Poll fever grips TRS after KCR’s indirect hint

The buzz in the TRS circles is that ministers and party MLAs have already started preparations to face early Assembly polls in May 2023

Update: 2022-07-12 18:08 GMT
Party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. (DC Image)

HYDERABAD: Early election fever seems to have gripped the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) after party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao mentioned the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly during a press conference at Pragathi Bhavan on Sunday last.

Although it was a challenge thrown by Chandrashekar Rao to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that he was ready to dissolve the Assembly, the TRS leaders and cadres took Chief Minister’s remarks seriously and strongly believe that the Telangana Assembly polls will be held along with the Karnataka Assembly polls scheduled for May 2023. They expect the Chief Minister to dissolve the Assembly anytime after Dasara in October to pave the way for early polls in May 2023, according to sources.

The buzz in the TRS circles is that ministers and party MLAs have already started preparations to face early Assembly polls in May 2023. Telangana Assembly polls are originally scheduled for December 2023.

The logic for their speculation and arguments for the Chief Minister going for early polls is that Kaleshwaram, Yadadri temple and the new Secretariat complex were the 'dream projects' of Chandrashekar Rao, which he could not complete in his first term till September 2018 but completed Kaleshwaram in his second term in June 2019, completed Yadadri in March 2022 and construction of Secretariat will be over by Dasara this year.

They say Chandrashekar Rao already took a decision to inaugurate the new Secretariat complex on Dasara in October this year and accordingly construction works were speeded up by engaging workers in three shifts to undertake works round-the-clock to meet this deadline. Once the new Secretariat is inaugurated, all the three dream projects of Chandrashekar Rao will be realised and he will take a call to dissolve the Assembly soon after to face early polls with an aim to achieve 'hat-trick' and retain power for third-term.

Rao went for early polls in 2018 by dissolving the Assembly in September, nine months before its term was supposed to end in June 2019, forcing early Assembly polls in December 2018. This sudden and strategic decision by Chandrashekar Rao took the Opposition parties by surprise. Rao even released the list of TRS candidates for 105 seats out of 119 on the day of dissolution of Assembly itself on September 6, 2018 even before the Election Commission had announced its decision to hold early polls in Telangana along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

While the Opposition parties struggled to finalise their candidates due to uncertainty over poll alliances and kept their lists pending until the deadline for filing of nominations neared in November 2018, the TRS candidates started campaigning in their constituencies from September 6 itself.

This strategy by Chandrashekar Rao reaped rich dividends for the TRS as the party won with an absolute majority by bagging 88 seats out of 119 in Assembly against 63 seats it had won in 2014 and retained power for the second consecutive term. The TRS leaders expect that the Chief Minister would prefer early polls again to achieve 'hat-trick'.

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