The Lok Sabha election in less than six months would be KCR's opportunity to emerge strong after the Telangana Assembly loss.
What will former Telangana chief minister and BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR, do, going forward?
After the debilitating defeat of the BRS in the Assembly elections, the immediate task before KCR appears to be to lift the sagging morale of the party workers and prepare them for the Lok elections in 2024.
According to BRS sources South First reached out to, KCR may not want be Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, and might let his son and party working president KT Rama Ra, or KTR, don the role.
It is being said that KCR cannot bear the sight of Revanth Reddy as chief minister and leader of the House. He may instead lead the legislature party as its chairman and script strategies for KTR to put the Revanth Reddy-led government on the mat.
Though the party leadership has not yet paid its attention to who should be the Leader of the Opposition, the party circles believe it would be KTR.
“KTR will be the most likely choice to lead the Opposition,” a BRS leader told South First, while admitting that a decision to this effect will be taken only after the new Assembly is constituted and its session is called.
“We do not know when the present Assembly will be dissolved. It has to be done before the new government takes over. It will happen may be in a few days,” the BRS leader said.
As reviving the BRS’s fortunes is the foremost task for KCR, he would be attending to the grey areas of the party which the elections have thrown up, like making it more people-friendly vis-a-vis the criticism that it tended to be dictatorial, and its leaders inaccessible .
As KCR is still regarded as a towering personality in Telangana whether or not he is power, he continues to draw a lot of water across the state. The way he led the Telangana movement in the face of oppression by the then Congress dispensation will continue to work in his favour.
It is likely that he would use his political acumen and his razor-sharp brain to embarrass the Congress government and help the BRS bounce back, just in time for the Lok Sabha polls.
As KCR is no quitter, he may not abandon his national ambitions but would likely talk about them only after the party notches up an impressive performance in the Lok Sabha election, now less than six months away.
“He himself might contest in the Lok Sabha election. Who knows, his decision to contest from Kamareddy was borne out of his desire to go to the Lok Sabha from there next year, though the impression given was that he was paving the way to Delhi for his daughter K Kavitha,” political analyst Telakapallli Ravi told South First.
Though the Telangana sentiment has turned tepid, if not cold, KCR would not let go of his ownership of it in the wake of Revanth Reddy showing signs of playing on regional sentiments. He dedicated the party’s victory to Srikantha Chary and other Telangana martyrs at his maiden press conference after winning the election.
Though Revanth Reddy cannot hold a candle to KCR on this count, he, nevertheless, would try to rake up the emotive issue to stay afloat in the dicey game of politics. This implies that KCR would continue to stoke emotions, whenever an attempt is made wrest the initiative from him.
According to Ravi, once the party affairs are in place in Telangana, KCR would then look beyond the state. Even before the 2018 Assembly polls, he tried to float the federal front theory which had helped his persona acquire a new dimension and help him steamroll to power then.
With the Opposition efforts coming unstuck in 2019, he abandoned the idea of an anti-BJP and anti-Congress chorus, and has ever since began projecting himself as leader ploughing a lonely furrow with his Ab ki bar Kisan Sarkar slogan.
The objective of this attempt was seen as two fold — one to rise to the national level, and and two, to use his attempts in this direction to enhance his image to fight the Telangana election. But other factors, which were hitherto non-existent, such as voter ennui, played party pooper.
As KCR is fighting the Congress at the state level, he cannot join hands with national Opposition INDIA bloc which is led by the Congress, though the grand old party’s equation in the alliance may change after it lost two states — Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan — to the BJP, and allowed the saffron party to beat anti-incumbency and retain Madhya Pradesh.
KCR has tried to emerge as the fulcrum for anti-BJP and anti-Congress forces, but had to mellow down his attacks on the saffron party after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) began going after his daughter and BRS MLC K Kavitha in the infamous Delhi liquor scam.
“The Lok Sabha elections are key to his future course of action. If he cannot get a good number of seats, he would again try to get the anti-BJP and anti-Congress forces together, while at the same time trying to set the cat among the pigeons in the Congress camp in the state,” Ravi noted.