Operation Pink in full swing
KCR admits Chalasani, Tegala into TRS
Gangadhar Goud too
Hyderabad, October 29: “Operation Pink” has been going on in Telangana in general and Hyderabad in particular with an unprecedented series of defections by MLAs who were elected just five months ago. The MLAs say they are joining the ruling party to help it develop Golden Telangana.
Teegala Krishna Reddy, MLA and former Mayor of Hyderabad, had organized a big rally in his own engineering college compound on Wednesday in which Telanana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) embraced him and his colleague Chalasani Srinivasa Yadav and invited them into Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). Another leader to defect from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to the TRS is Gangadhar Gowd, an MLC from Nizamabad district.
A couple of weeks ago, these two MLAs and one MLC along with another MLA, Prakash Gowd of the TDP, had met KCR to convey their readiness to jump into the TRS bandwagon. But Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of AP and TDP president had summoned Prakash Gowd on the same day and persuaded him to stay back. Prakash Gowd had backtracked but the rest of them went ahead to join the TRS. KCR has put pink clothes around their necks and invited them profusely into his party.
While Chalasani Srinivasa Yadav is an MLA representing Sanat Nagar where he floored Marri Sashidhar Reddy, son of Dr Marri Chenna Reddy, Teegal Krishna Reddy was elected from Maheswaram defeating veteran Congress leader Malreddy Ranga Reddy. Srinivas Yadav has asked Naidu to introspect as to why a leader like him (Yadav) who served the party for 30 long years had to leave it. He alleged that while NT Rama Rao, the founder of the TDP, thought the people are gods, Naidu treats only contractors as gods. Yadav said Naidu is projecting his son Lokesh as the future chief minister of Telangana State. If Naidu feels that his son is so capable politician why not he make him chief minister of Andhra Pradesh instead, Yadav asked. Krishna Reddy said it is shameful for the TDP leaders in Telangana to be asked to undertake a bus yatra against five-month old TRS government. He promised to work for the victory of TRS candidates in the forthcoming municipal elections in Greater Hyderabad.
KCR, in his own inimitable style, has attacked Naidu left, right and centre. He said it is a waste of time to talk about Naidu. All the same, he wasted a lot of time and talked only about Naidu and the rule of Andhra leaders in the undivided AP.
The pink net has been cast wide in the state to catch as many TDP fish as possible. KCR’s idea in carrying on with the tirade against Chandrababu Naidu was to weaken him in Telangana by painting him as an enemy of the new state. KCR and his ministers have been utilizing every opportunity to castigate Naidu and his ministers on every possible count and informing the people of Telangana that they (Naidu and others) are out to ruin the new state. The tirade on Srisailam waters and other issues was meant to convey to the people that the AP chief minister has been plotting to do injustice to Telangana.
KCR has allegedly used all means at his command to persuade MLAs and strong leaders from Khammam and Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts, where the TRS has been weak and did badly in the elections. With the joining of Tummala Nageswara Rao, former minister and a colleague of KCR in TDP, Khammam district has almost been pocketed by the TRS. Along with Tummala, the chairperson of ZP, a couple of MLAs also joined the pink party. Yerraballi Dayakar, floor leader of the TDP in Telangana Assembly, has been weighing pros and cons of taking a decision in favour of switching over to the TRS. He had a discreet meeting with KCR but denied having discussed politics with him. He described his visit as courtesy call with many other common friends to represent a case in which injustice has been done to his community-Velama. He publicly declared that he would not leave TDP. Ever since then he raised the pitch of his criticism of the KCR and TRS.
For Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad city, KCR has prepared a pucca plan whose final target is the power in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. He wooed Chalasani Srinivasa Yadav by promising to make his son the Mayor of the city since the post has been reserved for the BCs. It is understood that Krishna Reddy was promised the chairmanship of HUDA. He was also assured that the medical college he was proposing to establish would get due permission and encouragement from the TRS government.
Out of 24 Assembly seats in Greater Hyderabad region, the Congress has won none. The BJP has bagged five seats-Amberpet, Musheerabad, Khairatabad, Ghosha Mahal and Uppal. The TRS got only two seats- Malkajgiri, Secunderabad and Patancheru. The TDP was victorious in as many as nine seats: Sanat Nagar, Secunderabad cantonment, Kukatpalli, Sherilingampalli, Rajendranagar, Maheswaram, Kutbullapur, Jubilee Hills and LB Nagar. The rest 7 were won by MIM. They are Charminar, Malakpet, Chandrayan Gutta, Karwan, Nampally, Yakutpura and Bahdurpura.
Change in KCR’s tone
In the constituencies that returned the TDP candidates there are people in large numbers who belong to Seemandhra region and their votes would count in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election. That was perhaps why KCR in his speech said all those who settled down here are our own people. Like the Kannadigas and Maharashtrians, those who came from Andhra areas are also like our brothers and they would be safe here, he averred.
The game plan is win the municipal elections in Hyderabad and make the TDP irrelevant. The Municipal elections are due on December 3 when the term would be over. But the TRS government had already made up its mind to postpone the elections. It will allow the elections to be held when it is sure that it has enough TDP MLAs in its kitty to win the municipal elections. There are two settlers among the TDP lawmakers. They are Arikepudi Gandhi of Sherilingampalli and Maganti Gopinath of Jubilee Hills. Rest of all are vulnerable to pressure or temptation. Sayanna was not prepared to join the TRS but he is prepared to take the membership of Tirumal Tirupati Devasthanam (TDD) Board. He would join the pink party at an appropriate time. The problem with Prakash Gowd of Rajendra Nagar is that his constituents are not prepared to migrate with him to TRS. He wanted some time to persuade his voters to be with him even after switching over to the TRS. The TDP MLAs and other leaders of the party would get disheartened with every occasion in which Naidu would be critical of TRS government. That kind of opportunity would be used by the TRS leaders to highlight Naidu as anti-Telangana. If the MLAs feel that there is no possibility of their winning again after four and half years, they would not care a damn for the party. Their self-interests and the prospects of reelection are most important to any MLA of any party.
TRS is putting pressure on the TDP lawmakers since it sees the opposition party as a greater threat in Telangana than for the Congress party. Even if the leaders jump into the TRS, it does not mean that the TDP would be wiped out and the elections could be dominated by the TRS. In fact, the fight again is going to be between the TDP and the TRS with the Congress still licking its wounds. Hence the need for the TRS to show TDP essentially as a party managed by leaders from Seemandhra region. This mind game would go on for some more months till the TRS feels confident that it can rule the new state in spite of the noises made by the opposition parties.