Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao may revive his idea of a federal front and gear up to play a key role in national politics as he is all set to lay the foundation stone for the office of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in New Delhi next week.
The development is not without significance and it comes at a time when Rao has just launched the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme, which, he hopes, will become a torchbearer for empowerment of Dalits across the country.
Looking to turn the event into a show of strength, he will be leading a team of over 100 leaders to the national capital. All MPs of TRS, state ministers, state legislators and members of the party executive will attend the ceremony on September 2.
The foundation stone laying ceremony has led to speculations in political circles that KCR, as the TRS supremo is popularly known, will formally announce his entry into the national politics.
KCR’s ambition to play a key role in the national politics is well-known. He wants to cobble up a front with like-minded parties as an alternative to both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, which according to him, proved to be utter flops in governing the country.
Though there are still more than two-and-a-half years to go for the Lok Sabha elections, political analysts say KCR may use the event to renew his efforts to forge an alternative front.
Political observers say KCR will highlight the rapid strides Telangana has made in various sectors during the last seven years. He claims that the country’s youngest state has emerged as a role model for all the states in a short span of time.
The development also comes at a time when KCR has launched what he calls a revolutionary scheme for social and economic empowerment of Dalits.
The regional satrap is projecting ‘Dalit Bandhu’ as a model scheme and is confident that it will become a torch-bearer for the upliftment of Dalits across the country.
Under the scheme, launched on pilot basis in the Huzurabad Assembly constituency in Karimnagar district, every Dalit family will get Rs 10 lakh as grant and they will be free to choose their profession, self-employment or businesses, for utilising the funds.
KCR has already announced that he is ready to spend Rs 1.75 lakh crore on the scheme to cover all 17 lakh Dalit families in the state. He believes that the scheme will be a big game changer for Dalits and eliminate social discrimination against them.
The TRS chief, who has been talking of providing an alternative to the BJP and the Congress for the last 3-4 years, will put forth the successful Telangana model before the country and promise to replicate the same at the national level.
TRS leaders say KCR will try to highlight how his government has delivered on various fronts in a short span of time to transform an arid region into a lush green and prosperous state.
With a growth rate and per capita income higher than the national average and continuing impressive growth even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Telangana is already claiming to be a role model for other states.
The TRS founder plans to unveil his agenda for national politics with a new economic model, which will focus on farmers. Analysts say that KCR will showcase at the national level his success in transforming agriculture with ‘Rythu Bandhu’, an investment support scheme for farmers which is emulated by the Centre and many states.
KCR has been slamming both the Congress and the BJP as ‘storytellers’ who failed to give direction to the country and guide it on the right path. He has been targeting them for failing to create wealth while claiming that his government succeeded in not only creating the wealth, but is also distributing the same among the poor and underprivileged sections of the society.
It was in 2018 that KCR had floated the idea of a front of like-minded parties as an alternative to both the BJP and the Congress.
He had intensified the efforts after retaining power in Telangana in the December 2018 elections.
After the massive victory in Assembly elections, KCR had appointed his son K.T. Rama Rao as the working president of the TRS so that he can focus on national politics.
He flew from one state to the other to meet leaders of various regional parties. He called on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
He also discussed the idea with H.D. Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka, Hemanth Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh.
KCR was even seen as the potential prime ministerial candidate by his party in the event of regional parties emerging as a major bloc in the Lok Sabha.
With the BJP retaining power at the Centre with a massive majority, KCR had dumped the idea of a front and confined himself to the state.
Last year, there were reports that KCR was planning to float a national party. He, however, clarified that there was no such proposal for now.
He, however, did not rule out such a proposal. He told a party meeting that a decision would be taken at the right time after discussions.
KCR’s blow hot blow cold stand on the third alternative has come under criticism from various quarters. His opponents say he talks of a front only at the time of elections.
During the campaign for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in November last year, he had stated that the country definitely needs a new experiment and TRS would be in the forefront to provide the alternative.
He had declared that a conclave of like-minded parties will be held in Hyderabad in December.
He had also said that Hyderabad would be the epicentre of the movement against the BJP government for its ‘anti-people’, ‘anti-farmer’ and ‘anti-labour’ policies, and the TRS will lead the movement.
However, KCR adopted complete silence on the proposed front after the GHMC polls.