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Will KCR survive the acid test alone this time?

April 11, 2014 08:18 IST

K Chandrashekara Rao files his nomination from MedakThe TRS performed well in the last two major elections -- in 2004 and 2009, because of two reasons -- on the Telangana sentiment and the fact that it had allied first with the Congress and then with the TDP. Will it better its previous performances, considering it is going it alone this time, asks Vicky Nanjappa

For the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the 2014 elections would be an acid test. After its chief K Chandrasekara Rao came out of the Telugu Desam Party and formed his own party, it has fought two major elections in 2004 and 2009

This election is different for the TRS as it approaches the elections alone for the first time without an ally. It KCR’s last-minute decision not to go with the Congress because he felt that his party could perform better alone and the Telangana sentiment may swing in their favour.  An upset Congress also decided that it would ensure that the people knew that they (Congress) was responsible for the creation of Telangana and seek votes on this basis.

With the election process set into motion and poll date nearing, both the TRS and the Congress have realised that their failure to enter into a pact has only ensured that Telangana will have a hung assembly. They are aware that they need each other to form the government.

The TRS will maintain a distance from the Bharatiya Janata Party because of its alliance with the TDP which is considered to be anti-Telangana. The Congress remains the only option for them to form a government, and both these parties are desperate to be in power in the state.

Both the Congress and the TRS are not focusing much on the Lok Sabha segment in Telangana. They are aware that the National Democratic Alliance has the best chance in Delhi, and hence the better thing to do is to hold on to power in the new state. Coming to power in a new state always betters a party’s chance in the long run, because this would be the best chance to prove itself.

Both the Congress and the TRS will fight the elections, but looking at the manner in which some of the candidates have been selected, it gives a clear impression that there is an underhand deal between the two parties. The two parties are in agreement about a lot of things, barring the post of chief minister

There are many instances that would show that the two parties are in an understanding with each other as it was seen during the candidate selection. The first shocker came when the Congress decided to field Vijayashanthi from the Medak assembly seat instead of the Medak parliamentary seat against KCR

The Nizambad rural seat has been made easy for the Congress by the TRS. The Congress is fielding D Srinivas, a very senior leader. The TRS, instead of fielding a tough candidate has gone ahead with B Goverdhan who was earlier with the YSR Congress. Interestingly, Goverdhan was given this ticket despite joining the TRS only three days ago.

Geetha Reddy of the Congress has also been given the chance to waltz through her seat in Zahirabad. The TRS has gone ahead with Manik Rao who is not known enough to fight Geetha.

The Congress in turn returned this favour by putting up K Ravinder Rao against KCR’s son K T Rama Rao from the Sircilla assembly seat. KTR had won the 2009 elections by 171 votes and the Congress could have further capitalised on this by fielding a strong candidate. They chose K Ravinder who was a district Congress president, and also not a known face in this constituency.

Experts would say that all these are indicators that both parties are insecure and would need each other in order to form a government. They have fielded weak candidates in prime constituencies against each other either to ensure that the candidates won or not to give away the advantage to the BJP-TDP combine.

However, in the public domain, both the Congress and the TRS are at loggerheads and would fight the elections by playing the accusatory game.

Image: K Chandrashekara Rao files his nomination from Medak. Photograph: SnapsIndia

Vicky Nanjappa