KTR, KCR’s only son, has begun the exercise of readying party legislators and other leaders for LS polls.

 

HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is confident of mobilising around 80 MPs into his federal front after the 2019 elections so that they can play a role in deciding the next Prime Minister. This is stated by TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) who has been entrusted with the task of preparing the party for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

KTR, the only son of KCR, has begun the exercise of readying the party legislators and other leaders for the Parliament elections for which the notification is expected to be issued in a few days. KTR told a gathering of his party leaders in Hyderabad on Friday that KCR would go to the polls with the slogan of Telangana playing a key role in national politics this time.

KTR, who had a strategy meeting with his father KCR a day before, unveiled plans to checkmate Congress in Telangana which accounts for 17 MPs and Andhra, 25 MPs. According to him, Naidu’s TDP is on the verge of defeat in AP and a majority of the seats there would be bagged by Jagan’s YSR Congress. In Telangana, KTR expects all the 17 seats along with Owaisi’s Hyderabad.

The TRS leadership is expecting Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and some other smaller parties to join them to form a non-Congress, non-BJP group during the elections. “Don’t be surprised if Mayawati’s BSP and Akhilesh’s SP, too, part ways with Congress as the latter has announced candidates for more number of seats than their allotted Rae Bareli and Amethi,” KTR told the TRS seniors.

TRS RS MP K. Keshav Rao, who is looking after contacting several regional parties, told this newspaper that there would be a sea change in the political atmosphere in the country after the elections. Many regional parties, which are in association with the Opposition camp at present, would come out and try to form their own government once elections were over, he said.

Though KTR hasn’t spelt out their choice of PM at this stage, he said that it would be decided later, based on the number of MPs won by each party. “We cannot say who will be the next PM now, but one thing is clear that whoever unfurls the Tricolor at Red Fort next 15 August will be our candidate. We will be in the coming government at the Centre,” he said.                    

KCR has embarked on a plan to decimate Congress in Telangana where the party was hoping for a revival from its poor show in the December Assembly elections. Beginning Saturday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi would be addressing a series of meetings in Telangana in the coming weeks. He launched his Andhra campaign from Tirupati two weeks ago.

At a time when Rahul Gandhi came to Hyderabad, Congress in Telangana is a demoralised lot as its hopes of winning a single MLC seat from the MLAs’ quota have come a cropper. There are five vacancies to the Legislative Council from the MLAs’ quota and the election is scheduled to be held on 12 March. To win a seat, a candidate should get at least 21 first preference votes.

Congress, which won 19 MLAs in the state elections, fielded its candidate— Guduru Narayan Reddy, Pradesh Congress Committee treasurer—hoping that it would get two votes of its ally, TDP. However, KCR, who fielded four of his candidates and allotted the fifth seat to his ally, AIMIM, has unfurled a series of defections from the Opposition to ensure his victory.

Two Congress MLAs—Rega Kantha Rao and Atram Sakku, both STs—have switched sides last week, while TDP’s Sandra Venkata Veeraiah (Sattupalli-SC), too, announced his support to the TRS candidates. On Friday, the Congress received another blow—one more MLA from its camp, Chirumarthi Lingaiah (Nakerekal –SC), too, met KCR and announced his decision to vote for TRS.

With this, the Congress is now left with 16 MLAs plus a single MLA of TDP. But, the party is afraid that some more of its MLAs might switch over to the TRS camp in the next three days, thus making it impossible to win the MLC seat. As the two present Congress MLCs are retiring this month end, the party won’t have any representation in the Council.

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