Media has been writing and talking of “KCR’s gambit” from way before the Telangana state was born. That first gambit succeeded and, today, Telangana is India’s youngest state. It is said that KCR led the way for the formation of Telangana from the front from the word ‘go’. Then, in the year 2018, KCR took another gambit. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao dissolved the assembly and resigned.
Elections were held and KCR’s gambit paid off. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) returned to power with flying colours. Nearly five years later, is there another KCR gambit on the cards? Things have changed since September 2018, and the situation now is not the same as the situation then. KCR, perhaps, may not be the master of the situation as he once used to be.
Fortunately, KCR isn’t Arvind Kejriwal, his Delhi counterpart, for whom a state’s police is a private army to settle scores with rivals. The only time the Telangana Police under KCR went ballistic was when four rapists were shot to ribbons in an encounter the day after they were arrested and taken to the “spot”. Then, TRS and KCR were toasted.
Today, the TRS faces challenges. And it is not the Congress which is a rival to reckon with, it’s the BJP. Perhaps the bigger rival of the two. The Congress slide everywhere else reflected in Telangana, too. The BJP, with loads of resources and lingering hunger for power is a headache turning into a recurring migraine.
The TRS, particularly KCR and his son and daughter, is fighting back. The Modi government so far hasn’t set its attack-Alsatians, the central investigating agencies, on KCR, and KTR, KCR’s son and heir. That is not to say that the BJP is lackadaisical, or giving TRS a long rope hoping KCR will in due course commit a mistake and hang himself.
Nothing of the sort. K Chandrashekar Rao wants to do a Mamata in Telangana, i.e., win a third consecutive term in office. The self-made politician is known for his close shaves with megalomania, and likes his share of the mumbo-jumbo, both of which traits were on Amit Shah’s tongue, when the Union Home Minister landed in Hyderabad, took on KCR and slammed him for trying to ape Mamata Banerjee.
It is also true that KCR encounters with the tantric-kind, and the mumbo-jumbo they download, guide much of his politics. For example, KCR allegedly is giving a wide berth to the state assembly these days because some tantric told him to keep his distance if he wanted a guaranteed third term!
Amit Shah likes such titbits to taunt the BJP’s rivals with. For the longest time, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in Amit Shah’s crosshair. But much to Shah’s surprise and disgust, ‘Didi’ had the last laugh, and now there’s KCR, a Mamata wannabe, in Shah’s sights. The Union Home Minister isn’t amused that KCR is following in the footsteps of Mamata.
BJP workers were killed in West Bengal, and BJP workers are being killed in Telangana, too, Shah said at rally in Hyderabad, accusing KCR of pining to turn Telangana into another West Bengal, forgetting conveniently that the BJP wants to turn Telangana into another Uttar Pradesh, with the bulldozer very much in mind.
Shah and the BJP were mute spectators to the killings of BJP workers in West Bengal, but in Telangana, Shah has the audacity to tell BJP workers that the saffron party would do everything to ensure that the “killers” in Telangana are brought to book, knowing very well that the BJP can’t do zilch unless it wins Telangana lock, stock and barrel, which looks a thin, and lean, possibility.
The Union Home Minister’s bravado is worth emulating, though. The BJP is ready for elections even if they are “held tomorrow.” The BJP believes it will win hands down, because the TRS Government is corrupt, and incompetent, while a “double-decker” BJP government will ensure “speedy recovery” and “speedy development”.
The way the Modi government is going about blunting the KCR government is by starving it of central funds to carry out many of the state government’s flagship welfare programmes that benefit women, children, farmers, and the other oppressed. The programmes include the state government’s 2BHK housing scheme for the poor, which is in addition to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. In Telangana, KCR’s welfare progarmmes have been the talk of the town, and these are now wilting because of the politics over who will form the next government in Telangana, BJP or KCR? (IPA Service)
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