Opposition reeling from KCR's masterstroke

Pro-BRS voices in BJP, Congress grow louder

Hyderabad: It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any one political rival to keep up with the brilliant strategies and unconventional tactics of Telangana Chief Minister and BRS chief K. Chandrashekar Rao, who has, just ahead of an excruciatingly difficult state Assembly election, created a wave of collywobbles for the two main Opposition parties – Congress and BJP – by activating his sleeping supporters.

Even as the saffron party is reeling from the Congress onslaught to firm up the perception in the state that the BJP has a clandestine agreement with the ruling BRS, the party found the statement of one of its top leaders in fulsome praise extolling the invincibility of the rival, Chief Minister Rao.

Although he modified his statement subsequently, claiming it to have been misleadingly paraphrased by the media, senior BJP leader P. Muralidhar Rao said, “It will not be easy to take on KCR on the issue of welfare programmes. He is way ahead than anyone else on this front.”

It was a good demonstration of Chandrashekar Rao’s power to shock his opponents.

Several senior BJP leaders, over the past year, confessed in private conversations that whatever is discussed in the party fora or even relatively small groups, reaches the BRS boss through his well-established channels. “We don’t have a clue what KCR is thinking, planning or will do, but it seems he even knows what we had for lunch,” a source said.

Intelligence is the most powerful soft weapon with a lethal impact on the course of any war, and the elections to be held for the next Assembly is nothing less than war, as the principal contender Congress realised recently, when senior leader K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao — known for his strong support to anti-Telangana agitation and a supporter of Samaikhyavadam (advocacy of united AP) — at a ceremony to launch a book on late Dr Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy recently, said that he should be seen at least now as a half-Telanganite.

It has jolted the Congress, which is buoyed currently by recent surveys and assessments of having overtaken the BRS in both vote shares and seats, but is short of the majority mark by a little, because any successful manoeuvring by anti-Telangana or pro-Andhra forces into the Congress frontline at this stage will give Rao a strong handle to crush them, again, like in the last elections.

In both cases, neither the BJP nor the Congress could respond strongly to the comments made by their senior leaders, which are more likely to hurt them and help the BRS. The ruling pink party made merry, with its leaders setting the stage for a strong campaign.

“Why did KVP not think of writing a book on YSR all these years since 2009? Just a few weeks before elections, he is trying to bear hug the Telangana Congress,” a leader, not wishing to be identified, said.

“The entire episode of trying to bring in Y.S. Sharmila Reddy into the party is also a game by the same players. And with the same intent,” the leader said.

BRS is bound to use the perception that Andhra leaders are taking the reins of the Telangana Congress.

While the Congress is confident of a win, several BJP leaders are hoping there is a hung house, enabling them to form an alliance after the elections and be a part of the next government.

But beyond senior leaders Muralidhar Rao and KVP — who become easy targets of their rivals, who dub them as “coverts of KCR” because they belong to the same community — there are dozens of others, insiders in both parties confess, who can be made to do the bidding of Chief Minister Rao at a signal, and to which the rivals have little answer.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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