KCR depending on sops to sail through T’gana polls

KCR depending on sops to sail through T’gana polls

Courtesy : Nationalist Bureau01/11/2018 09:12

The TRS chief and incumbent CM battles anti-incumbency, ‘maha kutami’

Hyderabad: Telangana’s incumbent chief minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao has set himself an ambitious target of winning a 100 constituencies in the 120 seat Assembly, and cornering at least 50 per cent of the popular vote.

To this end, he is relying heavily on the various sops he has announced with the widest possible outreach.

He is trying to ensure that each family benefits from at least three of the 40 major development and welfare schemes, into which his government has pumped in a staggering Rs 2,18,377 crore since June 2014.

The government claims that 15 million of the state’s 21.4 million rural population has benefitted from these. This, the ruling party is convinced, will help it reap rich dividends at the hustings.

Phir ek baar’ (once again), is the tagline of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), says the chief minister’s son and state Industry, Information Technology and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao (KTR).

Acc­ording to him, even though Telangana is a new state, it is growing at 17 per cent per annum and contributes more in taxes to the central government than any other state despite being deprived of funds for schemes such as the Rs 15,000 crore it needs for Mission Bhagiratha to provide piped drinking water to all homes in the state.

The other such schemes include Rs 5,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya to rejuvenate village irrigation tanks. Incidentally, the NITI Aayog had, after an evaluation, recommended that these schemes as worthy of replicating in other states.

But even though this might help his cause, K Chandrasekhar Rao – popularly known as (KCR) faces a stiff challenge in the calibrated campaign the Congress has mounted to paint the 2018 poll as a ‘dharma yudham’ between the KCR family and the people of Telangana.

Their rivals have accused the TRS government to be autocratic, with the state being “reduced to a family fiefdom of KCR, KTR, nephew and state irrigation minister T Harish Rao and daughter and K Kavitha who is a Lok Sabha Member.

They also alleged that the other top leaders of the ruling party are involved in massive corruption, all democratic rights are being  “suppressed brutally” by the TRS, and that the party has a tacit understanding with the BJP in Delhi and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Hyderabad.

The Congress, though stunned by KCR’s decision to dissolve the legislative assembly in advance, has cobbled together a ‘maha kutami’ (grand alliance) with the Telugu Desam Party, the Telangana Jana Samithi and the Communist Party of India.

Telangana Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy claimed that anti-incumbency is on the rise, besides widespread “disillusionment” with the TRS and the desire to teach it a fitting lesson.

“People are seeing through KCR’s game and he can’t rely on stoking Telangana emotions forever,” he said.

KCR is peeved about the opposition parties coming together and of the coalition arithmetic coalescing in their favour.

Adding to his woes is the growing dissidence in his party ranks by those denied poll tickets. His decision to field most sitting members, including MLAs who defected from the Congress and the TDP to the TRS, has left the TRS leaders who lost in 2014 disgruntled.

The resolute and disgruntled TRS leaders are preparing to contest in 30 constituencies as independents while waiting for the final line-up of contestants which is expected to become clear by early November.

KCR is hoping that splinter anti-establishment groups and smaller parties will form a third front against the ‘maha kutami’, dividing the anti-TRS vote in the process.

Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party and the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress are likely to support the TRS. The BJP, BSP and AAP plan to contest all the 119 seats.

Of the 120 MLAs in the Assembly, 119 members are elected and one is nominated. 

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