KCR has dissolved the Telangana State Assembly and rendered himself as a former Chief Minister with the stroke of a pen almost 8 months prior to scheduled elections in the state. This decision is purely political & for regaining the power in the state.
KCRs power politics
For KCR, the biggest challenge fighting the next election is crystal clear. It's for the first time after he founded TRS in 2001 that his party will go to the elections without Telangana sentiment. In 2014 elections, immediately after the formation of the state, the sentiment of the newly achieved state has dominated the mind space of the voter, the Telangana sentiment has carried KCR & his party into a clear majority.
The political situation has changed since then, people's aspirations have changed, and parties compositions have changed. The entire socio-political ecosystem has transformed. The new political ground requires new rules for the game and KCR seems to be making those rules to control the game totally. The decisions he is making for a few weeks are not hasty but well-thought-out for the last few years. He is just executing the plan now.
KCR's plan is crystal clear. It's about catching opposition unprepared without resources, alliances and he laid out his electoral strategy well. Imagining naively that the elections will come around April or May, the opposition is being caught off guard. However, what will be the decision of the Election Commission of India is much anticipated now.
KCR certainly wishes to control the outcomes of assembly elections in the state with an iron grip instead of leaving it to any other possibilities. His plan to push the polls so early is based on his ground level assessment of a possible and gradual rise of opposition against his MLAs due to non-delivery of welfare schemes with huge cash crunch being faced by the state government.
His recent decisions of Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Bhima and salary increments to different departments of government employees are an indication of his thoroughly planned strategy to ensure success at the polls. There's not much left for imagination, when it comes to his game plan.
However, what is in the minds of the people of Telangana State is unknown until they cast their votes in the next election. All the planning and strategising will be of no great use, if people have made up their mind to send KCR home from Pragati Bhavan. It's quite certain that Telangana voters have already made up their mind and it's just a matter of time, when it will reflect as an election outcome.
KCR is playing cat and mouse game with BJP too. He has been attempting to be successful at containing the rise of BJP across the state by constantly and consistently making misleading political overtures to the central government.
He is playing a powerful game of creating a strong perception in the voters against BJP that it lacks political conviction to fight TRS in the state due to its national political needs. He has been on this diversionary plot since his inception as CM in the state. KCR thoroughly understands all 'politics is perception.'
He has mastered the art of confusing the opposition parties with his 'bending both sides' policy of aligning with AIMIM and still spreading the perception of cosying up with BJP at the Centre level. In fact not allowing BJP to play the role of the opposition strongly by citing government to government cooperation with NDA government at the Centre, he tried getting best of the both worlds.
KCR has been a master political distractor in the entire term of his governance. He never allowed opposition any space or voice for dissent or to blend with people to raise real people issues. The main opposition party in the state, Congress is in a shambles today with constant and focussed attack by KCR through promoting massive defections right from the first day of his term as a Chief Minister. Congress could not play neither the role of opposition nor a structured political party as it has been driven into multiple implosions. Congress today is in the weakest position in the state despite its struggle to revive its political fortunes.
Going forward KCR will build the 'continuity narrative' in Telangana State. He will seek a re-election to continue scores of his welfare schemes, most of them purely cash handouts. He is baiting the voter with their own money by routing it through state treasury.
KCR seems to have understood the pulse of the contemporary voter, who has very less time to assess or demand overall state development but has self-interest above everything. He has been catering to the personal monetary needs of the voters, instead of governing the state to build much-needed institutional infrastructure.
KCR will do everything in is power to invoke the Telangana sentiment all over again. He will attempt to decimate any possible alliances of Congress in the state through covert operations of infiltration, division and through creating rifts from inside the political parties trying to hook up an alliance in haste due to the paucity of time.
The power politics of KCR are at full display. As a professional strategist and an analyst, I understand his entire power politics quite vividly.
However, the political ecosystem in the state is in such a disarray that only a party which is well organised, politically alive, leverages weaknesses of the opponent, through an unobfuscated plan of action and a powerful political strategy can form the next government.