By Elton Gomes
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, known as KCR, decided to dissolve the state assembly and called for early elections on Thursday. Accompanied by some of his colleagues from the Cabinet, KCR proceeded to Raj Bhavan to meet governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to convey the decision.
The governor accepted KCR’s decision to dissolve the Telangana assembly and asked him and his council of ministers to continue as a caretaker government.
By dissolving the assembly, Telangana has now inched closer towards holding early elections. Analysts opine that such a decision may have been taken as KCR seems desirous of fighting a possible alliance between the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state.
Why was the Assembly dissolved?
KCR seemingly went ahead with dissolving the state assembly to reduce the “political fragility” in Telangana. At a press conference on Thursday, he said, “I did it for the interest of the state. The political fragility in the state has been increasing and I wanted to curb it. The opposition has been making mindless and baseless allegations against me. Can they prove it?” Live Mint reported.
Early polls in Telangana
KCR’s decision to have an early election in Telangana could be due to uncertainties in the build-up to the 2019 General elections. A party functionary said that KCR feels that the anti-incumbency at the state level and against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led centre might aid the Congress, Live Mint reported.
Rao told the media that he expected the election to be held along with polls to the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Mizoram Assemblies. “The election notification is expected in the first week of October, polls in November and results in December,” Rao said to the media. The prime minister based his expectations on his interactions with the Chief Election Commissioner.
The Chief Election Commissioner, however, did not seem very keen on the prospect of early elections in Telangana. “KCR’s comments on elections are preposterous and uncalled for,” Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat told NDTV. “We shouldn’t allow a caretaker government to take the opportunity of delaying elections,” he said.
TRS releases a list of candidates for polls
KCR’s party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), already announced a list of 105 candidates for elections. Two sitting Telangana MLAs were denied tickets, while B. Suman, the current Lok Sabha MP from Peddapalli, has been named in the list. The complete list of candidates can be accessed here.
Telangana TDP to decide on alliance
With the dissolution of the state assembly, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is expected to take a call on electoral alliances at a crucial meet on September 8. The TDP has indicated that it is open to tie-ups with the Congress. On Thursday, Telangana TDP leaders rushed to Andhra Pradesh to hold talks with party leader and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
During the TDP’s annual conclave ‘Mahanadu’ in May, Naidu announced that his party would emerge as the decisive force in Telangana and play the role of a kingmaker. After Naidu has a detailed meeting with Telangana TDP leaders in Hyderabad on September 8, the party will decide on an alliance, TDP general secretary E. Peddi Reddy told reporters.
KCR attacks Congress, opposes tie-ups with BJP
KCR took shots at the Congress party in blaming the “unlimited idiocy” of the opposition and calling its national president Rahul Gandhi the “country’s biggest buffoon”. KCR severely reprimanded the Congress chief, saying, “Everyone knows what Rahul Gandhi is…He’s the biggest buffoon in the country. Whole country has seen how he went to Mr Narendra Modi and hugged him, the way he is winking,” NDTV reported.
Although there has been immense speculation about KCR entering an alliance with the BJP, the prime minister ruled out chances of linking with the BJP. “It is true that we have been maintaining cordial relations with the NDA government at the centre. But that is only on government-to-government basis,” KCR told reporters.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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