Hyderabad, March 13: With the Narendra Modi Tsunami sweeping Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP will now look at the southern states for expansion.
The party will be making serious efforts to consolidate itself in a region, where it is not considered a strong player.
The party will definitely be eyeing the Telugu states. The scope for expansion may not be huge in Andhra Pradesh, where its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is in power. The BJP is likely to focus more on Telangana, where it has some strong pockets, especially in urban areas.
However, with K. Chandrasekhar Rao going all out to have friendly ties with Modi, it is not easy for the BJP’s state leadership to go aggressive against Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government.
Setting aside the bitterness of the 2014 poll campaign, KCR has already extended hand of friendship to Modi and the latter has also reciprocated. During last 33 months, TRS government maintained cordial relations with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
There have been reports over last one year that TRS may join NDA government and KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha may get a cabinet berth. TRS never denied the reports.
A master strategist he is, KCR is playing cards close to his chest. With little stakes in the national politics and the newly created state remaining his focus, he may even go for an alliance with the BJP in 2019 elections.
It was not without significance that immediately after BJP’s victory in UP and Uttarakhand with massive majority, KCR wrote a letter to Modi to congratulate him.
“I congratulate you on the phenomenal success of your party in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections,” wrote KCR.
“I am sure this will inspire you to work with renewed energy towards the progress and prosperity of the nation,” he added.
KCR was one of the few non-BJP CMs to openly back Modi’s demonetization move. Unfazed by the criticism it drew from the opposition, the TRS had chief said that scrapping of high value currency notes is historic move which will help root out the black money.
Telangana CM even met Modi to congratulate him on taking a bold step and suggested few measures to compensate the states for the possible loss of revenue.
Support to demonetization was not a sudden development. While sharing a public platform with Modi for the first time last year, KCR had heaped praise on the PM. The occasion was the launching of Mission Bhageeratha by Modi at Komatibanda village in Medak district in August. That was Modi’s first visit to Telangana after the formation of the state.
KCR hailed Modi for providing ‘for the first time 100 percent corruption-free governance’ to people of India. The TRS chief said he never saw such a government in his 40 years of public life.
By doing this KCR trapped Modi, who in return praised him for fighting for the interests of Telangana. This took sting out of BJP’s criticism of TRS government.
Though a month later, BJP chief Amit Shah while addressing a public meeting in Warangal labeled TRS government as the most corrupt government in the country, KCR did not get provoked and maintained friendly relations with Modi.
Political analysts say this master stroke of KCR will prevent BJP’s local leadership from going all out against the TRS government. This will ultimately prevent BJP from expanding itself in India’s youngest state.
Observers say even if BJP gains strength in the state in the run-up to 2019 elections, KCR may play another master stroke by joining hands with it. Congress party in Telangana lacks any charismatic leader while TDP has almost wiped out. BJP may be the only formidable opposition party and Modi factor in the wake of the poll victories in UP and Uttarakhand may make it the biggest challenge for KCR.
If you can’t beat them, join them. This idiom may be true in case of KCR.