HYDERABAD: The BJP, which believes that it has emerged as the primary contender for power in Telangana, is gearing up to make the most of the confusion in the TRS and the Congress over the role of political strategist Prashant Kishor in the Congress and the role of IPAC, the political consultancy firm he started, in the TRS’ future plans.
Even as speculation ran rife that it was just a matter of time before the TRS and the Congress joined hands, state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar said that individually or together the two parties would not be able to stop the juggernaut that BJP in Telangana now is.
Sanjay, addressing a public meeting at Makthal on Monday evening, said the Congress and the TRS understood that their game was up and this was where Kishor came in.
“This man met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. He is learnt to have told them that if those two parties are to survive, they have to fight together, whether in Telangana or in Delhi. If they try to take on BJP singly, they will not be able to stop the juggernaut,” Sanjay said.
He said Telangana Congress president A. Revanth Reddy found himself in a piquant situation after having campaigned that TRS and BJP were two sides of the same coin and that they would fight the elections together.
“I told Revanth that the Congress would not run like he expected it to. If a Congress leader wins, he gets sold out. If he doesn’t win, he will sell the party itself,” Sanjay said, adding that Kishor’s motives — whether he will sell the TRS to the Congress, or the Congress to the TRS – need to be understood.
He said many Congress leaders had been in touch with him with information that the Congress and TRS were discussing seat-sharing in the Assembly elections, with the TRS allocating 25-30 seats to the Congress and sacrificing two or three seats in the Lok Sabha elections.
Sanjay said the Chief Minister, “who has been spending sleepless nights ever since the BJP started the Praja Sangrama Yatra, held marathon deliberations with Kishor and sought his help to wriggle out of the cases haunting him and his family members.”
Other BJP leaders believe that it is just a matter of time before the TRS and Congress are seen by the people as one.
There was never any doubt that Congress and TRS are different, said BJP state general secretary G. Premender Reddy. "There is no confusion for us. It is the TRS and Congress that are confused," he said.
"For the BJP, they are the same, both are corrupt, family-oriented, and into minority appeasement. They are grappling with the question of whether to join hands before or after the 2023 state Assembly elections. Either way, this uncertainty over Kishor's role in the Congress, and the I-PAC role with TRS, will benefit the BJP in Telangana," Premender Reddy said.
According to senior BJP leader and former MLC N. Ramchander Rao, the Chief Minister had been siding with Congress for some time now. "KCR has been coming out openly in support of the Congress, this happened when Rahul Gandhi questioned the surgical strikes by the IAF in Pakistan, and when Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma commented on Rahul," Ramchander Rao said.
"Chandrashekar Rao considers himself a great political strategist. But if he feels the need for another political strategist's assistance, it is a public admission that the TRS is worried about its waning hold on the people, as surveys now show it is faring poorly among the people," he said.
BJP MLA from Dubbak M. Raghunandan Rao said the Congress and TRS were not separate parties. "KCR came from the Congress, he started his political career in that party. He may well join hands with the Congress," he said.
Former BJP MLA Dr K. Laxman, the BJP OBC Morcha president, said the TRS and the Congress were all set to join hands with the single purpose of defeating the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. He said reports that Kishor was all set to join the Congress, and the fact that he spent a day discussing politics with Chandrashekar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan were clear indications that the two parties were working out a strategy to join forces....