Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is likely to go for early elections, if a series of inaugurations, laying of foundation stones for new projects and filling up of vacancies in government departments are any indications.
Though the Assembly elections in the state are scheduled towards the end of 2023, indications are that Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the new name adopted by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), will advance the polls by six months.
Though KCR has been saying publicly that the polls will be held as scheduled, the buzz in the political circles is that he may go for early elections to avoid any risk of Assembly elections being clubbed with 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The chief minister is visiting different parts of the state to inaugurate new buildings of district collectorates and party offices and using the occasion to address public meetings.
Last week, he visited Mahabubnagar and Jagtiyal districts to inaugurate offices of new integrated collectorate complexes. The tone and tenor of his speeches highlighting the achievements of his government during the last eight years and the attack on BJP over its failures hint that he is gearing up for early polls.
At the public meetings, KCR explained to people the transformation brought by his government in sectors like energy, irrigation and agriculture, the tremendous growth witnessed by the state in terms of SGDP and per capita income and claimed that with a plethora of schemes under implementation for the wellbeing of farmers and various sections of society, Telangana has no competition in welfare.
The BRS leader also used the occasion to launch a tirade against the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for what he called its discrimination towards Telangana, impediments being created for the state’s developments by not releasing funds, lack of sanction of any new project to the state and the commitments made to Telangana in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act not being honoured.
KCR is not missing the opportunity to hit out at the Modi government for what he called toppling democratically elected governments in various states.
“When some thieves came to Hyderabad lure the TRS MLAs, create instability and topple our government, we caught and put them in jail,” said KCR at Mahabubnagar public meeting while referring to recent arrest of three alleged agents of BJP while trying to lure four MLAs of the party with offers of huge sum of money to make them defect to the saffron party.
Before undertaking the visits of Mahabubnagar and Jagtiyal, KCR inspected the work of the prestigious Yadadri Ultra Mega Thermal Power Project on November 28.
The power plant with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts is being built by the Telangana government near Veerlapalem at Damaracharla mandal of Nalgonda district.
KCR is keen to see that the project is commissioned at the earliest so that it furthers Telangana’s success story in the energy sector ahead of the Assembly polls.
The chief minister is focusing on infrastructure projects. On December 9, he laid the foundation stone for Hyderabad Airport Metro Corridor.
The state government will be spending Rs 6,250 crore for a 31-km long metro corridor which will connect the information technology district Hitec City to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad.
The same day KCR launched BRS, a day after the Election Commission of India accepted the request of TRS to change its name to BRS.
Unveiling the BRS flag, KCR highlighted how Telangana became a role model for the entire country and explained how BRS wants to ensure development of India on the lines of Telangana.
Political analysts say with a spree of inaugurations, foundation-stone laying and mixing this well with a bitter attack on BJP, which is emerging as the main rival to BRS, KCR is building a narrative for the polls.
In the next few weeks, Hyderabad is set to witness the unveiling of two major structures which BRS will look to add to its list of achievements for showcasing ahead of the polls.
The new Secretariat complex of Telangana State is likely to be inaugurated next month. The secretariat named after Dr B. R. Ambedkar has come up at the same land near Hussain Sagar lake where the secretariat of united Andhra Pradesh and later Telangana stood till last year.
Constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 650 crore, the seven-storey structure has a built-up area of 7 lakh square feet and is equipped with all modern facilities.
It is claimed to be the biggest and the best secretariat for any state in the country. A political analyst pointed out that the inauguration will not be a mere unveiling of a building but through this, BRS will be making a significant political statement.
As KCR has been saying, the new integrated secretariat complex would reflect the pride of Telangana and would stand as a role model for other states. He will dedicate it to the sacrifices made by martyrs who gave their life for the cause of Telangana.
Another major symbol of Telangana pride and self-respect is near completion close to the newly built secretariat.
Telangana Martyrs Memorial on the banks of Hussain Sagar lake is coming with an area of 3 lakh square feet and it is shaped like a lamp with light. The first floor will have a photo gallery, museum, and art gallery, while the second and third floors will house a convention centre and restaurants, respectively.
This is not all. The 125-feet status of Dr B. R. Ambedkar is is also nearing completion and would be ready for inauguration on April 14 next, the birth anniversary of the father of the Constitution
The country’s tallest bronze statue of Dr Ambedkar is coming up near the secretariat.
KCR laid the foundation for installing the statue on April 14, 2016, on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar . By unveiling the statue, BRS will try to project this as another success and fulfillment of a promise.
Jobs were a major slogan of the Telangana movement along with funds and water. With the creation of a separate state, Telangana has got access to all its funds. With various irrigation schemes, the government also succeeded in utilizing the state’s share of water in both the major rivers. However, the BRS has been under attack by its rivals for failing to create jobs.
With a series of notifications and announcements in the last few days to fill the vacancies in various government departments, the BRS government is acting at a rapid pace to address the long-pending demand of unemployed youth.
BRS working president and state minister for industries, commerce and information technology K. T. Rama Rao claims that Telangana is the only state to provide over 2.25 lakh government jobs to youths in the last nine years.
A couple of days ago he wrote a letter to youth to focus on preparation to bag state government jobs in view of the large number of vacancies notified recently. KTR in his letter mentioned that the number of jobs filled by the state government were much higher than the numbers assured in the party’s manifesto.
He pointed out that one lakh jobs were assured in the manifesto but 1.35 lakh government jobs were successfully filled in the first term.
Minister claimed that in the second term, the process of filling 90,000 government jobs was taken up on a priority basis; the Public Service Commission and other departments have already issued notifications for 32,000 jobs till now.
Under a well-calculated move, KCR had advanced Assembly polls by six months last time to delink them with Lok Sabha elections. He had the apprehension that a possible Modi wave during simultaneous elections might mar the prospects of BRS. He proved right when BJP retained power at the Centre with a huge majority in 2019 elections.
KCR read the situation well as BJP won four out of 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana.
Political analysts say KCR will be cautious again. He may not wait till the end of 2023 as imposition of President’s rule for a few months or advancement of Lok Sabha polls could lead to simultaneous elections and KCR may not take this risk.