One Year of KCR Rule
Here we are talking about the first one-year in the newborn state of Telangana. It is the 29th state of the Indian union came into existence on June 2nd 2014.
The idea of a separate Telangana from other Telugu-speaking region had existed since almost the beginning of the Andhra Pradesh gathering in political and cultural force overtime. A politician or a party could take up the movement and the cause. Chandrashekar Rao, a four time state assembly member who worked his way upward from grassroots as an organizer to a cabinet minister, recognized the potential in building a platform on the desire for a separate Telangana.
With Rao, a shrewd politician and a skillful orator, the movement gained a momentum. He had a command on the dialect of Telangana. Economists like Jayashankar helped him frame a forceful argument for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh backed with facts and figures about resource sharing and job protection. But Rao made it simpler “Neellu, Nidhulu, Niyamakalu,” which means water, resources and appointments.
One year ago on this day was a pause in the restlessness of the struggle as he took oath as the first chief minister of the newly formed state. One year on he faces the expectations and gazes of the people of Telanagana.TRS came to power not only on the telanagana sentiment, but also on the many promises made by the TRS President Rao to turn the new state into “Banagaru Telangana”.
Most political analysts feel he had failed to keep up his promises while the public had wanted to give him sometime as the government had just got into action.
On the farmers deaths the 44-year-old Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, called Rao a mini-Modi who too has forgotten the poor. But, there are analysts who feel that he had implemented the first phase of loan waiver, which is one of the biggest promises he made during campaigning. The government had sanctioned 4000 crore rupees in the first phase of loan waiver. The minister for agriculture says the government is on track to fulfill its promise of loan waiver of about 17000 crore rupees.
Claiming that the government had overcome the electricity shortage, he promised that they would be no power cuts from next year. He assured farmers that they would get uninterrupted power supply for nine hours a day.
Speaking about the Water Grid, Rao’s government is building to ensure drinking water supply to every house in the state. Rao reiterated that if TRS failed to fulfill this promise, it would not seek votes in the next elections.He also said the government was trying to revive the lakes across the state through another ambitious programme Mission Kakatiya.
It is the Brand Hyderabad that has given TRS government an edge over its opponents. They have surplus money and better infrastructure to give its revenue a boost. Rao has pushed his son Rama Rao, minister for IT and infrastructure, to give a boost to the IT industry. It is he who recently travelled to several places in the US to give a boost to the economy and introduce the facilities by the new state in the IT industry, which surely seems to give a boost to the economy.
The disbursement of enhanced pensions of 1000 rupees to various categories of distressed workers, and 1500 rupees to disabled had surely fetched goodwill to the government. The government stood firm and weeded out more than 70 lakhs bogus ration cards and increased the beneficiaries from 2.3 to three crores. This has surely given the ruling TRS Government an edge over its opponents.
There has been a strong criticism to his unkept promises of jobs to students, and there is a constant unrest at Osmania university campus.The latest being his decision to construct houses for the poor on the campus land. As student’s leader Deer says, he is a Hitler and wants to make skyscrapers around tank bund. The students criticize that Rao wants to shift Secretariat and sometimes rob the Osmania university land.
The KG to PG free education scheme is a farce. Education in English to the backward classes is a distant dream. He made so many promises to the martyrs of Telangana. He promised three acres land to backward classes, there are many more such unkept promises. This is a government of celebrations and empty promises retard the angry students collectively at the university.
Rao managed to give several special schemes to the minorities. They were vowed with 125 reservations in jobs. On this front, the TRS Government tried chewing more than it could swallow and digest.
The Shadi Mubarak scheme of sanctioning 51,000 rupees for marriage of poor minority girls has won great appreciation from the minorities.
The chief minister’s intention and projects are far sighted, but the bureaucracy is not carrying its jobs according to some experts.
First, it will be a Telangana over which he has absolute political control. This should be clearly apparent to even the most novice commentator with yesterday’s election results of having won 5 MLC seats.
To implement his vision for Telangana, Rao intends to politically consolidate power both within the government and in the party. With his family members, his son Rama Rao, his daughter Kavitha, his brother-in-law Harish Rao and many other family members in coveted positions that goal is half achieved.
Often dubbed as a “Rabble-Rouser” by his detractors, Rao promised to protect and enhance the brand image of Hyderabad City as a peaceful and investment-friendly destination.
Rao, who after nearly 365 days in office, looks in total command seems sure of not just one term in office, but two or even three. For some it might sound arrogance, for him it is confidence at its best.
With an opposition that is decimated and devastated with the issue of Revanthreddy, the dynamic leader of TDP behind bars, and the overwhelming majority of public opinion behind him, he looks extremely secure, at least, for now.
One of the most striking features of Rao’s rule in the past 12 months is the acrimony he tries to generate through his statements. He made a statement that will bury the media 10km deep if they write anything against Telangana. Quite often his speeches are laced with acrimony towards AP, and at times, he uses harsh language against opponents. One does not know if his advisors remind him of his stature of chief minister.
Rao has ensured that the title of “The Father of Telangana” is his forever. People of Telangana, however, say Rao has miles to go before he sleeps watching his favorite Amitabh-Jaya movie Abhimaan.
There is definitely no scope for Rao to tone down on his style or rhetoric. As far as governance and his unkept promises goes – there is no alternative, but to wait for at least a few more months before concluding my analysis.