Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has emerged as the new ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi outside the ruling coalition of NDA. KCR has firmed up his friendly relations with the PM during the latter’s visit to Telangana last Sunday, by rolling out a reception attended by two lakh people.
The newfound bonhomie between the PM and Chief Minister will ensure that Telangana is among the first states passing the GST Bill as part of the Constitutional obligation, in the next one month. KCR has directed his legislature department to ensure that the GST Bill was adopted at the earliest through a special session of Assembly once it was referred by the Centre.
Sources in the CMO in Hyderabad told The Sunday Guardian that the unhappiness over no PM ever paying a visit to Telangana since it was formed has disappeared with PM Modi’s 7 August visit. “Though the visit came a bit late, it has done immense benefit to the state as both leaders could strike a bond of friendship and warmth,” said an aide of the CM on the condition of anonymity.
The CM was mightily pleased by the PM’s tweets thanking him for his speech, “Thank You CM KCR, for the kind words.” KCR at this meeting not only said that Modi is the most popular political leader in the country at present, but also said that for the first time in the past two years there was not a single charge of corruption at the Centre. “This is a new experience to me who is in politics for 40 years,” said KCR.
KCR, who spoke in Hindi, to show respect to the PM, even though there was a huge crowd in front of him, could draw the full attention of his VVIP guest. While replying to KCR’s words, the PM said: “It is heartening to hear this compliment that we could provide corruption-free governance at the Centre in the past two years, though you are not from our party.”
The PM also thanked three TRS MPs for supporting the GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha recently.
KCR, who has been waiting to come closer to the PM and thus join the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, has made use of his visit to the state. Known for his oratorical skills, KCR has showered encomium on the PM in such a manner that perhaps no other CM in the country would have praised the PM for his over two-year rule.
Contrary to the usual practice of all other CMs, KCR said he didn’t want any financial package from the Centre, but was interested in the support from the PM. “I won’t ask for a package of Rs 50,000 crore or Rs 1 lakh crore, but I want your love and blessings” said KCR while addressing PM Modi, who along with several other Union ministers on the dais was in smiles.
KCR also adopted a new style by praising every Union minister on the stage as well as those not present too, for their supportive gestures towards Telangana in the past two years. “You have given us a dynamic Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is helping us a lot, and your National Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has given us more national highways in two years than all others in the past 50 years”.
KCR specifically thanked Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Energy Minister Piyush Goyal and Chemicals and Fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar, who were on the dais, for their generous allocation of funds, power and fertilisers to Telangana in times of need. As an after effect, Suresh Prabhu called on KCR on Sunday night and thanked him for the kind words. KCR also struck a political chord with PM Modi by recalling their first meeting at an NDA rally at Ludhiana in May 2009. “Modiji, you as the CM of Gujarat, came to me and patted me on my back and said that you would support the demand of Telangana statehood. We still need your support for our development,” said KCR.
The goodwill created by KCR seems to have weighed on the PM when he later addressed a meeting of BJP activists at LB Stadium in Hyderabad on the day.
Though the BJP meeting was aimed at equipping the party to come to power in three years, the PM didn’t uttered a single word against the CM or the state government. Even BJP leaders, too, refrained from attacking KCR.
Political observers who watched the royal welcome the CM rolled out to the PM last week are of the view that KCR has achieved his objective of conveying his keenness to be an ally of BJP at the earliest. “A skillful political operative he is, KCR has cemented his ties with PM Modi through this visit,” said S. Prabhakar Reddy, a functionary of Telangana political joint action committee.