Telangana’s saviour KCR to turn country’s crusader with BRS massive show in Khammam

The ‘diminutive heavyweight’ will flex his muscle, flaunt his wares and sound the political bugle to mark the beginning of an onerous mission of his Bharat Rashtra Samithi

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS)

HYDERABAD: Telangana, and the whole nation, braces with bated breath for what could be a watershed moment and an event that can kick-start the paradigm shift in the national politics. Come Wednesday, K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), the saviour of Telangana and its identity, will once again wear the mantle of a crusader on his shoulders – this time, for the entire nation, to foster an era of ‘alternative politics’ and ‘liberal thought’ in the country.

Around 3:30 pm on Wednesday in Khammam, the ‘diminutive heavyweight’ will flex his muscle, flaunt his wares and sound the political bugle to mark the beginning of an onerous and arduous mission of his Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to position itself as a bulwark from a regime at the Centre, often loathed for its communal agenda and parochialism. KCR and the entire galaxy of his leaders are fully aware of the monumental significance of the Khammam public meeting – the first-ever of the BRS – on January 18, which is likely to go into the annals of history, much like a similar, historic effort made by TDP patriarch late N T Rama Rao three decades ago.

Way back in 1983, an opposition conclave organised by NTR, then Chief Minister of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, became the genesis for the birth and burgeoning of opposition unity in the form of National Front that had eventually unseated the well-entrenched Congress from government besides scripting an iconoclastic shift in Delhi’s politics of power. Despite the contrasting styles and the differing countenance from that of the National Front, KCR’s colossal bid to blow the BRS conch and display to a massive turnout – and to the nation – the renewed opposition bonhomie runs on similar lines.

It could be sheer coincidence that the BRS event, touted to be a historic show of strength with the anticipation of an unprecedented turnout, falls on the 27th death anniversary of NTR. Coming as the first public meeting of the party since its metamorphosis into a national entity from its erstwhile Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the event is likely to see KCR, the proverbial pied-piper, harping on his party’s newly coined refrain ‘abh ki baar kisaan sarkar’, a slogan that would run straight in the face of the Narendra Modi-led NDA’s personality-driven philosophy and its oppressive anti-farmer initiatives in the last few years.

Flanked by three chief ministers of non-BJP-ruled states and several opposition leaders of prominence in tow, the BRS chief is expected to spell out his national party’s action plan, largely modelled on schemes and initiatives that played the pivot in the transformation of Telangana. KCR’s myriad of successful schemes like Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Beema have inspired the introduction of similar initiatives, both at the Centre and in some states. The fact that his model of governance is increasingly being looked up to and a few border regions of other states openly expressing their desire to become a part of Telangana emboldens the BRS boss in his determination to storm the national scene to provide a refreshing welfare regime to the country.

The three chief ministers – Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala’s LDF, Arvind Kejriwal of AAP in Delhi and Bhagwant Mann, heading the broom party’s Punjab government – will also be joined by former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Tejeshwi Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and CPI’s D Raja, to name a few. Together with its own recent recruits in Andhra Pradesh, the BRS public meeting is expected to showcase the might and coming-together of the national opposition on a grand scale.

KCR, the cynosure of media in anti-Modi crusade

KCR captured the imagination of the whole country since the time he began raising his voice against the Centre on the raw deal given to Telangana and other states. But it was his determined fight, standing up to the powerful Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine, that made him the quintessential talking point for the national media. More than a mere politician, KCR is now being viewed with a sense of realisation, based on his deep understanding of the country’s vast natural resources that are being woefully squandered, and his broader vision on how best to harness them to help transform the lives of the populace.

More significant is the BRS chief’s no-holds-barred attack on the ideology of expansionism, hinging on communal-centric policies of the rulers in Delhi. There are more takers now in the national media than in the past for his oft-repeated words of caution against divisive politics by using religious hatred as the wedge.

The narrative in the media has accelerated to such an extent where KCR is being seen as a potential challenger for Narendra Modi for the coveted position. A speculative discussion has already been ignited in the national media on how the prospects are high of the entire opposition choosing the Telangana leader as their unanimous prime ministerial candidate for the next elections.

And the Khammam public meeting, which will be widely watched and covered by the media across the country, may just turn out to be a precursor to this eventuality.

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