Hyderabad: Politicians too, like others, commit mistakes only to repent later when it’s too late. The emergence of Mr Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) as Chief Minister of Telangana in 2014 is attributed to such a situation. Mr Rao had called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi in March that year and offered the merger of his Telangana Rashtra Samiti with the Congress as a goodwill gesture for the UPA government granting the Telangana state.
He was asked to hold consultations on this with AICC general secretary Mr Digvijay Singh. Mr Rao waited for talks with Mr Singh for four days, but the Congress leaders at that time were confident that the party could sweep the upcoming General Elections in Telangana on its own, without anyone’s support.
Having failed to get any response from Mr Digvijay Singh, the TRS leader decided to enter the polls on his own. What happened thereafter is history. Now as Chief Minister, he has more credits than failures. The CM has made TRS popular across Telangana during his two-year rule. To start with, the party had organisational strength in only four districts. Now it dominates all the 10 districts.
Politically, Mr Rao wanted TRS to be the dominant force in the state. To achieve this goal, he encouraged large-scale defections of Opposition legislators and cadres. He kept his doors open and succeeded in this power game. While this strengthened the TRS, the entire Opposition — be it the Telugu Desam, the BJP, the YSR Congress or even the grand old Congress party — was marginalised.
A district like Khammam, which borders Andhra Pradesh, where the name of TRS was never familiar, now has a strong TRS apparatus. The rise of TRS MLAs from 63 to 88 in Telangana by way of encouraging defections might go against constitutional principles and be a subject for debate. But for now, the people are game for it.
There was hardly any occasion for the people to show their anger or resentment against the TRS rule during the last one year. The Opposition tried to prove a point or two, united or separately, but all such attempts failed. TRS emerged victorious at every turn, be it the Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll, the Narayankhed and Palair Assembly bypolls or the Hyderabad, Warangal and Khammam Corporation elections.
With Mr Rao as its poster boy, TRS won all these elections hands down, virtually decimating the Opposition riding the crest of a popularity wave, the TRS is now aiming at ruling the state for the next 20 years at a stretch.
Mr Rao’s strength is that he communicates directly with the masses, unlike the leaders of the Opposition parties in the state. In fact, there is no single leader in the Opposition ranks today who can stand up to or match the wits of the TRS leader.
Telangana was not a power surplus state like residuary AP. This had been brought to public notice by Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy as chief minister, when he had given demonstrative lectures on the dangers that awaited Telangana if AP was bifurcated into two.
However, to the pleasant surprise of all, the power supply scenario took a complete U-turn within a few months of KCR’s rule, and 24X7 supply was ensured throughout the state. Whether this was due to purchase of power from outside at a higher cost or reduction in agriculture demand due to depleting groundwater table is a debatable point. But, the people at large finally heaved a sigh of relief.
This is one of the remarkable achievements of the TRS government that kept the leader and his party in good stead. Telangana is going ahead with both long-term and short-term plans for improving power generation in the coming 10 years.
Normally, there will be large-scale corruption in such a massive programme that involves people’s representatives at different levels, and their nexus with contractors generally compromising on the quality of work. And there is corruption in Mission Kakatiya too. Huge gains were made by politicians and contractors from this project, but there was less compromise when it came to quality of the works.
Mr Rao’s initial push was also on redesigning and re-engineering of the irrigation projects. He has set up a big screen in his room at the Begumpet camp office and made it a practice of reviewing the progress of all departments and projects, with the help of Google Earth maps.
Telangana so far had not been able to use its legitimate share of 1,390 TMC ft waters of both Godavari and Krishna rivers. For this, he has proposed several barrages and projects. The whole of his first year and a major part of the second went in preparing plans for full utilisation of these waters.
Telangana Formation Day: KCR's itinerary of celebration
Telangana State is all set for massive celebrations marking the second anniversary of its formation. Thursday’s celebrations will begin with Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao paying tributes at Telangana Matyrs Memorial at Gun Park at 9.45 am.
Later, Mr Rao will proceed to a 12-acre site near Lumbini Park, where he will lay the foundation for the grand memorial for Telangana matyrs, being built along the lines of Statue of Liberty in US and a memorial park at 10 am.
Later, the Chief Minister will unfurl the second tallest National Flag at Sanjeevaiah Park at 10.15 am. The Parade Grounds at Secunderabad will be the venue for celebrations where the CM will arrive at 10.30 am. Various programmes depicting the rich culture and history of Telangana have also been planned by artistes and students.
Tourism and culture minister Ajmeera Chandulal said, “The government has released Rs 30 lakh to each district for celebrations. We have also released Rs 30 lakh to conduct formation day celebrations on a grand scale at Telangana Bhavan in New Delhi. A host of national and international dignitaries have been invited.”
The government has also organised a special programme at HICC, Madhapur, at 12 noon, which will be attended by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and CM.
Artistes from Telangana Sanskrutika Sarathi will embark on a “Telangana Sanskrutika Jaitra yatraa” and will cover two districts each day. The programme will start at Necklace Road on June 2.
- 7000 kg of flowers and 25 kg of sweets for each gram panchayat and 50 gm of sweets for about 10,000 daily wage workers in every district have been ordered by the government.
- The budget given to each district revenue officer is 3 laks. The sweets will be delivered on Thursday morning — in time for celebrations.
- The total cost of lighting up the city’s various roads is 12 crore.
- 100 special locations across Hyderabad that will be lit up on TS Formation Day.
- About 3,000 kg of flowers specially used for Bathukamma has been ordered from Bengaluru. A lot of marigold, mogra, jarbara and yellow chamanthi have also been ordered for decoration purposes.