Hyderabad, June 24: Is the country heading for general elections in November-December this year? Has Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao agreed for simultaneous polls to the state assembly? These questions are being currently debated in the political circles.
The debate was triggered by KCR’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 15. The meeting was marked by bonhomie between the two leaders, who discussed wide range of issues.
This was TRS chief’s first meeting with Modi after floating the idea of federal front and his meeting with some non-Congress and non-BJP leaders. Officially, it was announced that KCR drew the attention of the prime minister to several issues pending with the Centre over last four years. According to the chief minister’s office, he sought funds of kaleshwaram project, speedy completion of railway projects, amendment to the Presidential order for implementing new zonal system approved by the state cabinet recently for government employees.
However, KCR is understood to have agreed to a proposal of Modi for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Modi believed to have told KCR that since it would take time for unanimity on his proposal for simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and all state assemblies in the country, they could at least ensure simultaneous polls in five states.
According to sources, KCR had no hesitation in accepting the PM’s suggestion but urged him to act on his wish list and extend all cooperation to the state before the polls.
However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is said to be opposing Modi’s suggestion. Naidu, who pulled out of BJP-led NDA in March this year, wants the elections to the state assembly as scheduled in April-May next year.
With the BJP suddenly pulling out of coalition with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, there are speculations that the border state may also go to polls with general elections.
In fact, KCR’s meeting with Modi and two days later his participation in NITI Ayog meeting and exchange of pleasantries with NDA-ruled states triggered speculations that the TRS chief has dumped his plans to float the federal front and is tilting towards BJP-led NDA.
KCR threw another indication to this effect by neither meeting the non-NDA chief ministers nor showing solidarity with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his protest at Lieutenant Governor’s house. There has been talk of a secret deal between KCR and Modi.
Political observers say with chief ministers like Mamata Banerjee, Chandrababu Naidu and H. D. Kumaraswamy appear to be moving closer to Congress for forging a united front against the BJP, KCR has decided to dump the idea of federal front. Since Congress is the principal opposition party in Telangana, KCR is not in favour of any front with Congress. As BJP doesn’t have much presence in the state, KCR is willing to join hands with NDA.
KCR was already facing criticism from Congress that his proposal was aimed at splitting the parties coming together to take on the BJP. Senior Congress leader S. Jaipal Reddy predicted that the TRS chief would join the NDA after the elections.
KCR is ready for early polls as he confident that TRS will retain power, riding on recently launched ‘Rythu Bandhu’ and life insurance scheme for farmers along with several schemes launched for the welfare of various sections of the society during last four years.
He has got many internal surveys done to gauge the public mood. The surveys revealed that out of 119 seats, the TRS may face tough contest in 40 seats.
KCR has started discussing a strategy with ministers and party leaders to improve the position of the party in all constituencies.