Dynamic role in national politics
With the landslide victory in state elections earning him a second term as Chief Minister, KCR is set to break the Congress-BJP duopoly at the Centre
Telangana Rashtra Samithi President K Chandrashekhar Rao has been elected as its Legislature Party Leader unanimously, sworn-in as Chief Minister of Telangana for a second term at Rajbhavan, Hyderabad. Governor ESL Narasimhan administered the oath of office to KCR in a simple but enthusiastic ceremony attended by senior officials and non-officials.
Two days ago, ruling TRS led by its President and Chief Minister KCR, riding high on a series of welfare measures and development schemes initiated and successfully implemented during the 51 months of governance in its first term, retained power by securing a landslide victory in the state Legislative Assembly Elections held on December 7, 2018. Both Congress Party with its grand alliance and BJP that rules the majority of Indian states, which claim alternatives to one another in the National Political scenario, had to be content with fewer seats that they could hardly manage to secure. TRS steamrolled the opposition to capture the Telangana State Legislative Assembly for a second consecutive term with a near three-fourths majority. Proving all exit polls utterly wrong, barring the India Today and ARAA survey, TRS won 88 of the 119 constituencies, with the Congress tally at a mere 19 and that of TDP just 2. BJP could get just one seat the rest including CPI and CPM drew blank. MIM of Asaduddin Owaisi, a friendly party of TRS, retained its seven seats. Two independents later joined TRS making its total strength 90.
The results sent clear signals that a slew of welfare measures like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima, Kalyana Lakshmi, Shaadi Mubarak, Aasara pensions and various other welfare measures benefiting Women, Minorities, BCs, SCs and STs introduced by the TRS government were received well by the people and turned out to be a vote bank for the TRS. The unprecedented mandate is the result of the people's all-around support for a productive government as opposed to the negative politics of the opposition, mainly Congress and TDP. The two parties ceaselessly sought to derail the development process in Telangana State through umpteen court cases and representations to the Union government to stall irrigation projects.
The excellent results in favour of TRS came in spite of hectic campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, JP Nadda, UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath and score of others in favour of BJP; Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi as well as number of top Congress leaders and AP CM Chandrababu Naidu and his TDP coterie in favour of Grand Alliance. In fact, the TRS did exceedingly well in the districts where these so-called stalwarts campaigned extensively in the three weeks prior to polling.
As KCR declared it after the electoral success, this is certainly the "victory of the Telangana people." "Farmers, women, Dalits, Girijans and various sections of the people all have given this victory to us," KCR said at a press conference after the results. KCR further said that "It is the people's victory, and we accept it with all humility. With the huge mandate comes greater responsibility to deliver on our promises."
Consequent to his party's landslide and resounding victory, KCR in the press conference which he addressed in the Party Headquarters, Telangana Bhavan, made no secret of his determination to emerge as a key person in the National Political Scenario. KCR declared that "There emerges a new National Political Party in the country very soon, which will be a consortium of regional parties. It will not be an attempt at uniting political parties. We are going to unite the polity of India, and the people of the country. KCR further added that the massive TRS victory in Telangana is an endorsement of the innovative policies and programmes it had launched during its four-and-half year rule.
Chief Minister pointed out that there are about 15 crore farmers in the country who are in distress, and hence there is a need for a new National Economic Model. CM cited the experiment of TRS Government in Telangana which had shown the way for tackling the agrarian crisis which was appreciated by many experts including Dr MS Swaminathan. CM is of the opinion that his proposed new national party, the federal front which will be in the nature of a consortium of regional parties, when comes to power, would implement Rythu Bandhu Scheme aimed at investment support for agriculture and farmer in the entire country. KCR even spelt out the financial burden on this which will be just about 3.5 Lakh crores and the Union Budget very well permits this. Minority welfare, marketing agricultural produce, optimum utilisation of 70,000 TMC of water, etc., are some of the schemes proposed by KCR to benefit one ad all in the country.
"Hame ek Congress mukht aur BJP mukht Bharat chahiye (We need a Congress-free and BJP-free India)," KCR declared to media persons. KCR promised to bring together all like-minded parties at the regional level in the country to form a viable alternative to both BJP and Congress to ensure a qualitative change in the country's political scenario and in the process would give a new definition to national politics. By playing a crucial role in national politics, said CM KCR, he would strive hard to put an end to the routine governance. The aim is to bring structural changes in the polity said KCR.
KCR further said that the need of the hour is to overcome the deep-rooted political crisis in the country and a complete overhaul in the economic, political and agricultural sectors where the country has been lagging behind many other countries. KCR even proceeded further and declared that "within next 10 days, the modalities of the National Alternative would be announced in Delhi. A draft has already been prepared and a working model will be arrived at. This will be released in all Indian languages. The objective of national alternative, in the form of a federal front, is not a mere alignment of political parties, but the unification of people which can be achieved only through a new economic and agricultural model using a new political system.".
KCR further said that he had already interacted with a cross-section of people who included politicians, economists and numerous analysts to understand how a consortium of political parties could be developed. His concept of a national alternative to both BJP and Congress Party would be open to all regional parties.
KCR asserted that once he ensures that the new government settles down in the state, he would go to New Delhi to start working on national politics actively. Emphasising the need for India to tackle the arrogance and indifferent attitude of both BJP and Congress first, he felt that there is still four-five months' time left before the general elections, which is sufficient to formulate an alternative. MIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi along with him will play a crucial role in the formation of non-Congress and non-BJP alternative at the centre.
BJP is on the move to get defeated in the next general election and Congress is certainly not going to replace it come what may. There is a crystal-clear political vacuum, as the present ruling coalition led by BJP, and the so-called projected alternative, Congress, cannot provide the momentum that India needs and needs very critically. It's time that the country got a new direction as 70 years have passed since attaining independence and we are still struggling for basic minimum needs. None of the national political parties, either Congress or BJP exhibited the mindset of out of the box thinking which the need of the hour is. Hence KCR's action plan for a national alternative to both Congress and BJP is all the more relevant and triumphant KCR shall play a dynamic role in National Politics.
(The author is Chief Public Relations Officer to Telangana CM. The views expressed are strictly personal)