HYDERABAD: Completing four years as Chief Minister of a newly-formed state without encountering any sort of major political unrest or people’s agitation is definitely an achievement for a leader who became CM for the first time. Unlike his AP counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, who is grappling with full-scale attack mounted by political rivals, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao appears to be in a relaxed state in the run-up to 2019 polls.
KCR, who proved his detractors wrong by achieving statehood for Telangana and has been ruling the state for four years without giving scope to any sort of unrest, looks invincible now.
Known to be a shrewd politician, Rao began his journey as Chief Minister by focusing on the sectors neglected for 60 years in the erstwhile united state allegedly by Andhra rulers. He therefore, started construction of several irrigation projects to provide irrigation facilities to one crore acres of land. At the same time, he began introducing novel welfare measures to woo every section of voters — government employees, farmers, women, minorities and the most backward classes.
By making Telugu a compulsory subject in schools and colleges, KCR, an avid reader, won the accolades of Telugu language lovers akin to his guru and TDP founder NT Rama Rao. Further, KCR, who used to deliver rabble-rousing speeches against Andhras during the statehood movement, has been soft on them after becoming CM. “During bifurcation, there were apprehensions that Andhras in Telangana might be subjected to harassment. But, in the four years of our rule, no such incident has happened.” “In fact, Andhras are solidly with our party now. The way TRS swept the civic polls in Hyderabad proved it. The support of Andhras will make us win more seats in the state capital in 2019,” TRS MP K Kavitha told Express.
By engineering defections from other parties, including the Congress, the TRS successfully lowered the morale of the opposition. The TDP too has been relegated to a nominal position in the state. The ruling party has also won all bypolls conducted in the state in the past four years.
Pitted against KCR’s welfare schemes and political strategies, the Congress is not confident that it can dethrone the TRS on its own. Hence its efforts to unite all political and non-political forces.
Breeze blowing against TRS: Uttam
As there is no visible opposition to KCR’s policies from any section of people, Congress claims that there is a silent revolution sweeping the state against TRS. “The CM and his family are pursuing dynastic politics. A large number of farmers have committed suicide. The government has failed to ensure minimum support price for farm produce,” TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
Earned sobriquet of tyrant too
While KCR’s welfare schemes have been lauded even by his detractors, some of his acts earned him sobriquets like “tyrant” from opposition. The decision to remove Dharna Chowk, a popular place for organising protests, and alleged police brutalities against Dalits in Nerella, handcuffing of mirchi farmers in Khammam and suspension of all Congress members from legislature during the previous budget session have led to KCR being branded a ‘dictator.’
Mostly confining himself to his official residence, Pragathi Bhavan, and not going to the Secretariat also made him vulnerable to opposition’s attack.
Challenges faced by the Pink party
The way the State government is unable to get clearance from the Centre for raising the quota for minorities and STs has come in for a flak
The infighting among district TRS leaders might jeopardise the party’s poll prospects
Non-enhancement of Assembly seats might lead to a direct fight between old-timers and newcomers such as defectors from other parties