HYDERABAD: In what is being seen as a new political pattern in the making, the BJP and the TRS appear to have come to an understanding that would be beneficial to both.
When Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi last Friday, they seem to have arrived at a broad agreement to help each other at the national and state level. The BJP would help the TRS by being considerate to its requests for the State while the pink panthers would treble their efforts to decimate Congress which in a way helps the saffron party emerge as No 2 in the State.
For TRS, this arrangement helps, since being in the good books of Modi pays at a time when the State appears to be a financial strait-jacket on account of its huge projects like Kaleswaram and extravagant welfare schemes like Rythu Bandhu. At the national level, the Centre is understood to have agreed to remain attentive to the State’s demands while the TRS MPs would not cause any embarrassment to the Centre in the Parliament. At the State level, the TRS would double its efforts to wipe out Congress to help the BJP over the stile and become an alternative to TRS. KCR has already dealt a mortal blow to the Congress by spiriting away 12 of its 19 MLAs in the 119-member Assembly and merging them with the TRS.
Interestingly, for both the parties, this is the policy that they have for the short term and a different approach for the long term. As far as BJP is concerned, it wants to first position itself as No 2 in the State which is possible only by targeting the TRS. In this direction, the BJP State party unit has already initiated several measures, including pummelling the TRS for “irregularities” in Kaleswaram and even going to the extent of seeking CBI probe. Then it has up its sleeve Telangana Liberation Day which it wants to use as a weapon every year. This strategy cuts both ways, it helps the BJP consolidate its support base while polarising minorities in favour of the TRS and the AIMIM, its ally and in emasculating Congress in the process.
According to BJP sources, the party wants to grow in Telangana step by step by first becoming the second major force. In fact, it has started on an encouraging note by grabbing four Lok Sabha seats in the last general elections, recovering from the humiliation it had suffered when it won only one assembly seat in 2018 elections. Now it wants to build on the goodwill that it had built after Parliament elections. Its MPs, mainly Sanjay Bandi is on an overdrive to embarrass the TRS and has made a representation to the Governor how granite companies in Karimnagar district, several of which are allegedly owned by TRS MLAs, were evading payment of seignorage to the State.
The BJP, after it convinces itself that it has grown stronger would take the TRS by its horns quite seriously and even bid for power in the next Assembly elections. But at the moment, the attack on TRS would be more to edge the Congress out from its second position. But, KCR, who is nobody’s fool, apparently wants to use the BJP to the extent possible and if it becomes a threat, which he does not think it would, would draw a strategy to deal with it happens. At the moment he is more interested in burying the Congress in a pit more deeper than Mariana trench as he knows the grand old party is difficult to exterminate. The immediate need for him is to wrest Huzurnagar Assembly seat from the Congress and break its morale further.