Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) floated Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) exactly 12 years ago – April 27, 2001 - with not only a fond hope of occupying a memorable place in AP politics, but also to raise a banner of revolt and to teach a strong lesson to ruling Telugu Desam party headed by N Chandrababu Naidu.
KCR had resigned as MLA of Siddipet in Medak district and also to the position of Deputy Speaker of the assembly to launch a new party with only aim to achieve Separate Statehood for Telangana.
Twelve years of journey with only one agenda is the way of TRS. His only strength when he launched his party is his vociferous articulation. The party had achieved a first victory in local body polls within six months after its floating. TRS had captured more than 1000 MPTC seats, 85 ZPTC seats, 3,000 sarpanch and two zilla parishad chairmen positions. KCR himself won the by-election with thumping majority from the same Siddipet assembly constituency.
Believing that Telangana state was possible only with political process, KCR had seen many ups and downs in a span of 12 years in a fight for Telangana. He allowed the merger of Telangana Sadhana Samithi (TSS) founded by Ale Narendra, who came out from BJP for achieving Telangana State with TRS. The presence of TRS was strongly felt in the state as well as at the Centre in the 2004 elections with poll tie-up with Congress party. It had contested 54 assembly and eight parliament seats and won 26 MLA seats and five LS seats
TRS had joined in the cabinet of UPA government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. Even without fully enjoying the poll victory, it was forced to quit from the government. The party suffered heavy loss with growing dissident activities. Many leaders and party cadre departed from TRS with adamant attitude and working style of KCR.
Giving a major jolt to TRS, about 10 legislators under the leadership of Minister Santosh Reddy fired first salvo and made a scathing attack against TRS chief KCR in an open forum. Their revolt sent shock waves across the state as it was the first bitter experience for KCR after floating the TRS party. Telangana Rashtra Samithi pronounced all the MLAs as betrayers of Telangana.
Protesting for not including Telangana issue on the UPA common agenda, TRS ministers in the State and at the Centre had resigned in unison. Later, Ale Narendra had also announced to quit TRS following differences with the party chief KCR. It was a beginning for resignations from TRS. When Congress senior leader M Satyanarayana Rao (MSR) threw a challenge, KCR had resigned as Member of Parliament and came with flying colours in the by-elections from the same Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency with huge majority and created a niche for himself in Telangana politics. The by-election was observed as a historical one as real estate prices reached its peak after KCR’s re-election. So, it had given strong signals to the political circles as well as the people of the State that there was infrangible T sentiment.
KCR’s election to Lok Sabha doubled his image and at the same time TRS could not withstand with the increasing covert activity within the party. Three TRS MLAs had voted in favour of Congress in the MLC elections. Giving a boost to Telangana movement another Telangana party merged with TRS before the 2009 elections. Talli Telangana party floated by film actress Vijayashanti had been winded up to merge with TRS. KCR had played all his poll gimmicks in the 2009 elections as he had poll alliance with his arch rival N Chandrababu Naidu to defeat Congress party.
TRS went into polls along with TDP and Left parties under the banner of Maha Kutami. TRS had played with the T sentiment again and tasted bitter. It had contested 45 assembly seats and 6 LS seats. But, it got only 10 MLAs and two MPs. He blatantly blamed Chandrababu Naidu for poor results to Maha Kutami. He faced rough weather after 2009 elections as many key leaders in the TRS had said good bye to him. At one stage, the Telangana politics crumbled with unprecedented dissident activities and it had been felt that a vertical split is unavoidable in TRS. It could be stated as worst period for the party had it after its formation. Literally, political analysts say that TRS was in death bed after series of blows from within the party leaders.
Chronology of resignations in TRS
KCR resigned as TDP MLA, Deputy Speaker of Assembly
Resigned as Siddipet MLA keeping his MP seat
KCR & Narendra resigned for Union Cabinet ministries
Resigned as MP after MS comments
Six state ministers resigned
KCR resigned as MP
4 MPs, 3 MLCs, 16 MLAs resigned
KCR resigned as TRS chief with dissident activity
10 MLAs and 1 MLC resigned
10 MLAS and 1 MLC resigned again
KCR and Vijayashanti resigned as MPs (presented to speaker
11 MLAs resigned after Speaker rejecting letters
Pocharam resigned, reelected from Banswada
4 MLAs from TDP, Cong resigned after joining TRS, re-elected
Changing political scenario gave fluids to TRS after sudden demise of Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister in a helicopter crash on September 2, 2009. Demand for free zone for Hyderabad gained momentum in the State. The agitation became a weapon in the hand of TRS. KCR had launched indefinite fast on November 23, 2009 when K Rosaiah was the Chief Minister. Just after 17 days of fast, the Centre came down and made an announcement that the process of Telangana separate state would begin from now. Home Minister P Chidambaram’s statement gave new spirits among the people of Telangana. The KCR’s fast could be described as historical in the history of the State in general and for Telangana in particular.
Glorious days are back in TRS after the fast and Chidambaram’s statement. KCR described himself as changed man and many leaders went back into TRS fold. In the by-elections held in July 2011 and February 2012, TRS achieved tremendous victory as many candidates of TDP and Congress had lost even deposits. Its strength in 2009 elections was just 10. It reached to 17 seats in 2012.
TRS had won a dubious distinction as it was the first political party in the Indian history which resigned for 13 times and faced eight by-elections.