Express News Service
HYDERABAD: With all trends indicating to a positive outcome for the TRS in the State Assembly elections, the pink party is preparing itself to play a key role at the Centre with the aim of bringing in a “qualitative change” in national politics. All the exit polls, with the exception of Lagadapati Rajagopal’s, have predicted that TRS will retain the power and that is sure to further boost the party’s confidence to take the lead in national politics.
“Wait till December 11, after the Assembly poll results are announced, we will let you know our plans for national politics,” TRS leader KT Rama Rao told Express on Saturday.
However, the cadre of the TRS are of the view that the party should also enter into active politics of Andhra Pradesh, as a tit-for-tat to AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who campaigned against TRS in Telangana elections.
In his more than 90 public meetings during the Assembly election campaign, TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao, referring to 2019 general elections, harped on the need to elect TRS candidates in 16 of 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State, leaving one seat to MIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi.
“I am sure that the TRS will retain power in the State with 100 Assembly seats. But the need is that the TRS should also win 16 Lok Sabha seats,” Rao repeatedly urged the voters during his campaign meetings in the run up to December 7 elections.
According to party sources, soon after forming the government in the State, Rao will resume his work on the proposed Federal Front, which will maintain equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP.
The TRS chief is of the view that the country was not developed as expected in the last 70 years and held both the Congress and the BJP responsible for the same.
“Our neighbouring country China witnessed rapid strides of progress in the last 50 years. But, India could not achieve it,” was the oft repeated statement of Rao during his campaigning. Rao already met top regional leaders like TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Benerjee, Janata Dal (Secular) H.D. Deve Gowda and DMK chief M.K. Stalin to work out the modalities in forming the Federal Front. “Many other leaders of various regional parties too are in touch with me,” Rao recently claimed.
To rope in Andhra parties?
As part of his efforts to realign the regional political forces in the country, Chandrasekhar Rao is expected to rope in parties in Andhra Pradesh like YSRCP and Jana Sena Party. Though, the TRS chief has so far not uttered any thing to this effect, his son Rama Rao said that they are sure to rope in AP parties while forming the Federal Front.
Recently, Rama Rao described Pawan Kalyan as an “elderly” person and Kapu Sangham in Hyderabad supported the TRS in the elections.
Meanwhile, sources said that as Andhra Chief Minister Naidu fielded TDP candidates and campaigned in TS Assembly elections, the TRS leaders too may tour Andhra in future.
Interestingly, Chandrasekhar Rao has a tremendous following in Andra Pradesh. While one his followers in Tenali celebrates his every birthday, some farmers in Penuganchiprolu performed pujas and a few fans offered coconuts in Annavaram temple and Durga temple in Vijayawada all praying for the TRS victory in the Assembly polls. Some enthusiastic fans of the TRS chief also tweeted to KTR with a request to launch Andhra Rashtra Samithi in Andhra Pradesh.
Federal Front agenda
While giving the reasons for the need to form the Federal Front, the TRS chief has also been posing a question to the people in general and the voters in particular, “why India with all resources lagged behind several small countries?” The average speed of the trucks on roads in some developed countries is 80kmph. In India, it is just 36kmph.
The average speed of the goods trains in other countries is 80kmph and in India it is just 24kmph. The length of express highways in China is 1.83 lakh km while it is just 2,000 km in India. He kept mentioning these statistics to support his argument that there is a need for a change at the Centre. “The BJP and the Congress which ruled the country for 67 years are responsible for the ills of the country.
We have to develop the infrastructure in the country,” was Rao’s constant refrain in the past few days. A victory in the State Assembly polls, as predicted by most of the Exit Polls, will only further boost Rao’s confidence and spur him to carry on with his plans to form the Federal Front.
What will KCR’s first file be?
While some exit polls have predicted a victory for the Grand Alliance, they have not dampened the mood of Telangana Rashtra Samithi activists. Enthusiastic and curious activists on Sunday asked party leader KT Rama Rao what file his father, party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, would sign on first when he assumes charge as the Chief Minister.
Rama Rao tried to brush off the question and answered in a nonchalant way. “The incoming TRS government will continue working the same way it did the past few years. We will continue to implement our old schemes and will fulfil the new promises in our election manifesto. We are not thinking about a first file of sorts,” he said.
However, sources within the pink party say that since it would owe its possible success to Aasara pensioners and beneficiaries of welfare schemes, the new Chief Minister would first sign files concerning one such scheme. Chandrasekhar Rao’s first act, if he indeed becomes CM, would probably be to double the Aasara pension amount or enhance financial assistance given under the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
Once the immediate priorities are dealt with, sources say, Rao is likely to okay another round of reorganisation of districts. During his election campaign, he had assured to create two new districts – Narayanpet and Mulugu – taking up the total number of districts to 33. He has also assured to carve out a new Korutla revenue division and the creation of nearly six new mandals. This could take at least a month since the Revenue department has certain procedures to follow while redrawing revenue boundaries.
One of Rao’s biggest challenges will be to announce the formation of a pay revision commission (PRC) for government employees. State government employees have demanded it for a while now and they will keep the new government on its toes. All these new plans, except the creation of new districts,
will have financial implications. Naturally, Rao will discuss these plans with finance experts and
also begin plans to prepare the State budget for 2019-20, sources said.