By VV Balakrishna
Not so long ago, at the height of the poll campaign in March-April, the then Union Minister and Congress heavyweight Jairam Ramesh had predicted that if Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was voted to power, he would ruin the new state with his politics of regionalism. Three months on, KCR has proved Jairam wrong.
The 60-year-old chief minister of Telangana appears keen on proving himself as a good administrator besides being an agitator. In the last 80 days, KCR has surprised even senior babus with his working style. Soon after assuming office, he held a day-long brainstorming session with them and unveiled his vision for the development of the state and explained his immediate priorities. Since then, he has been after the babus to achieve his objective of giving a clean administration to the 4.5 crore people of Telangana.
Initially, senior IAS officers felt KCR’s review meetings were a ‘routine affair’ to understand the basics of administration. But, KCR has given a new thrust to administration. At the review meetings, he first explains his needs and priorities. Then, he discusses the same with the officials and seeks their views. Later, he fine-tunes the ideas and again seeks their opinion.
“The chief minister enquires about the functioning of every department.w He poses questions on the pros and cons of every programme. He suggests the best,” a senior IAS officer said. In the past two months, KCR has taken 45 decisions, including giving of `50,000 for wedding of tribal girls. He is also planning to construct two-bedroom flats for the poor, apart from distributing three acres of land to every dalit family; both poll promises.
The major step he has taken thus far is the controversial Intensive Household Survey to weed out bogus white ration cards, which are eating away the government’s money in the form of subsidy. Though this mammoth exercise, carried out on a single day (August 19), invited criticism of the Opposition, KCR remained unruffled.
Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, ever since their formation on June 2, have had eyeball to eyeball confrontations on sharing of electricity, river waters, and implementing provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act-2014, such as vesting the Governor with special powers over Hyderabad’s law and order. On every issue, the Telangana chief minister hardened his stance, so as to send a clear message to the people of his state that protecting their interests is his top priority. As for maintaining relations with the Centre, KCR seems to be adopting a belligerent stance for the same reason.
He has taken on the Centre on two issues—merger of seven mandals in Telangana with AP to facilitate construction of the Polavaram Irrigation Project and special powers to the Governor over law & order in Hyderabad. At one point, he even called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a fascist. “If the Centre maintains good relations with us, we will reciprocate and vice-versa,” KCR said.
As TRS’s boss, KCR is formulating strategies to further strengthen the party by poaching Congress and TDP lawmakers. He has no qualms in promoting dynastic politics either. After all, his son K T Rama Rao holds key portfolios such as IT and Panchayat Raj in his Cabinet and his nephew T Harish Rao holds the major Irrigation portfolio. KCR’s daughter K Kavitha is a party MP from Nizamabad.
K Chandrasekhar Rao
● First-time CM
● Competes with Naidu in attracting investments
● Conducts review meetings for 12 hours a day
● No hesitation in taking on the Centre
● Son K T Rama Rao holds key IT portfolio in the Cabinet
● Three-time CM
● Seasoned CEO, now struggling to develop another Hyderabad in AP
● Conducts video conferences with officials. Helps in ruling AP from Hyderabad
● Dependent on Centre for funds
● Son Lokesh remains behind-the-scenes
Source: The New Indian Express