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Strategic ascent as TRS dares to dream

Strategic ascent as TRS dares to dream
Highlights

It all began as a political stream echoing an aspiration for a separate State that time and again found itself as political expression. Many earlier attempts failed to succeed as it lost the steam midway or the leadership sabotaged it for personal political aggrandisement. At times, sporadic violence did derail the movement. 

It all began as a political stream echoing an aspiration for a separate State that time and again found itself as political expression. Many earlier attempts failed to succeed as it lost the steam midway or the leadership sabotaged it for personal political aggrandisement. At times, sporadic violence did derail the movement.

But, K Chandrashekar Rao at the helm gave the movement a qualitatively different turn. His vision of achieving the goal of separate State through political process really paid dividend. His adversaries mocked at him. His supporters were occasionally skeptical.

But, all this did not deter KCR who steadfastly advocated realisation of the cherished dream through political process only. His vision of creating political compulsion for the formation of the new State reached its fruition as political parties one after another fell in line.

Notwithstanding the criticism that he was lackadaisical to his ministerial duties, KCR with an unparallel missionary zeal mobilised a large number of political parties to support Telangana. With the formation of new State of Telangana, KCR was the obvious choice of the people of the new State for the chief ministerial position.

The TRS victory emerges out of this mood of the people. The Congress which was forced to concede the new State had to bite the dust.

Interestingly, KCR had no inhibitions to announce the metamorphosis of TRS into a typical political party subsequent to the popular mandate. Many may criticise the ruthless manoeuvres. The critics may call it by any name. The fact remains that the TRS had to consolidate itself to convert the mere sentiment into a formidable political organisation.

Engineering defections from the opposition parties is the cynosure of this strategy. KCR is fully conscious that the movement-turned-party suffers from serious structural limitations. The party which rose to power propelled by Telangana sentiment is organisationally weak in many districts.

In 2014, the TRS could strike the opposition, but could not wound. If this organisational limitation had continued to persist, the TRS vulnerabilities would have mounted. Realising that the opposition could strike back, KCR launched an operation to decimate the opposition. Critics may call it a butchery of democracy.

Supporters may hail it as pragmatism. Call it by any name, this operation demoralised the opposition and bolstered the TRS. Ends may not justify the means. But ends are ends. Each election indicates the rising strength of TRS.

A host of flagship programmes and an array of welfare schemes have created a positive image for TRS and its supremo. There may be questions of fiscal prudence. But as KCR himself exhorted, the TRS is daring to dream.

The party has consciously put its political future at stake. The successful implementation of these programmes and schemes determines the future course of political events in Telangana. The delivery of governance would define further the strategic ascent of TRS.

Continued political engineering would subject it to law of diminishing returns. The time has come for the TRS to focus its entire energy on public administration rather than political management.

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