The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is all set to sound the poll bugle at its 21st foundation day event to be held in Hyderabad on Wednesday. During the meeting, besides deliberating on its plan and strategy to counter the BJP in the 2023 Assembly polls and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the TRS may also elevate party president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao to a position from which he could lead the party in the polls.
While CM KCR would continue as the TRS supremo at the national level, 46-year-old KTR is likely to be given the party’s charge in the state.
KTR, who is currently TRS working president, holds key portfolios as a minister, which include municipal administration and urban development, industries and commerce, and information technology. In recent months he has emerged as the TRS’s suave and media-savvy face. On behalf of the TRS and the party-led Telangana government, he has been at the forefront of countering the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and even the principal Opposition Congress over issues ranging from development and growth to divisive politics and bulldozing of properties belonging to Muslims allegedly involved in riots.
Amid the BJP’s relentless expansion bid in Telagana, the TRS anniversary event will also discuss CM KCR’s efforts to form a national alliance against the BJP-led NDA to counter the rise of the saffron party. A national agenda in this regard is likely to be presented at the meeting, while adopting a strategy to highlight development and growth against communalism and hatred in the society.
According to the TRS leaders, resolutions are likely to be passed at the event to condemn communal violence, hate speeches related to the hijab and halal rows, and alleged discrimination towards Telangana by the BJP-ruled Centre, especially on issues like paddy procurement and sanctioning of projects.
Setting the tone for the event, KCR, in his speech while laying the foundation stone for the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) on the outskirts of the state capital Tuesday, said that Hyderabad enjoyed an advantage in the form of communal harmony, even as he warned against the “cancer’’ of hatred spreading across the country.
“This cancer is cheap politics based on religious hate and caste. Shops and businesses and people from a particular community or caste are targeted. Just think, if crores of Indians working in other countries are targeted and sent back to India, what will be the situation? Crores will lose their jobs. Do they face discrimination based on their religion or caste? As a senior politician, I am requesting people not to let this cancer spread in India which has so many religions and castes. Hyderabad could not have prospered if time and again curfew or Section 144 had to be imposed to control communal disturbances. People should be free to decide what they want to eat or wear or speak,’’ the CM said. He laid the foundation stones for three TIMS centres at LB Nagar, Alwal, and Erragadda.
During the day-long anniversary function to be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), the TRS will showcase its two-term government’s “accomplishments” and project the “Telangana model of development” as against the BJP’s “double-engine governance model”.
In their speeches, KCR and other senior TRS leaders would attempt to galvanise the party rank and file with the objective of securing a “hat-trick” in the coming Assembly polls. The party had achieved remarkable victories in the polls in 2014 and 2018 polls.
KCR had founded the TRS on April 27, 2001, with the purpose of attaining the separate state of Telangana, which was finally carved out of Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2014.
Apart from ministers, MLAs, MLCs, MPs and office-bearers, the meeting will be attended by about 2,000 party activists and functionaries including mayors and chairpersons of various municipal corporations and municipalities as well as Zilla Parishad chairpersons, among others.
The TRS leaders and district-level coordinators will be asked to highlight before the people the KCR government’s various welfare programmes such as Rythu Bandhu, Mission Kakatiya, Mission Bhagiratha, Kalyana Laskhsmi-Shadi Mubarak, and housing for the poor. The TRS will also discuss its engagement with Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC, which has signed a deal with the party for helping it make strategies and preparations for the Assembly polls.
The meeting may also discuss the deteriorating relationship between the KCR government and governor Tamilisai Soundararajan. On Monday, the governor tweeted claiming that the new medical colleges that the CM was to lay the foundation stone for were as per the PM’s vision. However, the government said that out of the 157 medical colleges sanctioned by the Centre, not one was allocated to Telangana. “In fact, a few weeks after KCR made the announcement that each district of Telangana will have a medical college, the PMO announced that every district in the country will have a medical college, but Telangana was not sanctioned even one,” a TRS leader charged.