Hyderabad: K Chandrashekhar Rao’s government in Telangana on Thursday recommended dissolution of the state assembly months before the end of its term, paving way for early elections in the state. KCR’s move seems to be based on the presumption that there is a positive mood among people on the government.
The final call on whether to conduct an early election rests with the Election Commission, which has six months till March to hold the polls. “ECI has received report and notification from Telangana Chief Electoral Officer. Commission will consider all legal and logistical aspects and deliberate on next course of action in their weekly meeting tomorrow,” news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.
In normal circumstances, the assembly election in the state would have coincided with the Lok Sabha polls likely April-May next year.
News agency PTI quoted a Union Home Ministry official saying that it is up to the poll panel to decide whether it wants elections in Telangana to take place with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November-December.
However, Rao claimed the Election Commission had been consulted and that Telangana would go to polls along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
“There is no confusion. I personally spoke to the Chief Election Commissioner. Elections will be held along with the four other states.” He claimed that the notification would be issued in October.
Ending weeks of intense speculation, Rao chaired a meeting of the state cabinet, which adopted the resolution urging Governor E S L Narasimhan to dissolve the House.
The governor accepted the recommendation and dissolved the Assembly soon afterwards and asked Rao, who headed the state’s first government from June 2014, to continue as caretaker chief minister.
“The Governor, while accepting the recommendation of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers has requested K Chandrashekar Rao and his Council of Ministers to continue in office as a caretaker government. Chandrasekhar Rao has agreed to this request,” a Raj Bhavan press communique said.
Speculation was rife over the last few weeks about the likelihood of Rao going for an early election as he did not want national issues raised during the next year’s Lok Sabha polls to overshadow local factors, which the Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) feels, are in its favour.
The Congress and some other opposition parties cried foul over the development, calling it the result of a “dubious pact” between Rao and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, Rao put to rest speculations about TRS and BJP planning a post-poll alliance after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “TRS is a 100 per cent secular party. How can we join hands with BJP?” he said.
Hours after the dissolution of state Assembly, caretaker CM Rao called Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the “biggest buffoon” in the country.
“Everyone knows what Rahul Gandhi is…the biggest buffoon in the country. The whole country has seen how he went and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament and winked,” Rao said at a press conference.
“Rahul Gandhi has inherited the legacy of the Congress Delhi Sultanate. He is the legal heir of the Congress empire of Delhi. That is the reason I appeal to the people, let’s not become slaves to Congress, slaves to Delhi,” he added.
He also said that the Congress party was the “biggest enemy and villain number one” of the state, flaying it for “baseless, mindless and meaningless” allegations against the TRS government.
Jawaharlal Nehru defeated Telangana…November 1, 1956 (states’ reorganisation, formation of unified AP) is Telanganas black day. After that late Indira Gandhi acted as a dictator,” he said when asked about the Congress’ claim that it created Telangana as separate state.
Largely sparing the BJP in his criticism, he said “decisions on Telangana should be taken in Telangana.”
Shortly after his big political gambit which was seen as a bid to avoid a “KCR vs Modi” campaign in any simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls, Rao announced candidates of the ruling TRS for 105 of the 119 assembly seats.
With the opposition hardly presenting the picture of a cohesive bloc, the TRS currently sits pretty in the state in whose creation Rao played a pivotal role.
Sources in the ruling party said Rao wanted to cash in on what he believes was a “positive atmosphere” in favour of his government.
Rao, TRS sources said, felt popular programmes launched by his government including the Bhagirathi Drinking Water Scheme, Kalyana Lakshmi/Shaadi Mubarak schemes for one-time assistance to economically weak families of girls of marriageable age, and Rythu Bandhu investment support scheme for farmers will help it reap a rich electoral harvest.
Rao asserted the party would win more than 100 of the state’s 119 seats. He also described Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM as a “friendly party” and said the TRS would continue to work with it.
The party-wise strength in the 120-member Telangana Legislative Assembly before its dissolution was TRS-82, Congress-17, AIMIM-7, BJP-5, TDP-3, Vacant-2, the CPI, CPI(M), Independent and nominated member (one each).