The BJP appears to be pushing Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his family hard — but, at the same time, not beyond a point. While it continues to bear down on other leaders of the newly-rechristened Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), its approach to KCR’s family appears measured and circumspect.
One reason for this is that the party is wary of KCR’s ability of making the best of even a bad situation. The BJP does not want him to build a sympathy wave in favour of the BRS by inexorably hounding his family.
The BJP could not have missed how quickly sympathy built up for KCR’s daughter and MLC K Kavitha in the wake of her grilling by the CBI at her residence in connection with her alleged role the Delhi liquor scam.
Reason No. 2 is Kavitha herself. KCR’s daughter has quite some following in Telangana and any action against her could quickly be capitalised on by the BRS — even portraying it as evidence of the BJP not being beyond harassing a woman.
Already, social media is abuzz with posts that the CBI is planning to arrest Kavitha. Given the BRS’ control of social media narratives, a skill it has picked up from the BJP, this could be a way to drum up sympathy for Kavitha and turn people against the BJP.
And the third reason? Surprisingly, the Congress. The BJP seems to think that the grand old party, which is biding its time to strike at both BRS and the BJP at the opportune time, might capitalise on how the BJP is misusing central institutions to go after its political rivals.
Neither the BJP nor the BRS want the Congress to gain strength in any way in Telangana — one of the very few states where it still has some on-ground support — as it could prove to be a problem in the long run. They know that green shoots grow quickly in Congress if favourable conditions return.