Exactly two years after the formation of Telangana, the latent differences between Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Telangana political parties’ Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) chairman Professor M. Kodandaram have come to the open, hinting that the T-JAC would play the role of opposition in the state in the days to come.
The full blown war of words between Kodandaram and T-JAC supporters and almost all the Cabinet ministers and senior leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the last three days is expected to lead to new political equations in Telangana.
Addressing a function of Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika (Telangana educated people’s forum), a constituent of T-JAC, on Monday, Kodandaram said there had not been any development in KCR’s two years as CM, adding KCR should step down if he is unable to provide proper governance.
This surprise attack by Kodandaram has led to sharp counters by several ministers who questioned the motive of the T-JAC chairman.
Senior minister (home) Nayani Narsimha Reddy said Kodandaram has “lost his mental balance” and he has no moral right to ask the TRS government to quit on the ground of incompetence and lack of progress. “How can he (Kodandaram) criticise us at a time when the Prime Minister and the Governor have praised our rapid progress in the last two years?” asked Narasimha Reddy.
Another minister close to the CM, G. Jagadeswar Reddy (power minister) said: “Kodandaram seems to be an agent of certain political forces that are inimical to the popularity of the KCR led TRS government.”
Peddapalli (SC) MP Balka Suman described Kodandaram as “a poisonous snake that shed its skin”.
Several Congress, Telugu Desam Party and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have, however, come to the rescue of Kodandaram, wondering why the TRS leadership was so jittery over his comments.
Kodandaram, 61, was the head of T-JAC which led the separate Telangana movement since 2009 until the state was formed in 2014. TRS along with other major parties was a constituent of the T-JAC. At one stage, Kodandaram was described as a mouthpiece of KCR.
However, relations between them turned sour during the 2014 general elections and they haven’t met after KCR became Chief Minister on 2 June that year. The TRS said that there was no need for T-JAC as its purpose of achieving Telangana state had been fulfilled.
But the actual reasons for the souring of relations between KCR and Kodandaram was the latter’s independent dealings with the Congress high command and some Congress leaders in Telangana during the general elections and his attempts to get tickets for some activists who were in the forefront of T-JAC struggle.
Unfazed by the attack from TRS leaders and ministers, Kodandaram held a T-JAC meeting in Hyderabad on Wednesday and made it clear that he would continue to fight for the right cause of the people of the state.
He demanded urgent action to mitigate the plight of the famers and improve the condition in the education sector.
Kodandaram even demanded disclosure in public domain of all detailed project reports (DPRs) of all irrigation projects taken by the KCR government.
Kodandaram made it clear that he had no political ambitions and no amount of pressure or attacks from the TRS would deter him from raising people’s issues.
Kodandaram left for a 10-day tour of Australia where he would meet NRIs from Telangana and seek their support to continue T-JAC activities.
Last month, he had spent about three weeks in the US for the same purpose. TRS MLC Karne Prabhakar told The Sunday Guardian that Kodandaram’s foreign tours were intended to mobilise funds and support of NRIs against the TRS.
But T-JAC co-convener Raghua told this newspaper that Kodandaram had nothing to do with political activities.