirement for the party to get recognition from the Election Commission of India? The larger question is: What kind of a role would KCR play at national level? Earlier, KCR had pitched a third front, while opposing the policies of the Congress and the BJP. The BJP is currently in a comfortable position (300+ seats) in the Lok Sabha and there is no guarantee that the BJP would lose power in next General Election.
What would happen if KCR works on his own agenda of striving to establish a third force as alternative to both BJP and Congress? Will it not dilute the efforts currently being made to unite opposition parties against the BJP? As of now, the Congress cannot be wished away from any front of anti-BJP parties in the country. But KCR has some reservations in this regard because of his animosity towards TS Congress. He may not use the ‘hand’ to crush the ‘lotus’. If he joins hands with the Congress, it would be detrimental to the interests of KCR in Telangana.
Chief Minister of Bihar and Janata Dal (United) leader and KCR’s friend Nitish Kumar is reconciled to working for a front under the leadership of the Congress. Another friend of KCR and Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former chief minister of Karnataka H. D. Kumaraswami also is set to join hands with the Congress against BJP. People in general believe that a third front would only strengthen the hands of BJP and weaken its opponents of BJP by splitting the anti-BJP vote bank.
TRS-friendly All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s contests in different parts of the country during Assembly elections are seen as weakening the anti-BJP camp. States like Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal apparently witnessed the ‘peculiar role’ played by AIMIM. That party expanded its base with communal ideology, targeting the Muslim vote bank. In view of AIMIM’s presence in the electoral fray in Bihar, the Rasthriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Prasad Yadav had to lose more than 20 seats that helped BJP-JD(U) combine retain power.
Left parties have not forged a third front at national level mainly because they know it would only weaken anti-BJP vote bank. So, they are fine with confining themselves to West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. Irrespective of likes and dislikes, Left parties by and large prefer to join hands with anti-BJP forces including Congress.
NTR played a key role in national politics by steering the ruling alliance (National Front) 33 years ago. He mesmerised voters in Haryana at Kurukshetra during his campaign in support of Devi Lal in the 1987 elections by reciting a sloka from the Bhagavad Gita.., ‘Sambhavami yuge yuge’!
Chandrababu Naidu had also played a crucial role during the NDA regime by extending support to it. KCR will be the third leader of a regional party from Telugu state who is out to influence national politics. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hyderabadlive