Home National What’s Pushing KCR To National Politics? Answer Lies In Lost Relevance Of ‘Telangana Sentiment’, Future Of Family

What’s Pushing KCR To National Politics? Answer Lies In Lost Relevance Of ‘Telangana Sentiment’, Future Of Family

This was the first major mega political rally after BRS got national recognition as a political party. By bringing together five major political parties of the country on a non-BJP, non-Congress platform for the first time in recent times, he succeeded in presenting himself as one of the major politicians with national ambitions.

by News Desk
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Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, and his newly floated national political outfit Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), succeeded in presenting a big show in Khammam on Wednesday, with the presence of as many as three chief ministers and a former chief minister, all of whom are known as bitter critics of BJP regime at the Centre.

This was the first major mega political rally after BRS got national recognition as a political party. By bringing together five major political parties of the country on a non-BJP, non-Congress platform for the first time in recent times, he succeeded in presenting himself as one of the major politicians with national ambitions.

Besides his BRS, top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), and the Communist Party of India (CPI) in a massive show of Opposition unity, declared the slogan of “BJP-mukt Bharat”, on the lines of Modi’s successful mantra of “Congress-mukt Bharat” in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

A day after PM Modi alerted his party colleagues at the BJP National Executive Committee meeting in New Delhi that only 400 days are left for the 2024 polls, KCR declared in Khammam Wednesday that only “400 days are left for Modi’s rule”.

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He was assured of full support in his mission from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann and Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav and CPI national general secretary D Raja.

Pinarayi Vijayan described this event as a “beginning of a new resistance” against the BJP. He slammed the BJP government at the Centre as a major threat to democracy and also destroying judicial autonomy. Stating that BJP is counting its days in power, Akhilesh Yadav said: “Yesterday, BJP accepted that only 400 days are left for them in power now. Those who start counting their days, can’t remain in power. Now, only 399 days are remaining.”

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann dubbed BJP as “Bharatiya Jumla Party”. Unlike other regional parties like the AIADMK, the Trinamool Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), who have also declared themselves as national parties but confining their political activities to their respective states except for some occasional photo sessions at the national level, KCR has been making cautious efforts to emerge as a potential national leader, spreading his political influence to a few other states.

Telangana Sentiment — The Trump Card So Far

Whatever may be the possibilities to spread his political influence outside Telangana in the prevailing political environment, KCR’s political compulsions have forced him to play an active role at a national level. The major compulsion he is facing is that his `trump card’ that helped him to strengthen his political base in the state for over two decades promoting ‘Telangana sentiment’, has now almost lost its relevance.

However, he was able to use that sentiment card successfully in the 2018 assembly elections when the major opposition party Congress resorted to an alliance with the TDP, which KCR dubbed as “Andhra’s Party”.

Moreover, during his nearly nine-year regime, KCR succeeded in ensuring political stability and implementing some unique welfare programmes like ‘Rythu Bandhu’ and taking up massive irrigation projects like Kaleswaram, Bhagiratha drinking water to every house and boom in the IT sector.

However, several of his poll promises are yet to be completed. Prominently, jobs, the main promise of 2014 polls, remain a far cry. The promises of 12 per cent reservation to Scheduled Tribes and Muslims, unemployment allowance, double-bedroom houses, loan waiver to farmers and irrigation in backward areas are also yet to be fulfilled.

Discontent among employees and youth was demonstrated during the assembly bypolls in Huzurabad and Munugodu. “Projecting himself as a national political stature is certainly to be part of KCR’s strategy to divert public attention from his governance,” observed Prof P Narayana Reddy, a political analyst.

Family Compulsions

KCR is said to be facing pressures within his family who are asking him to move to national politics, vacating the ‘Chief Minister’s gaddi’. Though son KT Rama Rao, popularly known as KTR, has already emerged as the de facto CM, by practically dictating terms to ministers and also senior officials, his sister Kavitha is also a strong contender for office. In fact, soon after he returned to power in the 2018 assembly polls, he announced his focus on national politics with the formation of a ‘Federal Front’ with non-BJP and non-Congress parties.

However, KCR was forced to confine to state politics after the BJP succeeded in returning to power in 2019 with an absolute majority.

Development Agenda

KCR is attempting to catch the imagination of people at the national level with a development agenda. By launching the second phase of ‘Kanti Velugu (eyesight to all)’ and integrated collectorate building inauguration at Khammam, just ahead of the public rally, other chief ministers lauded his programmes and expressed intention to copy them in their own states.

“For the first time, a new hope is taking shape with a few chief ministers discussing the development and not politics. All through our meeting today, we discussed measures for improving education, health and farming sectors,” Kejriwal said.

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