Opposition’s Protests Hollow; Acting CM’s Campaign is Logicalby Opinion Express September 19, 2018 0 comments
Although the opposition protests about the voters’ list being tweaked, the acting Chief Minister definitely has a more logical and strategic campaign.
The acknowledgement of a formidable force usually comes from the pesky antics of the Opposition and its relentless litany of complaints and petitions of injustice. In this respect, both the Congress and the BJP’s reactive behaviour over the last few days is enough to testify that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao is not just holding out on strong ground but building a national relevance for himself by sheer dint of determination and some shrewd strategy. So if he had foxed everybody by dissolving the Assembly — thereby necessitating an early election and ensuring the popular wave of a national election didn’t wash over his personality cult — the Opposition is clutching for issues with the Election Commission considering the possibility of clubbing polls in Telangana with that of other States by the end of the year. For all the BJP chief Amit Shah’s aggressive posturing and firebrand bristle, even calling out KCR for ignoring Hyderabad’s merger to the Indian Union, fact is the party still doesn’t have the requisite base to challenge KCR at the grassroot level or question his credibility in a State election. The rains have been good, saving him from drought debts, he seems to have delivered on most populist promises and has ensured that his State has the highest economic growth at 17 per cent in competitive stakes. Perhaps that led to the arrogance of him announcing that the State elections could be held in November, with no less than the Election Commission, which is yet to complete logistical assessment, taking exception to his over-confidence.
However, the wily KCR perhaps did it mischievously to kick off a political storm and sharpen the apprehensions of the Opposition while allowing it no time to build cogent poll planks. Any semblance of opposition in Telangana, by virtue of the vestige of an undivided State, is the Congress. The grand old party has alleged that there are around 70 lakh discrepancies in the voter list of Telangana, implying that KCR was trying to manipulate the verdict by deleting Congress voters under the guise of avoiding overlap with voter rolls of Andhra Pradesh. But the same was not added on the roll of Andhra Pradesh, it claims. The revised roll was published only on September 10 leaving not much time for both political parties or people to identify these discrepancies. In fact, it completely obfuscated the electoral priorities of the Congress. Number-crunching the voter list, the Congress has yet to mount an agenda-driven campaign here. As it fumbled and the Opposition scrambled to get its act together, KCR even announced 105 of the 119 candidates. He is positing this as his sincere move to carry on his goal-oriented growth while exposing the Congress as hungry for political power and bereft of fresh ideas, not to be trusted, therefore, at the reins.
Meanwhile, the EC’s training of administrative officials is well under way. While the EC goes about doing its job according to the rulebook, it is KCR’s smart posturing which has helped him seize the narrative. Remember, he initiated the concept of an “anti-Delhi, non-Congress” federal front with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the pitch clearly being to be the kingmaker with a sizeable booty for any ruling dispensation at the Centre, one that he can extract for his own gains and one that cleverly keeps all doors open. He would rather strengthen his regional satrap status if it means keeping the national parties on alert with a thriller-like suspense and ensures he is a key player in the national narrative without shifting an inch.
Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer