HYDERABAD: In what could be seen as a move to corner his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said if all the Kapus in AP unite, they would emerge as a strong political force to reckon with by 2019.
He also dropped enough hints that BJP central leadership is planning to rely on Kapus to expand its wings in AP by the next general elections.
Rao’s comments assume significance as he made them on a day when Kapu patriarch in AP, Mudragada Padmanabham, on Thursday asked the AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu to learn from TS chief minister with regard to fulfilling promises made to various sections during the 2014 polls.
However, Rao predicted that film actor Pawan Kalyan, who hails from the same Kapu caste and who campaigned for the TDP-BJP alliance in the 2014 elections, will be unable to emerge as a political force in the coming days. Pawan’s Jana Sena party might go the way of the erstwhile Praja Rajyam, floated by his elder brother and film star Chiranjeevi, Rao opined.
While winding up his visit to the national capital on Thursday, Rao had a chat with some reporters in New Delhi. During his interaction, Rao expressed his views on various issues ranging from caste politics in AP to enhancement of Assembly seats in the two Telugu states. The chief minister, who all these days tried to parry questions relating to sudden slow down of probe into ‘cash-for-vote’ scam involving TDP MLA A Revanth Reddy in TS, said, “The probe into this scam is underway. The issue is not closed and it’s still open.”
Though Chief Ministers of both TS and AP are exerting pressure on the Centre to increase the number of Assembly seats in both the states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be averse to the move at this juncture.
According to sources, Rao told his party men that Modi was not in favour of enhancing the seats. “PM told me that even if the delimitation process begins now, the entire exercise will stretch for five years. As the next delimitation is slated for 2024, PM is of the view that we should wait till then,” KCR was quoted as saying. Interestingly, the Chief Minister, who openly praised the demonetisation move by Modi earlier, said on Thursday that there was no clarity on the exact benefits reaped by the demonetisation.
Turing to the drugs racket case, Rao stated that his government will not spare anyone in the case. According to sources, KCR quoted a survey recently conducted in AP by some politicos. As per that survey, YSRC’s popularity is gradually increasing in AP, while the ruling TDP has begun facing headwinds in that state. KCR further told his partymen that Pawan Kalyan might get 1.2 per cent of the vote share, while YSRC may get 45 per cent and TDP may get 43 per cent.