The dots are too obvious to not be connected. Ever since K Chandrashekar Rao — also known as KCR — returned from New Delhi after meeting the prime minister on 15 June, all talk of forming a Federal Front has been moved to a cold storage. KCR, despite his presence in Delhi, stayed out of the Kejriwal episode where four non-BJP, non-Congress chief ministers took centre stage. Further confirming that something is cooking between Hyderabad and Delhi is KCR’s statement on Sunday that he was ready for early elections in Telangana.
KCR meets Narendra Modi on 15 June. Twitter/@TelanganaCMOKCR meets Narendra Modi on 15 June. Twitter/@TelanganaCMO
As a result, the power corridors of Hyderabad are speculating over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi has confided in KCR about the possibility of advancing the general elections to the winter of 2018. Since 1999, united Andhra Pradesh has always voted for its Assembly and the Lok Sabha together. Elections in November-December would mean holding the polls along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
A development that confirmed that KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is getting into election mode was the green signal to former Congress minister Danam Nagender to join the pink party. Considered a Congress strongman in Hyderabad politics at one point, Nagender has been a disgruntled soul in the Congress for the past four years, with his efforts to occupy a top party post in the state unit having come to naught. He has been on the TRS waiting list for long, and it appeared as though KCR wanted Nagender on board at an opportune time, closer to the elections. With his entry into the TRS on Sunday and KCR-speak on early polls, it is becoming increasingly clear that Telangana could have an early date with voting machines.
KCR has everything to gain with early elections. The Congress is still in disarray, with Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Uttam Kumar Reddy facing an open rebellion from other party leaders who fancy his post. There is resentment over the induction of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and BJP leaders such as Revanth Reddy and Nagam Janardhan Reddy into the Congress, resulting in the defection of competitors at the district level to the TRS.