Is KCR's national party idea bravery or bravado?

Considering his thoughts and postulates that formed the basis for his intense desire to contemplate floating a national party, KCR surely is posturing himself as a progressive, pluralistic, and result-oriented leader with idealistic thoughts for the nation. However, can he take on the mighty Modi?

By A Saye Sekhar  Published on  12 Jun 2022 9:53 AM GMT
Is KCRs national party idea bravery or bravado?

Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has recently been thinking aloud (literally) about floating a national alternative (a new political party) to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

The 'leaked' grapevine has it that the new outfit could be christened after "Bharat Rashtriya Samiti" (BRS).

Bravery or bravado?

Considering his thoughts and postulates that formed the basis for his intense desire to contemplate floating a national party, KCR surely is posturing himself as a progressive, pluralistic, and result-oriented leader with idealistic thoughts for the nation.

However, can he take on the mighty Modi?

How much of an effort is required to swerve the national narrative from the current scenario to a metamorphosed approach is anybody's guess.

The humongous task he has apparently set out for himself has to be a structured effort step by step.

But, is it possible with a regional satrap to take on the titans, especially the BJP? For the Congress has long written itself off as the single most alternative. After the late Rajiv Gandhi's prime ministerial stint, the Congress had three terms in different periods in office. But it was never the single largest party, unlike the Modi Regime.

KCR wants to fill vacuum

KCR clearly sees a vacuum there, to begin with. After meeting several political strongmen in different states on multiple occasions and having talked at length about the imperative of a strong national alternative, the TRS supremo still keeps the proverbial cards close to his chest. The question of what his next steps are makes everyone keep their fingers crossed.

If KCR floats a national political party, how many would join hands with him? Will he be able to get the politically acceptable faces across different regions on board? Would he tour the entire nation explaining his ideology and discussing it with multiple stakeholders, including the likes of former bureaucrats, influencers, journalists, advocates and advocacy groups, and common people? Does he have so much time? Is he targeting the 2024 elections? What will happen to TRS? Will it lose its identity? Will it merge with BRS? How can BRS achieve the status of a national party in accordance with the Representation of the People Act?

While these questions are too obvious to arise in one's mind, what would be the escape route KCR may consider in the event of the grandiose plan conking off becomes even more interesting.

Perseverance pays

Experience suggests that KCR is a firm believer in the maxim "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." His arduous journey through the Telangana agitation until the goal is realised lasted for 13 long years. The hopes and aspirations always witnessed crests and troughs throughout.

Once it became evident that the BJP's political aggression is ineluctable, KCR avoided protocols also in receiving the Prime Minister on two occasions in Hyderabad recently. The bitterness between the two parties has become saturated with J.P Nadda, Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Modi touring Telangana, for whatever reasons, in quick succession in May and breathing fire and brimstone against KCR and his "pariwarvadi" politics and "Muslim appeasement."

The mighty miffed Centre, too, isn't camouflaging its anti-KCR approach from a governance standpoint. The arm-twisting of the state by the Centre is all too evident.

Telangana is found to be a fertile ground for the BJP owing to its limited, yet significant, successes in the last few years. Whether its attempts to create a vicid narrative against the KCR family and the TRS rule will bear fruit will be known only in the elections.

As if to establish that it's accentuating its Telangana trail, the BJP decided to conduct its national executive in Hyderabad on 2 and 3 July. Nobody would expect KCR to show up at the official welcoming of the Prime Minister.

It's exactly a year since Chief Minister KCR met Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, officially or unofficially. He stayed away even from ceremonial occasions like Republic Day, citing Covid restrictions as the reason.

The Governor, a BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, too, on her part upped the ante against KCR. She gave newspaper and TV interviews and began conducting a "durbar" (public interface) where she made snide remarks against the TRS government.

KCR makes note of everything and remembers them for a long time. He jogs his elephantine memory to recall them and use the same to his political advantage at an appropriate time. Besides, KCR thinks he can play the victim by donning the mantle of opposition to the BJP's policies (at the Centre) to fight anti-incumbency, if any, on the home turf.

In the process, if he raises the banner of revolt at the national level, especially on the eve of the Presidential election, it invariably draws many eyeballs. If successful, KCR will emerge as a humdinger of a leader in Indian politics. Else, he will go down in the annals of history as yet another misfired bullet.


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