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KCR pitchforks himself onto national stage: ‘India needs alternative agenda, not new front’

Addressing the party’s 21st Foundation Day celebrations, Rao said, “If Hyderabad sets the agenda for the qualitative change in the country, it would be a moment of pride for Telangana.’’

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
Updated: April 28, 2022 8:25:44 am
Before the event started, the TRS flag was hoisted by the CM. (Photo: Twitter/@trspartyonline)

In a clear indication of his national ambition, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) called for the emergence of a “new political force”, saying the country needs an alternative agenda, not new political fronts or realignment.

Addressing the party’s 21st Foundation Day celebrations, KCR, who has been exploring a role for himself in national politics, said, “What is required and desirable are not political fronts. Many such fronts have come, what happened? Not political realignment, what is required is an alternative agenda. India will react because it wants an alternative agenda from which there is a possibility of a new political power emerging.” He added that the TRS is ready to play a key role in the nation’s development.

In a speech that lasted an hour-and-a-half, KCR pitchforked himself to the national stage with references to the role the TRS could play in the development of the nation, “water wars and power sector woes” across the country, the alleged “attack on the federal structure” with Governors clashing with some state governments, and how the party has decided to work for the progress of the nation in view of the “narrow-minded policies and tendencies” being witnessed in the country.

Saying Telangana has emerged as a role model for other states, KCR said even the country has not performed the way the state has done, adding that had the Centre performed like the state government, even Telangana could have achieved a higher state GDP. “If Hyderabad sets the agenda for the qualitative change in the country, it would be a moment of pride for Telangana,” he said.

Prior to the 2019 elections, he had talked about forming a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance comprising regional parties. He had even reached out to Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik and TMC chief Mamta Banejree in a bid to forge a Third Front, saying such a front “is necessary to ignite a change in governance”.

After Tamil Nadu CM and DMK chief M K Stalin called on KCR last December, CPM leaders, including Sitaram Yechury, Pinarayi Vijayan and Manik Sarkar, met KCR earlier this year. This was followed up by a visit from RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who flew down to Hyderabad to meet KCR. His party has also been vocal against the BJP at the Centre. TRS MPs had disrupted Parliament’s Winter Session proceedings over the paddy procurement issue.

On Wednesday, KCR asserted that in his meeting with Left leaders, he turned down their idea of dislodging the ruling BJP at the Centre and insisted that uplifting people’s lives was more important.

“Communist leaders met me and said we want to bring change so I should join them. I asked, how will we do it? Their plan was to bring down the BJP at the Centre. I told them it is a waste plan… It is up to the people of this country to elect a government or bring it down… it’s not for political parties to do that,’’ he said, addressing around 3,000 delegates of the party.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao addressng the TRS Party plenary meeting. (Photo: Twitter/@trspartyonline)

Before the event began, KCR hoisted the TRS flag. Several TRS leaders and activists attending the event suggested that the TRS should enter national politics with the name ‘Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi’.

The CM, who is in his second term, said he was concerned about water wars and shortage of power despite the abundance of natural resources in the country. He said people from 11 states come to Telangana for work not only because they get employment here but also because it is a safe place without any law and order problems.

Keeping the focus squarely on national issues, KCR said, “These days, what are we hearing? They are abusing a person like Mahatma Gandhi who left his lawyer’s job and spent years in jails fighting for freedom. These people are abusing such a great man and praising Godse. Is this our culture? In which direction is this country going? Why this whipping up of religious hatred? There are so many issues that the country is facing: inflation, unemployment, hunger, but the focus is not on addressing these issues, instead we are seeing manipulation of sentiments in the name of Pulwama or surgical strike or Kashmir Files,’’ he said.

On the hijab and halal controversy in neighbouring Karnataka, KCR said, “In Bengaluru, more than 30 lakh IT professionals work. It took a long time to bring that city to that status but what are we seeing now? Controversy over hijab and halal, and boycott of fruit and flower sellers belonging to other communities?’’

Later, KCR’s son and TRS working president K T Rama Rao attacked the BJP-ruled Central government’s policies, including on paddy procurement, as he moved a political resolution that the party should play a key role in national politics “in the wider interest of the country”.

KCR’s son and TRS working president K T Rama Rao (Photo: Twitter/@trspartyonline)

Alleging that the NDA government has failed on all fronts and describing it as “non-performing asset (NPA)”, Rama Rao said, “They say ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai (If Modi is there, everything is possible)’. But today I say, ‘Modi hai to mushkil hai is desh keliye (It is difficult for the country if Modi is there).”

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KCR had founded the TRS on April 27, 2001, with the purpose of attaining the separate state of Telangana, which was finally carved out of Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2014.

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