Will TRS join the NDA Government in Delhi?
S. Nagesh Kumar
HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday set political circles abuzz with speculation that the TRS may join the NDA Government.
What immediately triggered this speculation was a statement by Congress vice-president Mohd. Shabbir Ali that KCR’s visit to Delhi was meant to strike a bargain with Mr. Modi for a berth in the Union Cabinet for his daughter K. Kavitha and another party MP in exchange of his party’s support to the NDA.
Judging by recent developments, the speculation is not baseless. Till recently, KCR was critical of Mr. Modi and reluctant to implement Swachch Bharat programme. Murmurs were also heard from his party leaders that Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu was favouring Andhra, a State from which he belongs.
KCR has traveled a long distance since then. He has chalked out a plan of action to implement Swachch Bharat and showered praises on Mr. Naidu by stating that Telugu people were fortunate to have a leader like him at the Centre. Further, Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Seetaraman has been reaching out to KCR and to Ms. Kavitha.
TRS leaders, however, claimed that KCR discussed with Mr. Modi issues like giving special category status to Telangana, declaring Pranahita-Chevella as a national irrigation project and expedite the division of the High Court of Hyderabad. He also invited the PM to lay the stone for the Mission Kakatiya programme.
It has not gone unnoticed in political circles that Mr. Modi appointed Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao, a person to the Chief Minister’s job compared to several veterans, to head one of Niti Aayog’s three sub-committees to recommend measures for implementing Swachch Bharat effectively.
TRS-BJP alliance will be a game-changer
Political dynamics in both Telanana and Andhra will see a radical shift if the TRS forges an alliance with BJP. For one, it will be a case of two swords – TDP and TRS – sheathed in the same scabbard, the NDA. These parties are at daggers down on virtually every issue, be it sharing of water from the Krishna or power from Krishnapatnam plant or even over Mr. Naidu’s visit to Telangana districts.
There is nothing wrong for NDA to have on board two parties inimical to each another. But, in Andhra, it will give an impression that the BJP will ditch TDP in the long run. Their ties are under slight strain due to the saffron party’s concerted efforts to develop its own base, starting from Rayalaseema where Telugu Desam is perceived to be relatively weak.
Two questions are already being asked about their friendship. One is whether their alliance will endure till the 2019 Assembly elections or whether the BJP begin charting out its own course from 2017 onwards. The second question is whether the BJP can afford to alienate an old NDA ally and send a signal to others that it is not an all-weather friend.
The implications of a TRS-BJP alliance will be equally far-reaching in Telangana. The immediate one will be alienation of the MIM, a party Mr. Rao has assiduously wooed by singing paeans of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad. Sections of the media sympathetic to MIM have begun articulating the view that Majlis will have nothing to do with TRS if it hobnobs with communal parties.
If this happens, the TRS will be contesting elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in alliance with the BJP. This will spell an end to BJP’s ties with the TDP in Telangana and TRS’ friendship with the MIM.