KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has been one of the votaries of a broad-based non-BJP and non-Congress federal front.(PTI)
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has been one of the votaries of a broad-based non-BJP and non-Congress federal front.(PTI)

Telangana assembly results: KCR, an obscure Congress foot soldier who became mascot of Telangana pride

The victory in the assembly elections, the first in Telangana after its formation in June 2014, might well act as a springboard for the leader, often accused of perpetuating family rule and promoting nepotism.
By Press Trust of India | Hyderabad
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2018 05:27 PM IST

From living a life of near anonymity as a Congress foot soldier to becoming the mascot of Telangana pride who brought down the then mighty Congress to its knees and wrested statehood, K Chandrasekhar Rao has navigated the choppy waters of politics with the ease of a masterful oarsman.

With the emphatic victory of the TRS, the party he founded with the sole aim of realising the decades-old dream of a separate Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao, 64, has reinforced his position as the tallest leader of the youngest state of the Indian union.

The victory in the assembly elections, the first in Telangana after its formation in June 2014, might well act as a springboard for the leader, often accused of perpetuating family rule and promoting nepotism, to realise his ambition of playing a greater role in national politics.

KCR’s suave and sophisticated son K T Rama Rao, a minister in his cabinet, is his heir apparent, while his daughter K Kavitha is Lok Sabha MP from Nizamabad. His nephew Harish Rao is also a minister.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has been one of the votaries of a broad-based non-BJP and non-Congress federal front, and the win would further fortify his position as a regional satrap.

Rao’s decision to dissolve the House in September, several months before its tenure was to end, and go for an early election, is being seen as a masterstroke, as national issues might have overshadowed those of the state if simultaneous elections were held for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly.

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A canny politician that he is, Rao was first off the blocks when he announced the names of 105 candidates for the 119-member assembly barely a couple of hours after recommending its dissolution.

TRS nominees hit the ground running and the gamble paid off.

Rao retained a majority of his MLAs, leaving some of the ticket hopefuls dejected, but he managed to silence whimpers of protest and keep his flock together.

Click here for Telangana election results 2018 LIVE updates

The TRS supremo whipped up the issue of ‘Telangana pride’ by repeatedly targeting his former boss and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, accusing him of having stalled the development of Telangana and calling him an outsider. All the while he continued to harp on the welfare schemes launched by his government.

Welfare measures like social security pension and ‘Ryuthu Bandu’, a farmers investment support scheme that gave the tillers Rs 8,000 per annum per acre, tackling power shortage, and his accusation against the Centre that it blocked his plans to raise quotas for Scheduled Tribes and Muslims in jobs and education underpinned his campaign rhetoric.

The self-proclaimed farmer from Chintamadaka village in Medak district, whose assets soared 41 per cent in the last little over four years to Rs 22.6 crore, cut his political teeth in the Indian Youth Congress as an ordinary member.

Rao joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founded by film icon N T Rama Rao in 1983. His first outing at the hustings the same year ended in failure when he lost to the Congress candidate in Siddipet.

He wrested the seat in 1985 and there was no looking back for him ever since. Rao won 13 elections to the Lok Sabha and state assembly on the trot. He won Karimnagar, Medak and Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha seats five times, including twice in by-polls.

Rao became a minister in the NTR government and subsequently that of his son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu. He was also the deputy speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

However, the dream of a separate Telangana never left him. Rao quit the TDP in 2001, accusing Naidu of discriminating against Telangana. He floated the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, and revived the statehood movement that lay dormant for years after the late 1960s.

Nalgunda: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao addresses a public meeting at Suriyapet in Nalgunda district. (PTI)
Nalgunda: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao addresses a public meeting at Suriyapet in Nalgunda district. (PTI)

He joined hands with the Congress that promised statehood for Telangana and fought the 2004 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with it.

The TRS won five seats and Rao was made a cabinet minister at the Centre but walked out of the alliance after accusing the Congress of not being serious about creating Telangana.

In the 2009 assembly elections, TRS allied with the TDP after the latter agreed to extend “unconditional support” for creation of Telangana.

Rao and his TRS remained a fringe player in undivided Andhra Pradesh as the Congress returned to power in 2009 under the charismatic Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

Following Reddy’s death in a helicopter crash in 2009, Congress plunged into turmoil as his son revolted against the party high command over the leadership issue.

Sensing an opportunity, Rao began a fast unto death for Telangana statehood. As Telangana plunged into turmoil with mass protests and suicides by young men, glory came to Rao who ended his 11-day fast following an announcement by the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009 that steps will be taken for Telangana’s formation.

However, in a set back for the TRS boss, the UPA government buckled under pressure from people of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema region who protested the “unilateral” announcement. The government felt more consultations were needed before the new state could be formed. 

Rao steeled himself for the battle ahead as he went about convincing people of the Telangana region that “injustice” being done to them could end only if it was granted statehood.

He breathed fire and brimstone with slogans like “Telangana waley jaago, Andhra waley bhago (People of Telangana arise, those of Andhra run away)”. He threatened a “civil war” and “bloodbath” if Telangana was not created.

As Andhra Pradesh, geographically undivided but cleaved by strong regional sentiments, headed for the 2014 assembly elections, Rao’s steadfast and aggressive pursuit of Telangana saw the TRS reap a handsome electoral harvest.

And when the new state was born, TRS had 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha and 63 of the 119 assembly seats. Having realised his Telangana dream, he fortified his position as nearly 20 MLAs from the TDP, Congress and other parties switched over to the TRS.

With Telangana firmly under his belt, the political craftsman, a blend of abrasiveness and accommodation, could well seek greater space for himself in national politics should a non-BJP, non-Congress front materialise amid growing aspirations of regional satraps eyeing a piece of New Delhi’s power pie.

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Rumblings of discontent have begun to surface within the Telangana Congress against continuation of the grand alliance with TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi after K Chandrasekhar Rao’s TRS swept the assembly elections.(PTI/File Photo)
Rumblings of discontent have begun to surface within the Telangana Congress against continuation of the grand alliance with TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi after K Chandrasekhar Rao’s TRS swept the assembly elections.(PTI/File Photo)

After loss in Telangana, many Congress leaders want to end alliance with TDP

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON DEC 18, 2018 07:14 AM IST
The TRS swept the Telangana assembly polls winning 88 out of 119 seats. The Congress won 19 out of the 100 seats it contested. Its alliance partner TDP won two seats. The other allies, Telangana Jana Samithi and CPI could not win any seats.
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Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attend a meeting of opposition parties at Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi, India, on Monday, December 10, 2018. (File Photo)(HT PHOTO)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attend a meeting of opposition parties at Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi, India, on Monday, December 10, 2018. (File Photo)(HT PHOTO)

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By Gali Nagaraja | Hindustan Times, Vijayawada
UPDATED ON DEC 14, 2018 07:23 AM IST
Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party had contested the December 7 Telangana assembly elections as part of the Congress-led grand alliance, also said that he had never worked against the interests of Telangana.
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Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Amravati November 10.(PTI Photo)
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Amravati November 10.(PTI Photo)

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The Andhra Pradesh chief minister had staked his personal prestige and political capital in trying to defeat the K Chandrashekar Rao-led TRS in his own bastion.
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Deserted look inside Congress headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan in Nampally, Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
Deserted look inside Congress headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan in Nampally, Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

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By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
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Telangana assembly election results 2018: TRS president KCR, who addressed over 100 election rallies in a span of a month, drove home the point that the Congress-TDP alliance would spell doom for Telangana. He pointed out how Congress tried to stall developmental programmes of Telangana by filing over 400 petitions in various courts.
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Deserted look outside Congress headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan in Nampally, Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
Deserted look outside Congress headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan in Nampally, Hyderabad, Telangana on Tuesday.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

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UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2018 06:24 PM IST
This time, the Congress contested in only 100 seats, including friendly contests in four seats. Yet, it won 19 seats and its vote share has gone up to 28.4%.
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TRS leader K Chandrashekar Rao addresses the media after the party's victory in Assembly elections, in Hyderabad on December 11.(PTI Photo)
TRS leader K Chandrashekar Rao addresses the media after the party's victory in Assembly elections, in Hyderabad on December 11.(PTI Photo)

KCR wins by heavy margin, Congress distant second in Telangana

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2018 07:53 AM IST
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly.
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Coining a new ‘BJP-mukt and Congress-mukt India’ slogan, Telangana chief minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrashekhar Rao said on Tuesday a new national party as a consortium of regional parties may emerge “very soon”.(PTI File Photo)
Coining a new ‘BJP-mukt and Congress-mukt India’ slogan, Telangana chief minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrashekhar Rao said on Tuesday a new national party as a consortium of regional parties may emerge “very soon”.(PTI File Photo)

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Assembly election results 2018: Out of the five states which went to polls in this election cycle, Telangana was the only one which had an umbrella coalition of anti-BJP parties.(HT File Photo)
Assembly election results 2018: Out of the five states which went to polls in this election cycle, Telangana was the only one which had an umbrella coalition of anti-BJP parties.(HT File Photo)

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The combined vote share of the Congress, TDP, Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jan Samithi (TJS) was 6.42 percentage points more than the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) vote share in the 2014 assembly elections for the 119 seats in Telangana.
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Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao is greeted by his partyworkers as they celebrate their party's victory in the state Assembly elections, at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad on December 11.(PTI Photo)
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao is greeted by his partyworkers as they celebrate their party's victory in the state Assembly elections, at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad on December 11.(PTI Photo)

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By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2018 06:22 PM IST
KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, stressed the need for a non-Bharatiya Janata Party, non-Congress dispensation in the country.
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KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has been one of the votaries of a broad-based non-BJP and non-Congress federal front.(PTI)
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, has been one of the votaries of a broad-based non-BJP and non-Congress federal front.(PTI)

Telangana assembly results: KCR, an obscure Congress foot soldier who became mascot of Telangana pride

By Press Trust of India | Hyderabad
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2018 05:27 PM IST
The victory in the assembly elections, the first in Telangana after its formation in June 2014, might well act as a springboard for the leader, often accused of perpetuating family rule and promoting nepotism.
Close
Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao was the first chief minister from a non-NDA party to openly support PM Narendra Modi’s “one nation, one poll” call.(PTI File Photo)
Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao was the first chief minister from a non-NDA party to openly support PM Narendra Modi’s “one nation, one poll” call.(PTI File Photo)

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Telangana assembly election results 2018: The results of assembly polls in Telangana will be declared on Tuesday in what is seen as a major test of popularity of the TRS, BJP and Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
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TRS supporters celebrate outside TRS Bhavan, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
TRS supporters celebrate outside TRS Bhavan, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

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By Press Trust of India | Hyderabad
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Telangana Election Results: T. Harish Rao, who was Irrigation Minister in KCR’s cabinet.(Twitter/T. Harish Rao)
Telangana Election Results: T. Harish Rao, who was Irrigation Minister in KCR’s cabinet.(Twitter/T. Harish Rao)

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The TRS shot ahead of its closest competitor the Congress in the early rounds of counting in the assembly election results.(HT Photo)
The TRS shot ahead of its closest competitor the Congress in the early rounds of counting in the assembly election results.(HT Photo)

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The one and only one factor that won the day for the TRS, appears to be the charisma of party president K Chandrasekhar Rao(PTI)
The one and only one factor that won the day for the TRS, appears to be the charisma of party president K Chandrasekhar Rao(PTI)

Telangana election results 2018: TRS heads towards a massive victory for second successive term

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu | Hyderabad, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2018 11:11 AM IST
Going by the trends, TRS is likely to get a three-fourths majority in the 119-member assembly. It is a huge mandate for the party, which won 63 seats, just three seats more than the absolute majority, in 2014.
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