TRS likely to strike deal with Prashant Kishor for Telangana polls
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi is likely to join the list of various political parties in the country that engaged the services of popular political strategist Prashant Kishor for the next assembly election in 2023 and even the general election in 2024.
People in the TRS familiar with the development said a senior representative of Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) promoted by Kishor, held preliminary round of negotiations with the top TRS leadership last week.
“If everything works out, the party would sign an agreement with the I-PAC sometime this month on working out poll strategies for the TRS in the coming elections,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity.
The talks are believed to be part of the initiative by Kishor to bring together all the anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forces in the country before the next general elections.
Of late, the TRS has been putting up an aggressive posture against the BJP in the state as well as the Centre. It even attended the meeting of 16 opposition parties at the office of Congress leader Mallikharjun Kharge last week to protest against the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members.
TRS president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had been attacking the Narendra Modi government for its alleged anti-people policies, particularly with regard to agriculture laws, lack of nationwide policy on paddy procurement and power sector reforms etc.
TRS parliamentary party leader K Kesava Rao said the TRS would coordinate with all the other opposition parties in the coming days as well in fighting against the NDA government.
Against this backdrop, the meeting of Kishor’s team member with the TRS leadership assumed significance. “He has been on the mission of mustering support to Trinamool Congress president and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Maybe, he is trying to reach out to KCR as part of his mission,” said political analyst and Osmania University professor K Nageshwar.
On the possibility of the TRS engaging the services of Kishor for the next elections, Nageshwar said KCR’s sole interest would be safeguarding power in Telangana, rather than playing any role at the Centre.
“Prashant Kishore is a shrewd businessman. He chooses his clients after thoroughly studying the situation in the state so that his business interests are served,” Nageshwar said.
Kishor had earlier been hired by the YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and had played a major role in bringing the party to victory in the 2019 assembly election in Andhra Pradesh. The association between YSRCP and Kishore is still continuing, as his team members are actively involved in the performance analysis of his government and his party MLAs.
The strategist also played a major role in the formation of governments in Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal and more recently Tamil Nadu.
Interestingly, Kishore also initially helped Jagan’s sister YS Sharmila to launch a regional party in Telangana in the name of YSR Telangana Party in July this year. His team members assisted her in chalking out a route map for her marathon padayatra (foot march) that commenced on October 20. However, the padayatra came to a halt after the announcement of MLC election schedule on November 10.