Telangana CM KCR stops short of poll dates announcement, seeks to return to power

“At the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, my colleagues have said that I should take a decision that works best for the state. When I will decide, I will let you know,” KCR said

NH photo
NH photo

Ashlin Mathew

Telangana is heading towards early state elections, the dates of which are likely to be announced in a week after the dissolution of the state Assembly. At the public meeting at Kongara Kalan on Sunday, the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao stopped short of stating this explicitly.

“At the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, my colleagues have said that I should take a decision that works best for the state. When I will decide, I will let you know,” said Rao, addressing a crowd of around 10 lakh people who were seen in a sea of pink paraphernalia. At least 20 lakh was expected to turn up at the public meeting. Another Cabinet meeting is expected soon to finally decide on this. The Assembly term ends in June 2019.

Telangana CM KCR stops short of poll dates announcement, seeks to return to power

However, his son and state IT minister KT Rama Rao, or KTR as he is popularly known, was slightly more forthcoming on the issue, though he described early elections as an entirely ‘hypothetical situation’.

An early election would favour the party, said KTR. “We are confident of winning both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. If the Assembly elections are over this year, that would give us time to focus on the Lok Sabha elections. We will be able to speak to possible alliance partners,” emphasised KTR.

“In every state, it is the Opposition which wants the elections soon. But, here the principal Opposition, which is the Congress, is against early polls. They have stated that they will go to the Court against it. Whenever the elections happen, we are ready for it,” says KTR.

“In the Assembly elections, we are hopeful of winning at least 100 seats of the 119 seats. In the Lok Sabha elections, we are likely to win 16 of the 17 seats,” said MP Kavitha, who is KCR’s daughter. This view was shared by KTR too.

“If we win 16 seats, we hope to have a larger say in national politics. We will support parties based on a common minimum agenda,” pointed out KTR.

TRS claims to be a secular party and when KTR was asked about aligning with the BJP, which is known for its pro-Hindutva leanings, he explained it by alluding to the concept of a marriage, where adjustments are made as and when the need arises.

The siblings were sure that this isn’t a bipolar world. “I believe there is enough space and room for several parties in the country. But, 2019 will be the year of regional parties. I do not think either BJP or Congress will be able to form a government on their own. We believe a federal front is possible and we are talking to as many people as possible,” pointed out KTR.

“We are confident of forming a federal front without BJP and Congress. We believe there are no national parties. Even BJP is a big regional party as is the Congress. We believe the time has come for like-minded parties to come together and form a government at the Centre,” he said.

“It may seem that we are supporting certain parties. But, we will have a working relationship with any party that will be at the Centre. We supported the BJP on few issues because we felt they were of national importance. But, demonetization wasn’t,” said Kavitha.

Adding on to what Kavitha said, KTR stressed, “We didn’t support the BJP for the no-confidence motion. We walked out. That is not supporting them. They have not been good to us in many ways including the AP reorganization Act, issue of separate High Courts for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, no additional resources for the state.”

TRS claims to be a secular party and when KTR was asked about aligning with the BJP, which is known for its pro-Hindutva leanings, he explained it by alluding to the concept of a marriage, where adjustments are made as and when the need arises.

Highlighting the State’s work for the minorities, KCR said, “Central government has a budget of Rs 4000 crore for minorities in 29 states, Telangna has allocated Rs 2000 crore for minorities.”

Addressing the public gathering, KCR said, “All the promises in the election manifesto have been implemented. At least 76 schemes which have not been listed in manifesto have also been implemented. These include irrigation schemes, payment to farmers during sowing, drinking water supply and 24-hour power for farmers.”

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.

Published: 3 Sep 2018, 8:47 AM