Opinion: KCR demolished Congress in TS but did not notice surreptitious spread of BJP

With elections just two years away, with enormous enthusiasm at its command, the central BJP is unlikely to stop the state leadership's campaign against Chief Minister KCR.

By Jinka Nagaraju  Published on  19 Nov 2021 6:54 AM GMT
Opinion: KCR demolished Congress in TS but did not notice surreptitious spread of BJP

Hyderabad: A joke is doing the rounds among the BJP circles. At an evening gathering of Chief Minister KCR with close aides, the informal talk turned to well-attended roadshows of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay. An impatient KCR reportedly asked what the bloody Congress was doing these days when BJP was creating so much noise. An aide, with humility, told his boss, "Anna, where is the Congress? We killed it a long time ago." The message is loud and clear: we are responsible for the BJP's noise.

Will Chief Minister KCR go the way of his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and declare war against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his Indira Park 'Maha Dharna' on Thursday? Close on the heels of the Huzurabad debacle, KCR himself led the dharna demanding procurement of the entire rice on the lines of Punjab and Haryana by FCI.

While urging the PM with 'folded hands' to give clarity on the procurement of Yasangi (Rabi) paddy, KCR said he would take his fight to the national level if necessary. Will he?

The answer in normal circumstances is a resounding NO. Because KCR is well aware of the positive side of the limits one should keep in mind when confronting a bigger rival like PM Modi. This stand is well acknowledged by the other side as well. So, the Telangana CM's anger against the Centre has never reached a point of no return as was seen in the case of Mamata.

His antagonism against the Centre is mere tokenism. He used to balance his symbolic tantrums in Hyderabad with support for all crucial Bills and debates in the Parliament. He praised the controversial farm laws while extending support to the first Bharat Bandh of Punjab and Haryana farmers. After a visit to New Delhi, he conveniently ignored the subsequent Bharat Bandhs and the agitating farmers. This has been praised as the Chanakyam of KCR. This inconsistency, the hallmark of KCR, paid dividends as long as BJP has not had a critical mass in the state and there is no perceivable threat to his authority on the horizon.

But the tide is turning in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state. Central BJP has smelled the scent of blood in Telangana, more particularly after the stunning victory of party candidate Eatala Rajender in the recent Huzurabad by-polls.

The fact that Chief Minister KCR himself walked down to a place called Dharna Chowk which he hated and tried to destroy is being seen by the BJP as a great victory. Pro-BJP social media is abuzz with stinging messages sharing pictures of CM KCR addressing the cadre under a tent at Dharna Chowk. KCR leading dharnas in the new state of Telangana is not new. Earlier, too, he had called for dharnas on many occasions, attacking the Centre's antipathy towards Telangana. But the antagonism was transient and did not last long. KCR always took care to have a window to beat a graceful retreat with a visit to New Delhi. Those were the days when KCR was naively under the illusion that BJP would never rear its head and the people of Telangana would never fall prey to the so-called communal agenda of BJP. With equal naivety, he thought Congress was his principal enemy and should be finished. So, without a second thought, he demolished the Congress in the state but could not notice the surreptitious spread of BJP.

With elections just two years away, with enormous enthusiasm at its command, the central BJP is unlikely to stop the state leadership's campaign against Chief Minister KCR. Many critics think the Centre would create more uncertainty for KCR so that the state BJP can flourish and consolidate its position in Telangana.

Though a few critics believe that KCR would certainly find a way to reach out to BJP high command for a ceasefire, state BJP leaders are hopeful that the high command would not rein them in as Telangana is being seen as the gateway to the deep South for the party. Party sources said the high command had already been alerted about KCR's possible attempts for a rapprochement.

If that were to be true, what is the way out for KCR? Would he go back to UPA or join the ilk of Mamata Banerjee. Or reposition himself as Nitish Kumar of Telangana?


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