Hyderabad: Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Hyderabad for the ISB function, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao flew out to Bengaluru!
KCR went to Bangalore to meet former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and his son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to discuss political alliance against ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
This is not accidental. The Chief Minister of late is avoiding meeting Prime Minister in view of political fallout and State BJP’s aggressive attack on him, threatening to put him behind bars for alleged corrupt practices.
KCR did not receive PM when he came to unveil the statue of Unity at Shamshabad where his name was also missing from the plaque. He also stopped going to New Delhi on State issues, instead sending Ministers.
Normally Chief Minister being head of the State receives Prime Minister. But KCR and TRS leaders war of words with State and National BJP leaders, KCR’s attempts to forge a Third Front or alliance of non-BJP and non-Congress parties at the national level has strained the relationship with ruling BJP at the Centre.
Sources said that KCR did not get anticipated response from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin for keeping out Congress from the new Third Front and also reportedly said that it was not feasible.
Further, the KCR’s dream looked shattered after BJP won Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand Assembly elections and he kept a low profile for some time.
Recovering from the shock results, KCR again revived his national ambition with his Chandigarh trip, meeting actor Vijay, UP SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and others.
KCR is eyeing national politics for a long time and in this connection issuing ads in national newspapers of late. He also air dashed to Chandigarh on May 22 and handed out cheques of Rs 3 lakh each to families of the 712 farmers who lost their lives during the stir against Centre’s farm laws, which were subsequently withdrawn.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann were also present. He also gave away cheques of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of four soldiers who were killed in the clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June 2020.
KCR, who initially backed Centre’s new farm laws, later backed out sensing mood of farmers in Punjab and Haryana and BJP led NDA government.
Remarked KCR: “The way you launched the stir and continued to fit till end and forced Centre to withdraw the farm laws, I bow to those farmers and leaders. We cannot bring back those who were martyred but we can say that the entire country empathises with you. Farmers from north, east, west and south should get together and fight for our rights.” He literally gave a call to overthrow the government of the day.
After his win in second term, there has been a talk that KCR would shift to national politics and hand over CM’s gaddi to son and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao. But this is not happening. A few leaders in TRS fear that this could lead to power struggle in KCR family and weaken TRS.
KCR continues to be the unifying force for TRS and some TRS leaders close to him do not see handing over of power in near future to son.
Sources in TRS and his allies said that KCR may be trying to send out a warning to BJP leadership that if they try to corner him or foist cases, he would mobilise BJP rivals against Modi and team at the national level and dent BJP in the next polls.
“It’s not deliberate. KCR has planned to visit Bangalore much earlier. There is no need to receive PM on every occasion,” remarked a senior TRS leader.
Questions State BJP president Bandi Sanjay,“Why is he (KCR) running away from PM and avoiding him? He is doing this because he has done something wrong. If he was sincere, he could have met PM and tried to resolve pending State issues.”
Interestingly, pro and anti Modi posters have splashed near the ISB in Gachibowli and other places.
There is another school of thought which feels that wily KCR may be deliberately whipping up anti Modi posture through a Third front to check Congress and help BJP!
Let’s wait and see what happens next.
C R Gowri Shanker is a senior journalist and political analyst who have worked among publications with Deccan Chronicle for long years.