Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao sometimes appears to rule less like a democratically elected representative of the citizens of his state, and more like a divinely anointed king. More evidence of this came days ago, when he moved into his new offi ce and residence, which is reported to have been constructed at a cost of Rs 38 crores. This move comes at a time when the state’s fi nances, already appearing to be in poor shape, have taken an additional hit (according to its fi nance minister) after the Centre announced the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
KCR’s opposition claims that the new residence has been constructed, despite the old CM’s residence being in perfectly good shape, for reasons of “vaastu”. This is the same charge levelled against him when the State decided that the Secretariat building had to be demolished and a new one constructed. These allegations of his superstitious nature are not new. As CM, he conducted a yagna to “appease” the rain gods, though the event that reportedly cost Rs 15 crore was paid for by his family and party. However, he has used state resources to fulfi l vows made to various deities—this included the offering of a gold crown worth Rs 3 crore to the Goddess Bhadrakali in Warangal.
During the housewarming ceremony, the video of a religious leader sitting in the CM’s chair went viral. It is all well for an individual to be religious or even superstitious. However, questions do need to be raised about the use of state resources towards the fulfi lment of personal beliefs and desires. KCR benefits from lingering goodwill from leading the Telangana agitation and a weak opposition since the formation of a new state. However, even kings heeded counsel and thought of their legacy. As the fi rst CM of a state long desired, history will take note of his accomplishments and failings. It would be a pity if his successes are overshadowed by his profl igacy and personal failings.