When Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao has called for a press conference at Telangana Bhavan on September 6, soon after recommending the dissolution of the Assembly he led as the leader of the House, everyone knew that the Chief Minister would take this as an opportunity to explain to people why he had to take the “inevitable” decision.
But, what almost nobody knows was that he was going to lob a bombshell on the Opposition by declaring the nominees of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for105 out of 119 Assembly constituencies in the State.
I call it bravery, while the Doubting Thomases feel that it is bravado.
Why have they been under the impression that it’s sheer bravado? Because, KCR wasn’t clued whether the Election Commission of India (ECI) will order the conduct of elections early, as desired by him. He also has no idea whether the entire Opposition may gang up against him, though speculation was rife that they will all form into a grand alliance.
The deprecators have doubts over the veracity of the surveys, as claimed to have been conducted by multiple teams at the behest of KCR, and whether they really have indicated a landslide victory of the TRS. And, can the TRS win the elections on its own or does it need any pre-poll alliances is another pertinent question that has lurked in their confused minds.
While some have tried to accuse KCR of having a secret pact with the BJP, the TRS boss has clarified the position when he has poohpoohed the canards.
KCR knows what he does
However, KCR has confidence in what he is doing. It’s just that he has never said emphatically that “I am KCR and I do what I do” just as former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan had asserted. However, it is bravery – or we may call it self-confidence – to go for the Assembly elections. And, to go it alone too. Like an ardent follower of the maxim that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going,’ KCR has sought to eliminate the “frequent stumbling blocks” created by the Opposition in the process of governance by calling for an election.
The TRS supremo thinks that a fresh popular mandate can alone weed out the hurdles for the government to hurtle past them and complete its commitment to the people of Telangana. He believed in his gut feeling. Worked hard, albeit behind the scenes, to set the stage for elections ahead of schedule.
A man who had promised to merge his party with the Congress could sense the machinations of the Grand old Party at a right time and gave up on the idea of pledging the interests of the people of Telangana at the verandah of 10 Janpath (official residence of Sonia Gandhi) in Delhi. He felt that the onus of fulfilling the promises made to the people of Telangana rests on his shoulders and none else could fulfil them.
A fighter’s lonely battle
A party that has never contested all the seats in Telangana in any elections since its inception in 2001 until 2014 suddenly, jumped into the electoral fray all alone without blinking its eyes. Until then, KCR was the leader of a movement and the TRS, a revolutionary party. The fledgling TRS soon transformed itself into a political party and went to polls all alone without any allies.
The party scraped through with a wafer-thin majority of 62 out of 119 seats in the Assembly in 2014 election.
However, As KCR took over the reins as the first Chief Minister of the 29th State of India, Telangana, he began to gain popularity with his governance. This has impressed not only the people, but even the elected representatives of other parties who obviously pledged their loyalty to the TRS. So, it’s no surprise why KCR has chosen to go it alone. His confidence stems from the trust reposed in his leadership by the people of Telangana in every byelection, and elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
All-India Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is the only party with which the TRS is engaged in a friendly contest, while it is an all-out fierce electoral battle with all others. He is testing the waters diving headlong. December 11 will vindicate his decision., for he is harping on the performance of his governance.