K. C. Rao
File image of K. Chandrasekhar Rao | KCR/ Facebook
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Opposition targets KCR, says move to opt for early polls guided by selfish motives; Congress accuses TRS of having “secret pact” with BJP.

Bengaluru: The opposition in Telangana Thursday swiftly responded to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s announcement to dissolve the assembly and call for snaps polls, saying it was ready to face elections.

The Congress and the Telugu Desam party (TDP) also said KCR’s decision was guided by selfish motives.

KCR, who is the head of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), has already announced candidates for 105 of the 119 constituencies in the state. His move is likely to advance the mid-2019 Telangana elections to the year-end, along with Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.


Also read: Why the Modi factor could push KCR to rush through elections in Telangana


Opposition attack

The Telangana Congress was the first to target the TRS, accusing the party of having a “secret pact” with the BJP. Party spokesperson M. Krishank said KCR will now have to justify the decision for early elections.

“We are prepared for these elections but this decision indicates that KCR has an understanding with the BJP. The TRS has not announced candidates in seats where the BJP is strong,” Krishank said.

“He (KCR) wants to go for elections with other states such as Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh but most people in Telangana know that this time the Congress has the advantage”.

The Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP echoed the Congress’ sentiments.

“People have given this government a chance for five years and now he (chief minister) needs to answer people. All his welfare schemes have been a flop. He must give us all a reason for why he dissolved the assembly,” said TDP spokesperson K. Rammohan Rao.

Rammohan Rao, however, said that the party was ready for the elections and that TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu had already held meetings in Hyderabad to formalise a list of candidates.

“We are strong enough to face polls. We are in a much better position than earlier and it will be a tough election for KCR,” the TDP spokesperson said.

“He (KCR) is in a hurry and that will be to our advantage as we will be able to show people of how we have governed in Andhra Pradesh. That will be our report card,” Rao added.


Also read: KCR cozies up to BJP and Naidu to Congress, Third Front takes a back seat


Fallout of ‘proximity’ to BJP

The opposition says that the chief minister’s ‘proximity’ to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make it difficult for the TRS to garner Muslim votes in its favour.

Sources in the TDP and the Congress said that would the toughest challenge for KCR as Muslim voters form close to 12 per cent of the state’s population. Sources in the Congress also said that the party is ready to hold talks for a possible alliance with the TDP.

KCR’s decision to dissolve the Assembly came after much deliberation in the Telangana cabinet. There is a belief that the chief minister thinks that he has better prospects of winning in early elections as opposed to the scheduled date of 2019, the year of the general elections.

KCR fears that the Modi juggernaut may overshadow his prospects and that the BJP’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls may have an effect on the voting pattern in Telangana.

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