Telugu CMs, beware of dissenting voices!

KCR and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
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KCR and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Highlights

There is something called shelf life for everything

There is something called shelf life for everything. For politicians, this one has an even shorter life unless they not only act politically right but also speak thus. That is the cardinal principle that dictates the course of politics. Politics in Telugu States is getting tempered with hate every day and the ruling parties are pumping their fists into the air constantly reminding the Opposition of its precarious position and their own seemingly invincible position.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao, who nurtures national leadership ambitions now by announcing the transformation of his party into Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), claims he is all set to make the big moves. However, it would be worthwhile to see if KCR has it in him to change his tone and tenor to suit his new avatar. The Telangana Chief Minister should be in a position not only to speak big but also make sense to the voters. He might announce himself as a national leader - a Prime Minister candidate at that - but it all depends on establishing his relevance to the voters across the States. He seeks to establish himself in a pole position as far as anti-BJP grouping is concerned. But, bad-mouthing the Prime Minister alone does not lead to a glorified innings at the national level.

To become a national player, one should have a national argument that would endear him to the voters of the other States. Mamata Benerjee did try this. But, she had to beat a retreat and be content with her Bengali identity. It had to be so because she could not rise above the 'local' identity in terming Modi-Shah duo as outsiders and other BJP leaders as "hooligan hordes from UP and Bihar." She succeeded in conveying to the world that her core is Bengali and that is it. Chandrashekar Rao is hurtling down the same path. He is not only attacking Modi but also trying to revive the Telangana sentiment by calling some of his rivals as 'outsiders'. Does it work? In addition, this also conveys that some amount of tentativeness has set in.

Voters in our democracy are intelligent enough to separate grain from the chaff. Technology is widening their horizons to enable them to subject the 'power mongers' to a greater scrutiny under the development scanner. The situation is similar in Andhra Pradesh where the ruling party president and the Chief Minister is banking on the caste divisions of the society.Jagan Mohan Reddy is keen on wiping out the Opposition completely by bagging 175/175 in the Assembly elections. It only reflects his disposition towards democracy. In the process he is taunting Jana Sena and the TDP to go it alone in the elections. Why should they be doing it in taking on the YSRCP? He is keeping the Centre in good humour to some extent to ward off the threat of the BJP locally.

The BJP in itself may not be a threat to the YSRCP, but it has the potential to spell trouble for Jagan in the company of Jana Sena/TDP combine and in the accompaniment of the investigating agencies. Powerful as they may sound, it does not make them invincible. They may seek autonomy and protection from and control over their rivals, the whims of common man are hard to cajole. There is always a dissenting opinion, and those who do not obey nor conform. To those individuals, the elite do not possess power nor are they worthy of the control they wield. One's shelf-life depends on this factor more.

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