'Should I or Should I not': Wishy-washy KCR seeks opinion from party leaders about joining national politics

Most TRS leaders in private admit that KCR leaving State could affect the party and government

By CR Gowri Shanker  Published on  11 Jun 2022 3:18 AM GMT
Should I or Should I not: Wishy-washy KCR seeks opinion from party leaders about joining national politics

Hyderabad: For a change, Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, who seems to be in two minds on shifting to national politics and launching of Third Front comprising of non-Congress and non-BJP parties, is now seeking the opinion of party legislators and leaders. Sources said KCR wanted to know from them if he should shift to national politics or remain in the State.

KCR has been toying with the idea of going to the Centre after coming to power for the second time and towards this goal, he has been holding meetings with Chief Ministers of various states and national party leaders. "CM Saab is seeking opinion whether he should go to Centre or remain in State. I was also asked about it. I felt that he should be in the State. But the opinion among party leaders is divided. Some want him to have a national role, others prefer him to stay put in the State," a senior TRS leader disclosed.

Most TRS leaders in private admit that KCR leaving State could affect the party and government. There has been a talk for a long time that KCR would move to the Centre and hand over the mantle to his son and Minister for Municipal Administration and IT, K T Rama Rao. There was a chorus for some time "make KTR CM." But one fine day after Deputy Speaker T Padma Rao made a similar demand at a function attended by KTR in Secunderabad last year, the Chief Minister snubbed party leaders and made it clear that he is not going anywhere and will remain as Chief Minister in the State. This put the speculation to rest for some time. However, like his characteristic style of functioning and unpredictable behavior, KCR made an about-turn again and hinted at a role in national politics. Rumors are agog that he will contest as MP in next polls but did not say who will occupy his gaddi.

KCR met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee twice and sought her support. He also met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and former Union Minister Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party party president Akhilesh Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, Former Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, etc. "Not many are confident of a Third Front minus the Congress. Opposing BJP is fine, but the Third front without Congress is not a good idea. But if Congress is roped in, Congress being a national party, will lead not KCR. But here KCR wants to lead, which without saying in so many words indicates PM's role or any other prominent role in national politics. Whether all will agree, is a million-dollar question since many State leaders are political stalwarts," a senior TRS leader explained.

With an eye on a national role, KCR not only met Chief Ministers and senior party leaders of various states but also splashed his government's achievements in national print and electronic media spending huge amounts, interacting with senior journalists in the national capital, distributing money to the kin of dead farmers of Punjab and Haryana, kin of dead soldiers.

While riding two horses, KCR is gearing up for the 2024 polls. And not to take chances in Telangana State of his party's success for the third time in the wake of aggressive BJP and Congress, he has also roped in ace election strategist Prashanth Kishor to ensure success for the Third time. Sources in TRS said that KCR who has a penchant for getting regular surveys on the TRS government and party MLAs found "negative" reports on some party MLAs for ignoring people while having positive image of the government for its stable government, welfare, and developmental initiatives. The "negative" survey reports of some of the MLAs were shared with the respective legislators and they were asked to take corrective steps.

KCR, of late, is also not seeing eye to eye with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and skipping his visit to State. He is also going hammer and tongs against the BJP's divisive and communal politics. Though Chief Minister was left shocked by the victory of the BJP in 4 out of 5 states in the recently held assembly elections, he hasn't lost hope of forging an anti-BJP front to defeat the NDA in the 2024 general elections.

KCR is also harping on respecting the "Federal system" by the Centre and expressed his anger at "hate-centric" politics in the country, which has led to protests across the country from minorities, the latest being comments on national TV by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.

Will KCR move to Centre now remains a million-dollar question. But he looks determined to give it a try….Bharat TRS party!

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