Telangana & India: The Era of KCR and KTR Rolls Over Into 2019

The founder president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) once again won the mandate of people in the recently concluded Assembly elections in 2018. He has won by a thumping majority to rule the 29th state of India until 2023 irrespective of the outcome of results in the General Elections to the Parliament in 2019.

TELANGANA: 2018-2023

By winning the massive mandate of the people of Telangana to rule for the next five years, KCR also blew the conchshell for the General Elections by saying that the country needs to reject Congress-led and BJP-led governments at the Centre and the time for non-Congress and non-BJP governments has arrived.

KCR said, “Both Congress and BJP have different policies for different States based on their political requirements and their position as either the ruling party or the Opposition. They have been undermining the rights of States by keeping all powers with the Centre unnecessarily and impeding the development of States. The Centre is not doing things that it is supposed to do. This needs to be changed.” KCR emerged as the torchbearer of the rights of the States in the Indian Union, and has carved a voice for himself in the national politics by vouching for the interests of the States.

RETURN GIFT:

KCR is going to play a key role in 2019 elections both at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh. To this effect he has indicated that he will give a ‘return gift’ to his political-electoral enemy N. Chandrababu Naidu the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Babu campaigned against TRS in the Assembly elections by joining hands with his arch rival Congress Party and its leader Rahul Gandhi under the umbrella of Mahakutami.

The ‘return gift’ implies that KCR will campaign against Babu and his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh which will go for elections to the Assembly along with the General Elections in 2019. KCR’s interference in AP may help YSR Congress Party and its leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy either directly or indirectly.

FEDERAL FRONT:

The Federal Front pitched by KCR, non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre, currently has a meek response among the regional parties. Because most of the regional parties are either with the BJP or with the Congress, and there are hardly any other regional party that may support the Federal Front except for YSR CP and AIMIM.

Asaduddin Owaisi, the MP and the leader of AIMIM, expressed his faith in KCR. He said, “KCR has the capability and abilities to present a good alternative to the BJP and Congress for the country. We are going to support him in all his endeavours at the Centre.” There are parties like Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party which may be inclined to be with the Federal Front in order to maintain equidistance with the Congress Party and the BJP. But will they the same stand before and after the General Elections?

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi preaches cooperative federalism, but fails to practise it,” said KCR after the Assembly elections in Telangana. The statement may sound agreeable to many regional parties but which regional party is prepared to severe ties with the Congress or the BJP? Unless the regional parties increase their tally in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the situation may not change. That is there will be either a BJP-led (with- or without Modi as the Prime Minister) or Congress-led government.

KCR & KTR:

After the resounding victory in Telangana elections, without delaying, KCR immediately appointed his son KT Rama Rao (KTR) as the working president of TRS. It means the party is almost under the control of KTR who is also the political heir of KCR. With this arrangement, there is a possibility that KTR could become the Chief Minister of Telangana but it is just a matter of time, and KCR could focus on national politics aka Federal Front. But this depends upon on the outcome of the results of General Elections 2019. Until then, KCR and KTR will play a dominant role in national politics and in Telangana respectively.

Importantly, and interestingly, they have emerged as the reckonable politicians at the national level from the Telugu state of Telangana with their TRS, and they can bask in the glory of their victory in 2018 while an electorally potent and potential 2019 awaits them.

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