BJP’s rise in Telangana may be behind KCR’s attack

The change was evident in the presence of TRS’ parliamentary party leader K Kesava Rao at the meeting of 16 Opposition parties at the office of Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday condemning the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members.
For seven years now, the TRS, headed by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has largely voted along with the ruling party. (HT)
For seven years now, the TRS, headed by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has largely voted along with the ruling party. (HT)
Published on Dec 02, 2021 12:52 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Hyderabad

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), for long considered what is termed a friendly party in political circles by the Bharatiya Janata Party has finally jumped on to the Opposition bandwagon, a move that analysts attribute to the latter’s growing clout in the southern state of Telangana.

For seven years now, the TRS, headed by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has largely voted along with the ruling party.

The change was evident in the presence of TRS’ parliamentary party leader K Kesava Rao at the meeting of 16 Opposition parties at the office of Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday condemning the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members.

“The TRS is part of the Opposition team to protest the highhanded attitude of the NDA government. We have been protesting for the last two days and we shall continue,” Kesava Rao said.

Back home, KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly called, has also been adopting an aggressive posture against the BJP for the last few days, attacking the local leadership of the party as well as the Narendra Modi government in particular.

While the Centre’s refusal to purchase parboiled rice from the state is the trigger for the chief minister’s outburst against the BJP, many party insiders and analysts say the real reason is the growing electoral threat posed by the BJP in the state.

The party did well in recent local body and assembly by-polls.

Of late, KCR has lashed out at the Modi government on several other issues, such as the controversial farm laws, the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, power sector reforms, rising fuel prices in the country, Chinese aggression on Arunachal Pradesh borders and India’s performance in the hunger index .

According to a senior TRS leader who asked not to be identified, the decision to give up the hitherto “neutral” stand of the party was taken at the TRS parliamentary party meeting held in Hyderabad on Sunday, where KCR gave a clear direction to his party MPs, nine in Lok Sabha and six in Rajya Sabha , to step up their offensive against the BJP-led NDA government in coordination with the other Opposition parties.

Though KCR made an attempt to float a federal front of various regional parties before the 2019 general elections, there were no takers for his proposal, his party has largely supported the legislative agenda of the government in its first term, and thus far in its second.

Analysts said that the change in position also means that KCR and the TRS now see the BJP and not the Congress as their main rival.

In the December 2018 assembly elections in Telangana, the BJP could win only one seat in the 119-member assembly and its candidates lost their deposits in as many as 106 constituencies. It also failed to make an impact in the subsequent local body elections.

But the party bounced back by winning four Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections, including in Nizamabad where BJP candidate defeated KCR’s daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha, the TRS became alert.

The subsequent win by the BJP in the by-election to Dubbak assembly seat and its showing in the elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation proved that the Lok Sabha performance wasn’t an exception. The recent victory of the BJP in the Huzurabad by-election was a big shock to KCR, the analysts said.

“He is perhaps, made nervous by the meteoric rise of the BJP in Telangana and hence, has decided to join the Congress under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, even if it is for limited time and purpose,” political analyst Sriram Karri said.

Senior TRS leader and former MP B Vinod said the TRS has decided to join hands with the other Opposition parties to fight against the anti-people policies of the NDA government on an issue-to-issue basis.

“We shall also take the support of the other Opposition parties on issues concerning Telangana, like the contentious paddy procurement.”

The official spokesperson of the Telangana unit of the BJP K Krishna Saagar Rao said KCR’s strategy indicates that he might be preparing ground for an alliance. “We won’t be surprised if the TRS enters into an electoral alliance with the Congress in the coming elections.”

Karri said KCR may well be creating a narrative of the TRS as opposed to BJP, while cosying up with the Congress. “His biggest strength is that his two rivals can never come together.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, January 21, 2022