Dimensional View of Nara Lokesh Leadership

Nara Lokesh happens to be at present one of the leading political leaders of the South Indian Telugu States – ‘Andhra Pradesh and Telangana’ on behalf of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Between the two Telugu States – only within Andhra Pradesh, Nara Lokesh is popular at present due to various factors, like; TDP being in government power, TDP’s leading caste base emanating from this region (Kamma caste), etc. While describing Nara Lokesh, a superlative in the form of ‘popular leader’ is used. This superlative phrase should be understood in a careful manner.

The superlative phrase ‘popular leader’ usually denotes having a mass base and ‘presence of popularity’ of a political leader among the people. But, while understanding Nara Lokesh at present, he should not be (mis)understood in such a manner. The superlative phrase ‘popular leader’ should be understood in relation to Nara Lokesh as having popularity only within his own political party, i.e., TDP.

In Indian politics, a few are recognised as ‘popular’ based on certain qualities, like; from family lineage background, a prominent position held by a particular person/family, close proximity to the political power corridor, etc. From this perspective Nara Lokesh popularity should be understood; but not from ‘mass political popularity’ perspective!

I

Nara Lokesh’s grand-father Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR) was a famous Tollywood film star and later during second innings of his life, NTR entered into politics by establishing the TDP in the first half duration of the 1980’s. Surprisingly, within a few months after the establishment of the TDP; NTR became Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on behalf of the TDP, by ousting the then ‘single dominant political player – Indian National Congress’ (INC). Since then, TDP is recognised as a political party having leadership leaning towards the Kamma caste! And, Backward Classes (BC’s) are considered to be another major chunk of vote bank to this party.

In August 1995 NTR’s youngest son-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu captured the leadership position of TDP and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh position, successfully by ousting NTR through a political coup. Till then NTR was continuing in those two positions. Since then, Nara Chandrababu Naidu has been continuing as the President of the TDP, unabatedly. And Naidu also able to become the Chief Minister on behalf of TDP, as and when a chance emerges through a democratic electoral process.

Unable to bear this bitter humiliation from his son-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu, his family members and his party-men; NTR finally passed away in January 1996. All this at another level indicates that for more than three decades, for now, the leadership of the TDP rested only with a single community, i.e., Kamma, and that too in particular with two individuals, i.e., NTR and Nara Chandrababu Naidu. 

Nara Lokesh happens to be the only biological son of Nara Chandrababu Naidu. Nara Chandrababu Naidu had his life beginning from a middle-class Rayalaseema region (Chittoor District) Kamma family background. His political leanings were observed primarily from his student politics onwards, at University range. It was widely reported across the Telugu region that he inherited only two acres of agricultural land from his father. Though he had such a middle-class family background, surprisingly, he was successful enough to marry a rich and popular NTR’s daughter.

As per various informal sources, it was reported that though Nara Chandrababu Naidu had his humble beginnings from a middle-class family background, by the time he married NTR’s daughter he was rich enough!! But, it was not clear to the public how he became a rich person by that time!!?? 

II

All this indicates that Nara Lokesh inherited a ‘popular film and political family background’. As a continuing measure to keep such a close family tie-up and knit, Nara Lokesh was also married to his own uncle Nandamuri Balakrishna’s daughter. Professionally Nara Lokesh can be observed as a management professional due to his educational background. After completion of his studies, he also looked after his father’s established dairy farm ‘Heritage Foods’. Unlike his father Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Nara Lokesh is not observed as passionate enough having political ambitious goals and targets, by critics. 

After having a brief stint in family business activities, Nara Lokesh was slowly inducted into TDP politics since 2009 election time onwards, by his father Naidu. This indicates that Lokesh is closely following the (suggested, laid and/or showed) footsteps of his father without revealing and establishing his own mark in any domain, so far; first by looking after family business and second by entering into politics through (family) TDP.

During 2009 election time TDP faced immense difficulty in three forms. They are in the following manner:[i] 

  1. TDP was seen and regarded as a pro-market liberalisation (neo-liberal economic policies inclined) party, without looking after the welfare of the people. Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s Chief Ministerial tenure during 1995-2004 was the prime reason for the development of such a view.[ii]
  2. TDP started to face an immense sub-regional challenge since 2001 onwards from a newly established party – Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS), in the Telangana region.
  3. In August 2008, keeping in view the scheduled 2009 elections, Tollywood famous star and Kapu caste’s well admirer Chiranjeevi launched his own political party and named it as Praja Rajyam Party (TDP). This step also started to have a political blow in a few regions of the Coastal Andhra Pradesh districts, primarily!! 

These factors made TDP Chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu be cautious during this 2009 election time and accordingly, he took a few corrective steps in various modes, like; 

  1. By forming a grand political alliance consisting of TDP – Communist Parties & TRS (pre-poll alliance). 
  2. In order to counter film glamour of the PRP and Chiranjeevi, he even made his Kamma family film heroes venture into politics. As a result, his brother-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna and his nephew Junior Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (Jr NTR) campaigned for the TDP during this election.[iii]

During this 2009 election time, as per various reports, the political leanings of Nara Lokesh started. This indicates, at some level that in addition to his regular Heritage business tasks Lokesh also started to look after the activities of the TDP on a slow mode. Though Chandrababu Naidu, Nandamuri Balakrishna and Jr NTR participated vigorously in the electoral campaign of TDP during this election season, Nara Lokesh was not seen prominently in the electoral campaign process and even in the prominent political activities.

But, during this election time, in order to erase the pro-neo-liberal economic policies brand to his leadership and his party, Nara Chandrababu Naidu started to show that his party under his leadership was inclining towards ‘welfare measures for the betterment of the people’.

As a sequential measure towards a process of brand image build-up (trustworthy leadership promise), Chandrababu Naidu announced an innovative programme as part of the electoral manifesto. This electoral promise was related to ‘Direct-Cash-Transfer’ scheme to the unemployed youth. As per this promise, a certain amount of monthly income would be directly deposited into unemployed youth’s account every month by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, if the TDP or its pre-poll alliance was voted to power, primarily the former.

Interestingly, Nara Chandrababu Naidu gave this scheme’s credit to this son Nara Lokesh. By crediting so, Nara Chandrababu Naidu started to project his son Lokesh as an intellectual, who is well educated from a foreign university. But, the political critics observed that Nara Chandrababu Naidu was giving such a credit to his son Lokesh, in order to keep in low/balance/undermine the rising popularity of his nephew Jr NTR in the electoral campaign battle!! Both Jr NTR and Nara Lokesh belong to near age group.

The proved oratory skills of Jr NTR during election campaign made a few to recognise and comment that the TDP may go under the leadership of Jr NTR in near future. Around such a time, Nara Chandrababu Naidu started to project his son Nara Lokesh as an intellectual doing ground-work for TDP, though not in the forefront of the political campaign!! 

In addition to this, at various other points of time, Nara Chandrababu Naidu also said that his son Nara Lokesh had good intellect since his childhood. In order to prove and establish such a view, later-on Naidu used to say now and then; that during 1990’s when he got chance to become the Prime Minister of India, on behalf of the National Front, his son Lokesh advised him not to take up that position!! 

The ultimate result of the 2009 election was bitter to almost all the political parties contested, the ‘Mahakutami – TDP-CPI-CPIM-TRS’ (TDP forged) ‘Grand alliance’ failed to captured political power. The INC under the leadership of YSR won the election with a near margin and formed the government in Andhra Pradesh for a second consecutive term. The PRP and TRS were also not satisfied with their final electoral performance. 

III

After 2009 election, in the due process of time, Nara Lokesh’s wife – Nara Brahmani started to look after the affairs of the Heritage Group. It should be understood, that in addition to other family members, like; Lokesh and Lokesh Mother, Brahmani also started looking after the affairs of the Heritage Group. And, Nara Chandrababu Naidu too coordinates the activities of the Heritage Group as Chief promoter, though not revealed and acknowledged publicly at any point in time. Lokesh’s wife Brahmani is also professionally inclined towards Management dimension, by virtue of her higher educational background. 

Slowly, Nara Lokesh started to get promoted in TDP internal events like during annual ‘Mahanadu’, etc. Same-time, it was also ‘prominently proved and reported publicly’ that Jr NTR was aspiring too much in TDP’s leadership category. As a result of such media publicity and more or due to other undisclosed reasons Jr NTR started to distance himself from TDP, without openly addressing the levelled allegations against him. 

Nara Lokesh started to gain information and control over the party in a slow mode by working under the guidance, advice and leadership of his father. Lokesh so far failed to prove his prime political leadership qualities. But, either Lokesh or/and his father may not accept such a comment, observation and view. 

IV

After 2014 elections Lokesh started to occupy centre stage in Andhra Pradesh politics; because TDP was able to capture political power after 2014 election results declaration. This electoral result also coincided with the bifurcation of existing Andhra Pradesh, which existed since 1956 into ‘(residual) Andhra Pradesh and the Telangana States’. In the Telangana region, TDP’s political prospectus blinked considerably, due to an intensified challenge from the TRS since November 2009 onwards.

Due to Nara Chandrababu’s age factor, TDP’s next leadership was projected as inclining towards Nara Lokesh direction. Nara Lokesh was also slowly promoted and elevated in various levels within the party and government since then. Lokesh was also made as the General Secretary of TDP. He was also praised and elevated much in annual TDP’s ‘Mahanadu’ event, by other leaders, under the prominent view and guidance of Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

Most importantly, after 2014 elections, Nara Lokesh became a ‘noted popular person’ among the TDP ranks and files, due to the position he held, primarily. Since TDP was in political power holding Government of Andhra Pradesh charge, the significance of Lokesh is realised much by various quarters mostly within the TDP, to gain proximity to the power and to gain required ‘sanctions’ in various modes. In the second part after 2014 elections, in 2017 Lokesh was also inducted into the Council of Minister’s category headed by his father Nara Chandrababu Naidu as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. For this purpose, he was made as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC), in order to continue in the Ministerial position, unabatedly for required tenure. 

Since 2014 onwards the opposition party in Andhra Pradesh politics ‘Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party’ (YSRCP) highlighted much Nara Lokesh in various modes, as head of corruption channel to the TDP headed Government of Andhra Pradesh, unsuitable to politics, as a political comedy piece, etc. Towards this end, the YSRCP and its associated formal and informal channels and wings started to promote Nara Lokesh in ill-light as a damaging and dangerous person to the prospects of Andhra Pradesh politics and development.

In this process, Lokesh was much highlighted in social media in negative modes, especially in serious political comedy style. At times, the projections of the opposition YSRCP and other views against Lokesh also resembles to be genuine – and gave strong projection that Lokesh doesn’t deserve to be a ‘politician’ or Minister in the Andhra Pradesh Government!! Now and then, TDP leadership and cadre is also having a difficult time to negate the ill-motivated campaign against their leader – Lokesh, due to genuinely involved criticism, which is presented and promoted in different digital formats, primarily!!

Sadly, previously, the TDP under Nara Chandrababu Naidu leadership upto 2014 used to project a few persons either directly or indirectly under ill mode, like; YSR, Rahul Gandhi, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, etc. At present, Nara Chandrababu Naidu is facing the same critique style against his son Lokesh, in a more intensified manner. But, both Lokesh and Nara Chandrababu Naidu are unable to escape such critical damaging campaign, mainly Lokesh!! 

V

Concluding Remarks                                

All this indicates that so far Nara Lokesh failed to emerge as a strong individual leader on the political scene of Telugu States, particularly in the Andhra Pradesh domain. He is able to continue, so far, as a leader of the TDP based on his family political lineage! A leader should be able to grab potential (political) opportunity or have the ability to create potential (political) leadership necessity, particular to his/her projected vision.

When seen from this perspective, Nara Chandrababu Naidu was successful enough in both ways; first he was able to grab opportunity of TDP leadership and Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministerial position from his father-in-law NTR (though in a cunning manner) and later he was able to project himself as a better visionary leader in various modes by highlighting his vision inclined towards creation of ‘Swarna Andhra Pradesh’, etc., especially during 1995-2004. But, Naidu’s political leanings started since 1970’s as a student leader. Since then, he had been involved in Andhra Pradesh political process in various modes, ultimately came to prime lime-light by ousting NTR in 1995.

As of now, it appears that Lokesh is following the footsteps of his father. But, in politics, a leader can follow in the footsteps of a leader only for a certain duration. Ultimately, he/she has to emerge successfully on the political scene. As of now, it appears that Lokesh is yet to develop a lot of political knowledge, information and requires guidance too. Some qualities come with genuine interest. But, Lokesh is unable to project even a few basic leadership qualities and got exposed publicly, on many occasions. Though TDP ranks and files are at present rallying behind Nara Lokesh and projecting him as their popular leader; it would be suspicious and dangerous to believe such a projection. At present, such a popular projection is projected due to Lokesh’s proximity to the political corridor.

Even Lokesh and his family members’ wishes to carry forward popular projected projection because of their advantaged position in TDP and Government! And, they too knew well that the present popular projection is not genuine in nature and may lose boost, particularly if political prospects turn the other side, in disadvantageous to them! Yet, they want to continue and enjoy this political game. While continuing the present political game, they wish to be successful in future too, based on ‘acquired resources’. But, politics is a dynamic discourse. It creates its own leaders!! All aspirants may not continue in the political leadership discourse. Political history, even democratic history is a clear testimony to such a view.  Anyhow, we have to wait and see how Nara Lokesh’s political prospectus turns in due course of time. How can he steam in political current is yet to be seen; in future, especially on his own as a leading leader of TDP. Or will he remain as a subordinated leader within TDP or how other dimensions may unfold!!??

End Notes

[i] Some of the above factors were even common to other political players too. But, I am dealing specifically in relation to TDP only, at present!

[ii] As a counter to such a position, the INC under the leadership of Y S Rajashekara Reddy (YSR) at Andhra Pradesh level showed a welfare-oriented path during 2004-2009. YSR was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh during 2004-2009. Even as an opposition party against the TDP, during 1995-2004 the INC also critiqued bitterly TDP in relation to neo-liberal economic policies inclination and more. But, in India, the neo-liberal economic direction started only with the INC since 1990’s under P V Narasimha Rao’s Prime Ministerial tenure!!) [Discussing political parties’ double standards and more on neo-liberal economic policies inclination is beyond the scope of this article]. 

[iii] On the other side a host of film personalities from Chiranjeevi’s family background like his brother, son, nephew, etc., in addition to Chiranjeevi participated seriously in the electoral campaign.

 

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Book Review ‘Telangana Prajatirpu’

Kommineni Srinivasa Rao is one of the eminent journalists in the Telugu media. He composed this volume in April 2015.  And this volume was published by one of the leading publishing houses in Telugu, i.e. Prajashakti Book House (PBH). Kommineni is primarily a well known political journalist and he had a long-serving track record in various media houses, including print and electronic. In addition to regular media exposure, he is also inclined towards the production of political literature in print form, now and then. The present volume is one such venture.

The present volume attempts to showcase electoral lineage and trajectory of Assembly and Lok Sabha Constituencies in the State of Telangana. In this sequence, all the Legislative and Lok Sabha Constituencies details since the first election in democratic India, i.e. 1952 onwards are presented in a tabular form. The details in the tabular form include; year of the election held, total votes polled, valid votes, the name of the candidate winning in the election, winning candidates political party affiliation and total votes secured,  nearest defeated candidate and his/her political party affiliation along with details of votes polled. In addition to these particulars, the tabular forms also indicated details about any by-election, etc.

Telangana Prajatirpu 001

At present, there are a total of 119 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha Constituencies in Telangana. Details about all these Constituencies since the first election held in 1952 or since the formation of constituencies due to re-drawing of electoral constituencies are mentioned in a tabular format.

Before presentation of tabular details about each constituency, the author presented a ‘brief introduction’ about various politicians who have won or have been winning, their political affiliations, family affiliations (if required), caste background, any other significance like serving in the cabinet, or holding the position of Chief Minister, etc.

This volume would be a useful ‘reference’ to researchers, political journalists, political parties, politicians, etc. who are interested in electoral politics of this political geographical location, i.e. Telangana.

Since this volume can be used only as a ‘reference work; for the sake of this review, I read a few pages only, i.e. in particular about the electoral constituencies of the Adilabad district. Based on this reading, I composed this review.

Telangana Prajatirpu +1 001

I feel the introduction to this work should have been little strengthened with ‘standardization’. The present introduction to the work, in my view, would be useful and/or understandable only to the present generation. Had this introduction been strengthened little further, next generation people also would have felt comfort in knowing ‘certain facts’ in a sequential detailed manner. The author should have inserted a section like ‘preface’ and attempted to share a few details like methodology, limitations to this work, difficulties faced to compose this work, etc.

 

Unveil of Dr B R Ambedkar Statue at Ghattuppal Village

I was invited to unveil Dr B R Ambedkar’s statue at Ghattuppal village, Nalgonda District, Telangana State on the occasion of Ambedkar’s 127th birth anniversary i.e., April 14, 2018. On this occasion, I spoke on the ‘Relevance of Understanding Ambedkar’s Perspective’. Two of Dalit Students’ Union (DSU), University of Hyderabad’s alumni were part and parcel of this event, i.e., Jangaiah Boya and myself (S Swaroop Sirapangi). These two people’s names can be observed in this event’s schedule script. This event was well organised by the Scheduled Caste – Madiga locality of Ghattuppal village, who came under a platform named as ‘Ambedkar Youth Association of Ghattuppal village’. 

Full View of StatueInauguration Template

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Praja Rajaym Party (PRP) Election Manifesto For 2009 Elections

Chiranjeevi, one of the popular Tollywood lead actors launched a political party in the year 2008, keeping in view scheduled elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and to the Lok Sabha in the year 2009. He named his political outfit as ‘Praja Rajyam’ (PR). This PR came to be popularly referred in due course of time as PRP – Praja Rajyam Party.

PRP successfully contested the 2009 elections but failed to capture political power by forming Government. By the year 2011 PRP got formally merged with the Indian National Congress (INC). While merging PRP with the INC, Chiranjeevi expressed hope and commitment that the INC will deliver PRP’s expected and cherished noble goals. In this entire sequence, though the PRP was short-lived, its well promoted and released manifesto has its own significance. Please see the below link for a .pdf version of the PRP’s 2009 election manifesto. 

PRP Manifesto, 2009

TRS under KCR’s Leadership During 2001-2009

The second political innings of Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) as a prime leader and founder of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had witnessed intense emotional political commotion. As a sub-regional political party leader articulating the interests of the Telangana region and people within Andhra Pradesh’s political entity, he used to device a few innovative strategies. His original assertive political approach, as per visible observable pattern was his emotionally connecting speeches. His speeches had a simultaneous dual edged target. While the Telangana people used to cheer, the rest of the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema people used to feel hurt, after watching and listening KCR’s speeches.

Politically KCR’s TRS party was able to establish some hold and ground only within a few districts after its establishment. This dimension continued for long. The North Telangana districts primarily had a firm grip in favour of the TRS. But then, even on a few occasions, the TRS lost its prospects within the North Telangana districts and performed miserably during a few electoral contests. The Southern Telangana zone had relatively less impact concerning about the TRS’s base and ideology. In another sense, while the North Telangana zone had better cadre and leadership, such dimension lacked in the Southern Telangana zone.

But then, the political prospects of the TRS started to had an entirely different position due to the changed political situation since November/December 2009 onwards. The political base of the TRS began to witness widespread penetration since the end of the year 2009; same time other political parties used to feel worried due to loosing of their base to the TRS. 

II

From 2001 to 2009, i.e., from the establishment of the TRS to broad political base shift in favour of the TRS had undergone different dimensions. During 2001 to 2004 the TRS made intense efforts to pave base for its ideological assertion within the democratic electoral sphere. The confidence of the TRS also gained an immense positive boost after witnessing a certain level of success in the local self-governance bodies elections.

During the year 2004 elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies, TRS and the Indian National Congress (INC) had an electoral collaboration. As a result of such coalition engagement both the TRS and INC, after elections had formed joint governments at the Andhra Pradesh level and the national level. In another sense, both at the Andhra Pradesh level and at the federal level, the TRS became part and parcel of the Council of Ministries headed by respective Chief Minister and Prime Minister. The INC primarily formed both governments at the Andhra Pradesh and national level. Mainly, the INC government at the federal level was a significant coalition government, under the Prime Minister-ship of Dr Manmohan Singh. But, the INC government at Andhra Pradesh secured an absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly to form the government on its own. Even then, both the INC and the TRS had become part and parcel of a coalition government, at Andhra Pradesh. 

The TRS continued for a few years as part of the INC headed rules at the  Andhra Pradesh and national level. But, in due course of time, TRS started to quit the respective Ministries, alleging that the INC headed coalition governments, primarily at the national level failed to initiate measure towards the realisation of a separate Telangana state formation! First, TRS Ministers withdrew from the INC government at Andhra Pradesh level. And next, the TRS withdrew from the Union Council of Ministry. But, there was a significant time gap between the two decisions and withdrawal from the respective Council of Ministries headed by the Chief Minister and Prime Minister. 

The TRS faced an intense political competitive challenge, primarily from the INC at Andhra Pradesh level. A few elected representatives after 2004 elections had challenged the working and decision making styles of the TRS leadership, i.e., KCR. This prime challenge emerged when the TRS under KCR’s leadership decided to withdrew support to the INC government at Andhra Pradesh level; as a result of which TRS Ministers withdrew from the Council of Ministry headed by Y S Rajashekara Reddy.

The challenge of a few elected representatives during this time was analysed in both negative and positive shades. As per negative shaded perspective argument, the elected representatives who challenged the TRS and KCR’s leadership and decision making style were branded as opportunistically looking towards the INC and Y S Rajashekara Reddy’s leadership for better political prospects and more!!

Such suspected ill-intention of the TRS elected representatives amounts to arguing that a few elected representatives were always ready to associate and benefit by willing to illegally and immorally associate with those who are in political power, like the INC and Y S Rajashekara Reddy in this particular case and situation. In fact, this kind of trend in politics had started and made party formal political affiliations and ideological commitments in jeopardy. The Indian politics is continuing with this kind of contradictions. 

At another level, after 2004 elections, at times, on a few occasions, TRS cadre and local level leaders used to object to the working style and functioning nature of the KCR’s leadership. KCR used to had prolonged arguments with such sections and groups. But, as per media projections and analysis, KCR failed to engage and address their genuine political concerns democratically. As a result, the final result on such occasions resulted in loosing of sincere and committed cadre! During such times, political observers felt that the TRS under KCR’s leadership was heading towards a dangerous political crisis, as proper democratic decision making and problem resolving mechanism was not in place. 

Another political strategy adopted by the TRS under KCR’s leadership was to contest in the elections, even before the end of the formal tenure of the Legislative Assembly. As a result, a few Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Member of Parliament (MP) resigned and contested elections seeking fresh mandate towards their ideological and political performance. But, a few TRS elected representatives challenged such decision and sided with the INC, politically. This dimension should be seen from party defections perspective. All this happened in the year 2008, even though general elections were scheduled to be held in 2009! But, during this by-election atmosphere, the TRS contested elections without having any formal electoral alliance with any other co-political party like the INC, etc. The result of this by-election was dis-heartening to the TRS. KCR had a tight position to face; because of electoral humiliation after witnessing the by-election result and justify his leadership and decision-making ability and capability formally in front of media! During this by-election, the TRS lost the election on a massive scale. 

All this proves that the TRS during 2001-2009 had faced an intense political crisis. But, somehow, after completion of the year 2009 general elections and in particular after the sudden and tragic demise of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy; the TRS under KCR’s leadership had faced intense political ascendance. The political prospects of the TRS since the year end of the year 2009 should be analysed as a separate political phase. 

KCR as a United Andhra Pradesh Leader to TRS Founder

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s President Mr Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) had political innings since 1980’s with the launch of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). TDP’s favourite and the vocal stand was in favour of protecting and taking forward the interests of the ‘Telugu people and their pride’. Since KCR started his political career in the TDP, he was also primarily in favour of the TDP’s ideological legacy and projection, by and large.

Immediately after the conclusion of the year 1999’s Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly’s election, KCR expected to become part and parcel of the Council of Ministry headed by the TDP Chief and Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. But, to his utter disappointment, he was offered and elevated to the range and level of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly’s Deputy Speaker position. Surprisingly, KCR accepted and discharged the role and responsibility of this post, though he was disappointed for failing to get a berth in the Council of Ministry. Media used to highlight that KCR was discontented for failing to get a chance of induction in the Council of Ministry. But, KCR maintained tense silence without expressing his outburst against TDP President and Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, for offering him below range position, by keeping aside his political seniority, etc. 

Ultimately, in April 2001 KCR launched a separate Political party and named it as TRS. With the launch of TRS, KCR’s second political innings started as an independent prime leader of the TRS. He became a prominent sub-regional and state level political leader, primarily. Later on, he went on to become a national leader also, on behalf of the TRS, as Member of Parliament (MP),  Union Council of Minister under the Prime Minister-ship of Manmohan Singh led UPA coalition government, etc. 

II

KCR’s political leadership, activism, role, prospectus, etc. until the launch of the TRS revolved as a leader of the United Andhra Pradesh only. In every aspect, constitutionally and legally, he was committed to the progressive prospectus of the entire Andhra Pradesh and India, for having had taken oath as people’s representative! And, most importantly, he was part and parcel of the TDP, which was committed to the overall development and prospectus of the Telugu’s. 

As leader of the TDP and MLA in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, KCR once expressed his vociferous concerned wishful desire of curbing prevalent zonal system in the united Andhra Pradesh. The zonal system in the united Andhra Pradesh was prevalent, in order to curtail and limit encroach of some developed region people’s hegemony on some under-developed regions, in the spheres of education and employment. This zonal system has had constitutional protection also.

The TDP released video clipping of KCR’s speech in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, in which he expressed his opposition to the prevalent zonal system. But, the timing chosen by the TDP in the release of that video clip of KCR’s speech in favour of curbing Zonal system was subject to different criticisms. TDP released this video clip of KCR’s statement in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, much late, after the launch of the TRS by KCR. By the time TDP released the video clip of KCR’s speech, the political situation was far volatile, and there was no much impact on the TDP’s propaganda against KCR, as a suspicious person taking forward separate state cause of Telangana!! 

 

KCR’s Two Biggest Deceived Promises

Kalvakuntla Chandrashekara Rao, popularly referred and recognised as ‘KCR’ as per abbreviation is the Chief leader and President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) since its formation in April 2001. KCR had political leanings, primarily since 1980’s with the launch of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) by late Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (NTR), one of the lead founders of the TDP. KCR had impressive and successful political growth in the TDP up to 1990’s end, until he developed severe differences with the then TDP President and Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. As a result of sharp developed differences with AP Chief Minister and TDP President he launched his own and separate political outfit and named it as TRS.

After the year 1999 general election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, KCR felt deceived by the TDP President and AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for not offering him a Ministerial position, which he held and discharged during the previous tenure of the AP Legislative Assembly. Since then, though he was elevated and offered the Deputy Speaker position of the AP Legislative Assembly, he was highly uncomfortable and started to move his wishes and plans to launch a separate political party for the cause of achieving a different Telangna state, by bifurcating from the united AP.

From this point onwards he emerged as one of the lead leaders in AP politics as a person wishing to represent the wishes of the sub-regional identity political discourse. Interestingly, media also gave him, and his party required space concerning coverage. But, whether such media coverage could be satisfactory or unsatisfactory depends upon various factors like the methods and ways of projection adopted by media regarding the news report, analysis, etc. On the whole KCR, had emerged as a lead sub-regional and state level leader in AP politics. This was a drastic departure from his previous role and position as a leader of the TDP, people’s representative as Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), etc.

Media coverage, people’s expectations and observation of a prominent leader would always be different. In fact, observation and media coverage varies from the role and position of a politician. In the present case, KCR also occupied a unique situation, with his launch of TRS. The actions, speeches, observations, views, etc. of him used to get immense attention in media. At times, mocking also used to happen.

II

In entire KCR’s political career two significant issues are noteworthy. They relate to his prominent promises made and tendered at crucial times and on crucial matters. But, he failed to stand up to his promised words!! These two incidents pertain to ‘his promise of elevating a Dalit politician as Chief Minister of a separate Telangana State, after formation of Telangana State’, and another one related to ‘merger of TRS with the Indian National Congress (INC) immediately after passage of separate Telangana Bill by the Indian Parliament’. He failed to live and stand up to these two repeatedly made promises!!

Immediately after passage of a separate Telangana state formation Bill by the Indian Parliament he made volta and started to attack the INC in a filthy language verbally and declined to merge TRS with the INC! And, next, after completion of the year 2014 general elections, he refused to elevate any Dalit politician as Chief Minister of newly formed Telangana State!!

III

In India, politicians and political parties are notable for making deceiving promises as part of their electoral promises and at times even fails to implement and stand up to declared electoral manifesto promises. But, KCR’s deceived promises are very historical and contextual. He will be remembered in political history in both positive and negative terms. He will be recognised positively for fostering a separate democratic political movement and battle for achieving a different Telangana state. And, at the same time, his role will be negatively documented for deceiving Dalits for not elevating any Dalit politician as Chief Minister of Telangana state and for cheating a co-political party INC without TRS merger into it.

Interestingly, KCR felt deceived by the TDP Chief and the then AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for not offering him a proper political position, i.e., space in the Council of Ministers immediately after the conclusion of the year 1999 general elections to the AP Legislative Assembly. And, KCR repeatedly continued to argue, voice and highlight deceived and humiliated developmental prospects meted out by the Andhra politicians to the Telangana region and people, as leader of the TRS. But, in reality, he turned to be a deceiver, on a few occasions, like the prominent two deceived incidents mentioned and highlighted above!!