'Ab ki baar...':Can Prashant Kishor help KCR to win third term

Prashant Kishor's parleys with KCR and the recent visit to the Mallanna Sagar project along with film actor Prakash Raj, a known critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have raised eyebrows in political circles.

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  1 March 2022 3:52 AM GMT
Ab ki baar...:Can Prashant Kishor help KCR to win third term

Hyderabad, Feb 28: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao seems to be now banking on ace political strategist Prashant Kishor's Midas touch for a third term in the next assembly polls.

Kishor, a political strategist, and tactician, who changed the fortunes of many politicians and parties, the latest being West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, will now work for the success of TRS.

Prashant Kishor's parleys with KCR and the recent visit to the Mallanna Sagar project along with film actor Prakash Raj, a known critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have raised eyebrows in political circles.

"KCR doesn't want to take any chances for the next Assembly elections. He has also set his eyes on a national role. It's a big task. TRS roped in Prashant Kishor for both. Huzurabad bye poll debacle was a shock. KCR's surveys gave a win for TRS in Huzurabad, but BJP's Etala Rajender turned the tables and TRS lost. This has unnerved KCR a lot," a senior TRS functionary disclosed.

He added," CM doesn't want to take further chances and rely only on surveys. Hence he roped in Prashant Kishor who will lay the roadmap for TRS in State and national politics."

Having formed the TRS party, launched T-movement, achieved Telangana after a 14- year-long battle, won the 2014 elections and 2019 polls, KCR is considered a Chanakya in politics. But things aren't the same now. But debacle in high profile assembly bye polls like Dubbaka and Huzurabad besides drubbing GHMC elections and BJP's no holds bar vicious attack on KCR and Family, even threatening to put them in jail, led KCR to eye national politics and a new political front of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.

KCR continues to hold sway over people and TRS leaders don't see any immediate threat to the Government.

"KCR is more worried about an unexpected growth of Congress than BJP. Congress has a bigger vote bank compared to BJP in Telangana. BJP still has a long way to go. He doesn't want Congress to gather momentum in Telangana," explains another TRS leader.

For KCR, banking on Prashant Kishor seems to be much safer than surveys this time, though it's a costly affair. There are different versions among TRS leaders on the fee likely to be charged by Prashant Kishor. One TRS leader said it's about Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore, another said it's "Rs 200 crore." KCR knows the truth!

"KCR never relies on any individual and gathers information from various sources. But this time he plans to bank on Prashant Kishor," remarked the TRS leader.

Prashant Kishor has cherished political innings. He worked for Janata Dal (United) in 2018 and quit in 2020 following a disagreement with Nitish Kumar. Subsequently, he worked for BJP, Congress, AAP, YSRCP, DMK, and TMC. He rose to fame in 2011 when he helped Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who got re-elected for the third time in Gujarat in 2012 followed by a stunning win in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with his "Chai pe Charcha" campaign and projected Modi as one who rose from "Chaiwala" (tea seller) to become PM.

He floated Citizens for Accountable Governance, an election campaign group. His critics say he bets on winning horse and takes credit!

For KCR, 2023 will be a crucial 3rd election and he doesn't want to gamble with his strategy, despite his frequent assertion he has no opposition and that his creative welfare schemes, irrigation projects, good law and order, and stable government will ensure a big win in next elections.

Eyeing for a national role to counter Modi's juggernaut, KCR floated the idea of forming a non-BJP and non-Congress national front, but it failed to take off since leaders of the regional parties he met differed with the idea and asserted that they cannot ignore Congress.

KCR met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Former Chief Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar among others.

Sources said Kishor's team will study the ongoing welfare schemes, developmental programmes, projects, the mood of people, survey performance of TRS Ministers, MPs and MLAs, etc. and submit a report to KCR on their findings and suggest suitable action plan to overcome and shortcomings and aim for the Assembly goal.

Among all elections, his strategy in West Bengal where wheelchair-bound Mamata Banerjee returned to power bulldozing a ferocious BJP in 2021, earned him accolades.

PK announced he would quit the profession if BJP wins more than 100 seats. To his luck, TMC won 213 seats and BJP 77 assembly seats. One has to wait and see if he can ensure KCR a third term as CM and a national leader!

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