Thursday, November 30, 2023

Will KCR emerge victorious in both seats?

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It’s simply a riddle for millions in the youngest State of Indian Union whether it’s present Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) who spearheaded the movement for a seperate State of Telangana besides achieving the  same within just 13years of struggle with his courageous mode of action of unifying all like-minded forces for a common cause, would  emerge victorious in two constituencies of Gajwel and Kamareddy, in his gigantic task of getting a prestigious hattrick win in the ongoing elections for Telangana State Legislative Assembly!
Bharat Rastra Samiti (BRS-erstwhile TRS) is seeking people ‘s mandate for it’s decade-old rule after running the government with the Chief Minister’s own style of functioning. But here the TRS had moved further with a sole political goal of retaining power by setting aside such formalities.
Now the issue of contesting election from two seats is new experience for Chief Minister KCR in the present elections of 2023 to be held on November 30. His one-time trusted associate in T-stir and his former cabinet colleague  Etala Rajendar of the BJP is pitted against him at Gajwel. Rajendar is considered to be a committed leader who parted ways with TRS and joined BJP earlier and registered a resounding victory in the bypolls of Huzurabad seat where he sought re-election following his resignation as he shifted loyalties to BJP. As he desired to take on KCR directly, Rajender is contesting at Gajwel along with Huzurabad. Being a leader from Mudiraj (fishermen) community, Rajender is relying on huge vote bank of Mudiraj community in Gajwel hoping that the alleged misdeeds of KCR as Chief Minister, insufficient compensation for farmers who gave their lands for Mallanna Sagar project, BJP’s slogan of BC CM and other significant issues would influence voters in many ways. Etala hopes that the way he was shunted out of TRS by the leadership would make voters realise the facts about the attitude of leadership. The Chief Minister is believed to have considered the possible ‘BC effect’ in the constituency that influenced him to shift to another constituency of Kamareddy in neighbouring combined district of Nizamabad. The Chief Minister considered the statistics of election results at Kamareddy in which TRS’ track record has been satisfactory. Local legislator G Govardhan was made to offer his seat to KCR hoping better political future for him.
Interestingly, Telangana PCC president and KCR’s bête noire A Revant Reddy swung into action to contest from Kamareddy with sole thought of defeating the latter. He convinced the local leader and ticket aspirant Shabbir Ali to shift to another seat at the district headquarters. Both presidents of ruling and principal opposition parties KCR & Revant Reddy are locking horns at the electoral battle of Kamareddy. Revant appears to be enthusiastic to get upper hand on Chief Minister at Kamareddy besides contesting his native seat of Kodangal in Mahabubnagar district.
In this way three prominent leaders of different parties (KCR -BRS, Revant Reddy -Congress & E. Rajendar -BJP) are contesting two constituencies each. It’s a never-seen before politically significant development in which three prominent leaders are contesting elections from two seats each. Earlier, TDP founder NT Rama Rao had contested from two seats each during every general elections.
Coming back to KCR’s prospects at both seats of Gajwel and Kamareddy, it is believed to be a tough fight in Gajwel due to the strong presence of backward class voters. As BJP is staking claims on power in T-State and its attractive slogan of making BC person as chief minister, such situation may be useful for Rajendar. But what about the welfare measures taken up by KCR? Despite having development there, KCR managed to get success in Gajwel with less majority. Chief Minister of neighbouring Karnataka Siddharamaiah has participated in an election rally at Kamareddy and stressed the need for having Congress government in Telangana for sustainable development of both states. It looks strange to see that one Chief Minister urging voters to defeat his counterpart of neighbouring State for development of two States.
The hype created in favour of Congress following its success in neighbouring Karnataka is being fully utilised by leaders of those parties. Congress that granted separate State of Telangana is now praying people to give one chance as a mark of gratitude to Sonia Gandhi.
Even if KCR makes a hattrick win this time, he might opt to be in national politics rather than State politics.  That means he might be thinking of making his son& IT minister KT Rama Rao his successor though he has been confidently saying at every election rally that he will be the Chief Minister for another term (2023-28) too!
In Karimnagar Lok Sabha bypolls of 2006 also, a visible change unfolded within short period that turned against KCR. In that bypolls held in December 2006, KCR got uncompromised support from T-agitators then that resulted in huge win for him with a margin of two lakh votes. Within less than two years, another by-election was held for the same seat following KCR’s resignation. His majority has been drastically reduced by Congress candidate to just 15,000 votes! In this way the support base for KCR from T-protagonists has come to lowest ebb by the time of subsequent polls of 2009 in which then chief minister of undivided AP Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy has marginalised TRS’ strength in Assembly from 26 to 10.
KCR had to unwillingly witness the visible flaws at Medigadda barrage which is his brainchild, growing unemployment and unrest prevailing in youth appears to have become hurdles in his way.
In this backdrop, it will definitely be a nail-biting moment for millions not only in Telangana but outside the State on December 3 (declaration of election results) whether KCR would get a last laugh or not! Would any one of his opponents at both seats make him to swallow the bitter pill of 1983 again this time?

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