By Arshita Biswas
The state of Telangana was first established on 2nd june 2014 and Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao also known as KCR, was the first Chief Minister of Telangana. Rao was then again re-elected for the second term in 2018. Previously, KCR served as the Union Minister of Labour and Employment for 2 years (2004-2006). He represents Gajwel constituency in the Legislative Assembly of Telangana. He is the leader and founder of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, a regional party in Telangana, India. He is known for leading the Telangana movement to achieve statehood for Telangana.
Rao is a staunch believer in astrology, numerology and Vaastu. He has been taking every step of his political career while keeping his astrologer in confidence. Rao’s astrologers have been very confident about his stars. They knew about the dissolution of the Telangana Assembly long before anyone else. From the run-up to the date of announcement of dissolution , September 6, 2018, the predictions got even more precise. From the exact time of the Cabinet meet to recommend the dissolution to the time the governor would be approached, KCR did not do anything unless he was sure that his stars were aligned in his favour and got a heads up from his astrologer. KCR didn’t disappoint the astrologers and everything went smoothly. Victory was therefore given. “His horoscope is extremely stong, it is a one-in-a-crore horoscope,” says Vijay Ananth, a popular astrologer and a prominent face on Telugu television. Some even equated his horoscope with that of King Vikramaditya. Thus, it is strongly believed by many that its KCR’s stars that have turned into Telangana.
KCR was known for his fiery, aggressive, foul- mouthed approach for his campaigns, but that attitude had mellowed down after the split with Andhra Pradesh and becoming the Chief Minister of Telangana. However, it looks like he is back at his astringent self. He calls himself the Mogudu (alpha male), but he has been termed as a “buffoon” by Rahul Gandhi and the Andhra Chief Minister and leader of TDP, Chandrababu Naidu called him a “lizard”.
Rao’s strategy for his campaigns has now shifted to attacking and questioning the opposition parties from actually highlighing his strengths and the change is palpable. Telakapalli Ravi, a Hyderabad-based political analyst said, “He started by asking the electorate to vote on his performance as chief minister but now he is saying the Opposition alliance would be a disaster to the fledgling state if it comes to power. That is not the language of a confident man.”. “His abuse of the Opposition leaders is not lost on the masses. They will teach him a lesson. They don’t like people who behave like egoistic emperors,” says Sravan Dasoju, general-secretary of the state Congress and its chief spokesperson. Also the fact that KCR has been promoting his son K.T. Rama Rao, and his daughter, K. Kavitha in his campaigns has not gone down too well with party workers and might give rise to some major internal rifts say observers who also point to recent defections towards the Congress. However, Keshava Rao dismissed all these allegations. He lists KCR’s relations who are in politics, and claims they are all leaders in their own rights and KCR “happens to be” their “close relative”. Having said all of this KCR has been applauded for his welfare schemes, which has reached out to most of the sections of society and these could play a key role in his favour. “Power scarcity is no longer an issue. Water scarcity has been solved to a great extent in Hyderabad and sdevelopment in our constituencies has been taken up on a priority,” says Asaduddin Owaisi of the Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party.
KCR is probably the only leader of a major political party who has been appreciated by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Owaisi. Owaisi says that there is no reason to believe that KCR will side with BJP. According to him, KCR has a Rs 2,100 crore budget for the minorities, whereas the central government marks only Rs 3,000 crore for the Union ministry for minority affairs. Besides, KCR talks of residential schools for 50,000 Muslims and overseas scholarships of up to Rs 20 lakh. Muslims form around 13 per cent of the total population of Telangana. And they are considered a strong force with influence in one-third of the seats. “I will not be surprised if he wins the elections rather easily with the minorities backing him to the hilt,” says Owaisi.
His welfare programs also included reviving the rural economy , employment ,empowerment of Dalits and also aims at the development of each community. An intensive household survey, Samagra Kutumba Survey (SKS) was done on 19 August 2014 across the state to arrive at citizen information for rolling out welfare programs. The data collected pertaining to 94 parameters, covered one crore four lakh households in the State. Rao also launched the Aarogya Lakshmi scheme on 1 January 2015.
KCR has faced some major criticism by many leaders and activists and also received praises from many too. Good or bad, KCR has been one of the most important personalities behind Telangana’s formation and will be one of the prime key holders to the future doors of the state.