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January 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       January 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:January' 2018


KCR: Aiming higher !

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao

The voters of Telangana kept their tryst with KCR and gave a positive mandate to him to rule for the next five years, thus making him another powerful regional chieftain. The victory of KCR is undoubtedly emphatic, both seatwise and vote-wise. From 63 seats out of 119 in 2014, at the height of the separate statehood agitation and Telangana sentiment, to 88

seats after a four-and-a-half-year rule is a certain positive mandate. The increase in the vote share from around 33-34% in 2014 to 46.9% in 2018 signifies the people’s confidence in KCR's leadership despite the government being run by a single ‘family’, serious allegations of corruption in the ongoing irrigation projects and the failure to create jobs.
No doubt, there are many lapses in KCR’s administration. Still the Telangana voters preferred to give him a chance to achieve his vision of ‘Golden Telangana’.

KCR could not only successfully thwart the opponents’ ambitions. He has also started aiming high to be the builder of a grand national alternative to the Congress and the BJP. Earlier, many regional parties were not in favour of KCR's leadership for the Third Front.
Their favourite was Chandrababu Naidu. But, with the type of victory KCR gained and the drubbing Chandrababu Naidu got, the other regional party leaders may have to rethink on their preferences.
Several factors contributed to the victory of KCR. The single biggest factor was the entry of Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, into the election campaign in Telangana. Before the unexpected entry of Chandrababu and his rainbow coalition with the Congress, the CPI and others no one, including KCR and his family, anticipated such a landslide victory for them. Chandrababu’s campaign dramatically changed the fortunes of the TRS.

TRS party workers celebrating their victory at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad.

Several factors contributed to the landslide victory of KCR. The single biggest factor was the entry of Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, into the election campaign in Telangana.

Chandrababu Naidu Chandrababu’s presence in the electoral arena provided the eluding ‘villain' for KCR. His team started a no-holds-barred attack on Chandrababu, successfully stoking the dormant Telangana sentiment fires. The more Chandrababu tried to build a People’s Front against KCR, the sharper the verbal attack on him from the KCR camp. More the campaign Chandrababu tried to build with his pet theme of ‘Naidu developed Hyderabad’, more the Telangana people started showing resentment against his campaign.
Naidu’s attempted to encash the votes of a huge number of Andhra people settled in Hyderabad. The voters of the twin cities got divided on caste lines to the detriment of Naidu’s interests in Telangana.

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah Coupled with this, the infighting of the Congress contributed to the landslide of KCR. Almost all top leaders the Congress were chief ministerial aspirants. The Congress did not work as a team.
The BJP is the worst sufferer in the elections, losing four seats it was holding and retaining only one seat despite contesting all the 119 seats and all big guns of the party, including Prime Minister Modi, party president Amit Shah and a host of union ministers like Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Ghadkari and many CMs from neighbouring states campaigning for it. Its attempt to polarise voters by inducting a swami into the election campaign did not work.

Asaduddin Owaisi The rock solid support of the All-India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party to KCR gave him additional seats in the towns and cities. Maslis leader Owaisi is now an ardent admirer of KCR . He says “people of India must know the kind of leader KCR is. Each and every section of society, especially

Rajnath Singh    Sushma Swaraj minorities and deprived classes, has benefited under KCR”.
Owiasi, who is an open opponent of Modi and whose relations with the Congress got soured, is going to be an asset for KCR to fulfil his national ambition. KCR is not hiding his ambition.

Nitin Gadkari On the eve of victory, KCR said, “We will not remain a mere spectator. We will play a crucial role. A new national party may be formed with the consortium of regional parties very soon and the details of the new party will be released soon in Delhi.”