K Chandrasekhar Rao: Journey of a phoenix that re-defined leadership

After 1983 defeat at hands of his political guru, KCR never looked back.

Hyderabad: After starting off with a defeat, Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao has experienced only victory in his three-and-a-half decade political journey which started in 1983.

Mr Rao’s first defeat came in his first attempt at contesting the AP Assembly elections from Siddipet in 1983 as a member of the Telugu Desam party. He was defeated by his political guru, the Congress stalwart Ananthula Madan Mohan by just 887 votes. He avenged the loss by defeating Madan Mohan twice subsequently.

In fact after the 1983 defeat, he never lost an Assembly or Lok Sabha election. KCR, as he is popularly known, crowned his successes by becoming the first Chief Minister of Telangana state in 2014 after it was created with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. He has now become its chief minister for the second time.

Like many politicians, Mr Rao started his political career in the Congress party as president of the Youth Congress in Medak district. After N.T. Rama Rao launched the Telugu Desam in 1983, he joined the new party and contested Assembly elections in 1983 when he was 29 years old. He ran again in 1985 from Siddipet on a Telugu Desam ticket and won for the first time and stepped into the State Assembly.

From 1985 to 2018 Mr Rao won all the elections he stood for. In the 1989 and 1994 Assembly elections he defeated Madan Mohan. He was elected MLA six times from Siddipet and twice from Gajwel.

In 2004, simultaneous elections to the Assembly and Lok Sabha were held. Mr Rao won from Siddipet in the Assembly elections and from Karimnagar in the Lok Sabha. He resigned from the Assembly and continued as Member of Parliament. In 2014, there were simultaneous parliamentary and state elections and he won from Gajwel in the state elections and from Medak in the Lok Sabha elections. This time he resigned his Lok Sabha seat and continued as MLA so he could become the first Chief Minister of Telangana state.

Mr Rao also worked in the NTR Cabinet as Minister for Drought Relief and also in N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet. He served as Deputy Speaker of the combined AP Assembly from 2000 to 2001. He also served as Union minister in the first UPA government led by the Congress.

After Mr Rao’s resignation as Deputy Speaker on April 27, 2001 and also as TD MLA, his political journey took a different path. He took up the cause of a separate Telangana state and formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

In the 2001 by-election in Siddipet assembly constituency, which arose because of his resignation from the House, he contested from the TRS and became that party’s first MLA. After the state’s bifurcation in 2014, the TRS won 63 of the 119 seats in the new Assembly and formed the government.
That tally was bettered in the recent assembly elections when the TRS won 88 seats.

Mr Rao was elected to Lok Sabha from Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar and Medak Lok Sabha constituencies. He was elected once in a by-election to the state assembly and twice in by-elections to the Lok Sabha.

In his first innings as Chief Minister of Telangana, KCR was in office for four-and-a-half years and as caretaker Chief Minister for more than three months. He has now got a clear mandate from the people to serve another four years and started his second innings as Chief Minister on Thursday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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