Despite fighting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has been largely in support of the NDA government at the centre over the past five years. But now it is clearly against the saffron party. KCR severely criticised the latest bills introduced by the BJP-led NDA government, saying that they would only help big corporates and destroy farmers' livelihood. In his words, these bills are nothing but sugar-coated pills.
This comes as the latest in the love-hate relationship between the TRS and the BJP. Along with the agriculture bills, KCR is also strongly opposed to the proposed electricity bill. He has commented on a few occasions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking decisions to usurp the powers of the states which he feels is against the spirit of federalism. KCR even went to the extent of saying that he is ready to start a movement against the Modi government if it fails to accept the demands of the states. The Telangana chief minister's latest remarks on the BJP government have become a topic of discussion in the political circles.Why has KCR suddenly and completely gone bitter against the BJP is the question that is crossing everyone's mind.
A few key elections are going to be held in Telangana in the next two months and that could be the primary reason. In addition to the Dubbak by-election, polls for municipal corporations like the GHMC, Warangal and Khammam and elections are due. Also, two MLC seats will have to be filled up under the graduates quota in a keenly-contested election. In addition, polling will be held for a council seat under the quota of local bodies in Nizamabad. Former MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, daughter of CM KCR, is largely expected to be in the fray for the post. More than the Congress, the TRS views the BJP as the main opponent in these elections. In the eyes of the pink party, the Congress is no more a threatening force in electoral politics.
Though BJP is never a match to the TRS across the length and breadth of the state, the saffron party has the potential to upset the apple cart in certain key pockets, as was witnessed during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Having learnt a lesson from it, KCR, the TRS supremo, is understood to have redrawn the party's political strategy in the runup for these elections. As part of it, the TRS will avoid any occasions where it will have to be seen siding either with the BJP or the NDA that it leads at the Centre.
The Dubbak Assembly seat is believed to be particularly playing on KCR's mind as his party is anticipating stiff competition from the BJP in the by-election there.
By opposing the Modi government's bills and initiatives, KCR reportedly intends to get two birds at one shot -- project the BJP as a party only meant for big corporates and position himself as the saviour of farmers and win the trust and sympathy of the general public to have it easy in all the elections. Winning Dubbak bypoll, on any other day, would have been seen as a cakewalk for TRS but now due to intense groupism, the party's prospects could be met with some stiff resistance.
The state government is saying, "The Centre is planning to privatise the power sector by bringing in the new Electricity Bill, 2020. The BJP-led NDA government has slowly started encroaching upon the powers of the state governments. The Telangana government will oppose the Bill tooth and nail as it is detrimental to the interests of not only Telangana but also other states."
While this is the exterior of KCR's opposition to the controversial reform initiatives of the Centre, the real reasons and their benefits will be known and measured only once these elections are over.