Politically correct: Five reasons why KCR threw his weight behind Rahul Gandhi

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) supremo and K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has thrown his weight behind Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

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HYDERABAD: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) supremo and K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has thrown his weight behind Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. But, this decision hasn’t been arrived at easily and KCR has done his homework by quickly going into a huddle with his confidantes before coming up with a statement condemning the disqualification of Gandhi from the membership of Lok Sabha.

It’s common knowledge that KCR has two battle fronts open in Telangana to fight - the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Nonetheless, he has chosen to strongly espouse the cause of the deposed Congress MP, who was instantaneously disqualified by the Lok Sabha soon after a Gujarat court sentenced him to two years for his remarks on Modis.

Here is a list of five reasons for KCR’s “gesture” to Rahul Gandhi.

1. Withering Congress & resultant vacuum opening chance for BJP

Soon after assuming office after winning the Telangana Assembly elections with a comfortable majority, KCR has begun his exercise to lure the Congress legislators into his party, resulting in the grand old party lose it official status of being the main opposition. Ever since, the BJP began its efforts to occupy the space of the opposition outside the Assembly and baying for the blood of the ruling party. The series of political overtures and also some victories posted by the BJP irked KCR. Until then, he was maintaining a neutral stance toward the BJP, which suddenly assumed an aggressive posture against KCR expecting to emerge as the no.2 party in the State in the pecking order. A desolate Congress almost threw its hands up in the air, what with its series of losses in elections across different states in India. This signalled an alarm to the TRS (now BRS) that prompted KCR to prepare the party to fight the BJP and its vilification campaign.

2. Expose BJP’s design of piggybacking on individual leader’s clout

KCR has, ever since, been grooming the rank and file of his party to be combat-ready to fight the onslaught of the BJP. When he had shown the door to his senior Cabinet colleague Eatala Rajender, he did not have an iota of doubt that the estranged leader would defeat the TRS candidate in a by-election. Yet, KCR brought he BJP to its knees by making all its national leaders focus on just a by-election. In this bypoll of Huzurabad, the Congress candidate lost miserably standing at a distant third place. This is when KCR realised that the BJP was trying to piggyback on the strength of individual leaders to showcase that it’s building its base in Telangana. For, he knew the loss of TRS candidate to the BJP nominee by a whisker in Dubbaka bypoll — caused due to the casual vacancy arose following the death of sitting TRS MLA — was a result of the ruling party taking it easy due to “over confidence”.

3. Putting BJP in its place by puncturing its delusion

The victory of TRS candidate Kusukuntla Prabahakar Reddy in Munugode Assembly seat by puncturing the BJP’s bloated ego that it could rope in a rich Congress MLA to resign and seek a reelection. This time, KCR implemented a fool-proof strategy to go for the kill and won handing out a humiliating defeat to the BJP and its delusive might. By this time, he floated his national party — the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) — and secured popular endorsement by way of electing its nominee. This emboldened him to launch a diatribe against the multiple failures of the Narendra Modi’s dispensation.

4. First public rally to show him as capable of forming a front against BJP

KCR’s mammoth rally at Khammam which was trended by two Chief Ministers of Aam Admi Party (AAP) — Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi) and Bhagvanth Mann, and one Chief Minister of the CPM Pinarayi Vijayan. Presence of other leaders like D Raja of the CPM too have a shot in the arm to KCR to showcase himself as an emerging national alternative to the BJP. However, he did not formally announce any front, but showed to the BJP and the Congress that he’s emerged as a rallying point for likeminded opposition parties. This made every one sit up and take note of the growing national stature of KCR.

5. Becoming the go-to man even for the Congress, others

By vehemently condemning in no uncertain terms the haste with which Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha membership, KCR indicated the ill-effects that would impinge on the nation with the autocratic demagoguery of the BJP. By siding with Rahul Gandhi’s cause, KCR postured himself as the “go-to” man for political strategy even for many other opposition parties. This act of KCR has indeed surreptitiously dropped a hint to leaders like Mamata Banerjee, M K Stalin, Uddhav Thackeray, and, for that matter, even the Congress that KCR is the rising star on the national political canvas. Also, he shone in contrast with neighbouring YS Jaganmohan Reddy who kowtows to the BJP for obvious reasons.

If relations solidify among the opposition parties, even the Congress may fall in line without arrogating the “leadership role” to itself and work for a front that could be a challenger to Narendra Modi and the BJP in the days to come.

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