KCR, BJP hand-in-glove to decimate Opposition unity

KCR, BJP hand-in-glove to decimate Opposition unity
Highlights

The political alternative to the TRS, a coalition of all Opposition parties in Telangana, appears to be going through teething troubles The hectic efforts to stitch together an alliance to prevent the division of the Opposition vote are still underway and hopefully they would take a shape after the issue of notification for elections to Telangana assembly

The political alternative to the TRS, a coalition of all Opposition parties in Telangana, appears to be going through teething troubles. The hectic efforts to stitch together an alliance to prevent the division of the Opposition vote are still underway and hopefully they would take a shape after the issue of notification for elections to Telangana assembly.

Apart from the coalition issues, the Congress now has to deal with IT raids on the residence of offices of its working president A Revanth Reddy, who has Telugu Desam DNA. IT raids came close on the heels of the arrest of Congress leader T Jayaprakash Reddy earlier this month for human trafficking in a case registered against him in 2004. The Congress leaders allege that it’s a clampdown on them by the TRS-BJP combine which they say is because it is out to settle political scores with them.

The IT raids began on Revanth Reddy, an aspirant for chief minister's position in Telangana, even as the Congress was grappling with forming the coalition to protect anti-TRS vote from being split by trying to retain all the opposition parties together somehow. The IT raids might, after all, help the Congress, rather than damage its prospects, as it is already whipping up a sympathy wave for him which could consolidate the anti-TRS vote.

The Congress is now bracing to face the pincer attack - cracks in opposition unity and the other in the form of IT raids. Both are rumoured to have been engineered by KCR himself, since he is not only capable of disturbing the Opposition unity without stirring out from Pragati Bhavan, but also could make use of his camaraderie with the BJP to let IT sleuths descend on Revanth Reddy.

The first signs of trouble for the coalition, which in embryonic stage now, came out when the TJS leaders were closeted with those of BJP. The BJP-TJS has good chemistry going for it - the BJP is no longer with the TDP in AP and Telangana and to that extent the TJS would not come under the scrutiny of voters that it has compromised on its credentials of anti-TDP stand for which it was known during Telangana movement days when it used to be called TJAC.

This leaning of TJS towards saffron party is considered the consequence of the supercilious nature of the Congress in seat -sharing exercise, apart from the uncomfortable feeling it has in its blood against the presence of TDP, which it believes, sticks out like a sore thumb in the coalition.

The Congress, the big brother, is too eager to have more than a lion's share in the coalition pie, overlooking the prospects of the constituents, mainly the TJS even dropping the entire coalition exercise like a hot potato. The TJS which has been ill at ease over roping in the Telugu Desam Party which has several other fish to fry like playing a bigger role at national level by being part of the formation in Telangana, agreed reluctantly since it appeared it was the only way to send TRS to the cleaners.

The Congress is still riding the high horse contending that it wants majority of the seats to itself and can only throw a few crumbs at the other Opposition parties. Even when it came to the TDP, it had adopted the same attitude, if the indications from Delhi are any indication.

The leaks from the Congress camp that the TDP should satisfy itself with about 10 seats while the TJS should settle for a two or three and the CPI just only one, are only making them wonder if the effort is worth the time they are spending on it. At present a painful silence prevails in the camps of the constituents.

Though Congress needs TDP at national level after the general elections to play a role in the formation of non-BJP coalition, the grand old party, as of now, considers the TDP in Telangana an underdog which is anyway true and is not ready to be generous in seat-sharing.

It is not yet known whether the TDP is showing any signs of life after it suffered molecular disintegration in the hands of the TRS in 2014 general elections. TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who made as foundation the harm the TDP had done for the region for building his Telangana movement, had managed to get the anti-Naidu virus into the blood of almost all Telangana people.

Though it was Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi who delivered Telangana ahead of the elections in 2014, Chandrasekhar Rao also succeeded in washing away whatever feeling of gratitude the people may have had for the party and in its place sowed anti-Congress seeds insidiously, making all of them agree with him finally that the Congress delivered T state because the TRS had pushed the Congress to a tight corner and that it had no other option.

It was not out of love that the state was delivered but considering a political calculation that the people would elect the party to power in a gesture of gratitude. It appears one would be missing the woods for the trees if one tends to think the developments taking place now are Telangana- specific only.

As Modi has to face elections in the North a little after Telangana, he would want the Congress to bite the dust in T State to help people get an impression in the north that the grand old party is down and out. If the Congress is out, Naidu too would be not in the reckoning at the national level, since Modi knows Chandrababu Naidu's abilities in cobbling up coalitions and persuading intractable partners see reason in playing ball.

If the non-BJP formation gets seats close to the magic figure, Naidu could get others on board to help the Congress come back to power. To check-mate Congress strategy, Modi reportedly is trying to use his own, putting TRS in the front to wreck the opposition, using all methods fair or foul.

It would be some sort of a dress rehearsal for him to try to decimate the Congress ahead of the elections to four north Indian states in December. KCR, who is also as shrewd as Modi, is getting good returns from his proximity to Modi, demolishing the Congress and the TDP, who are not only his enemies but also Modi's.

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