TRS – A Fact File ఫిబ్రవరి 13, 2011Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, elections, fast, Hyderabad, Identity, JAC, KCR, KTR, Mulki, politics, regionalism, Settler, TRS.
Power Politics, February 2011
TRS: A fact file
K Naresh Kumar
The decade-long Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is one of the most successful political parties in Indian politics. Facing severe teething troubles, dissidence and wavering political support and re-alignments, both self-created and otherwise, TRS has managed to emerge as the leading voice in the state politics espousing the cause for a separate state of Andhra Pradesh since 2001.
Winning the municipal elections in 2001 in the northern part of Telangana, where the maverick leader of the party K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) hailed from, the party moved into centre stage in 2004 when it aligned with the Congress party, winning 26 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats from Telangana. Later, the YSR government in Hyderabad, between 2004 and 2009 systematically isolated KCR and trivialized his demand for carving out a separate state, with no effect on its popularity while TRS steadily went downhill.
Luck came their way, with a series of resignations made by the party MLAs and MPs again and again, beginning from 2006 and ending with the latest in June 2010, as a form of protest against the Centre for not granting a separate Telangana. Though the victory margins fluctuated, KCR managed to stay afloat and portray his ‘sincerity’ to the cause, winning every time and networking with other votaries of the small states in New Delhi like Ajit Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan.
Political consistency somehow has eluded KCR even till the last by- elections in 2010, the result of a resignation drama held earlier in the year where the party and its ally, the BJP trounced the Congress in all the 12 seats it contested. Days before the 2009 elections, KCR switched sides from the grand alliance of TDP and hopped on to the NDA bandwagon with the pronouncement that only the latter can help in the formation of Telangana. After the election results were out, he quietly moved away from NDA to cosy up to the Congress and the other parties, notably the Communists. The flip flop of the party with regard to handling the brazenly communal MIM too has frustrated its loyalists, with KCR proclaiming his love for the Nizam rule and his efficient handling of Hyderabad and Telangana.
In the last few months however, the TRS party volunteers have turned violent and targeting all its opponents. Verbal volleys and physical disturbance of the other party meets are commonplace.
Along with the Congress, the TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu too has managed to find no succour in the Telangana region, accounting for 17 Lok Sabha and 113 Assembly constituencies, with a population of nearly two and a half crore. The hostility is equally intense for Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi and the scion of YSR, Jaganmohan Reddy who have both been seen as champions of the last elections of 2010
The party has in the recent past also made news by targeting the Telugu film industry selectively by blocking film releases of the famed N T Rama Rao family and the Chiranjeevi clan for their pro- united state stands. There have been protests too when the Telugu films have often shown actors speaking the Telangana dialect either playing the roles of a comedian or a villain. Linguists have often seen a direct connect between the avowed superiority of the language spoken in the coastal region of the state as against the one in Telangana, one with a liberal sprinkling of Hindi, Urdu, Kannada and Marathi words alongside Telugu.
Alongside this development, another interesting parallel has been the rising interest of KCR himself to use the medium of cinema to propagate the cause. One of the films under production ‘Jai Bolo Telangana’ has the leader posing for the camera, acting out a scene or two and even penning lyrics. The irony is that the film’s protagonist is Jagapathi Babu, a local middle-aged hero who is from the Andhra region and the Kamma caste which has maintained a stranglehold on the industry.
In a recent interview, KCR declared: ‘I find it quite funny when people say it will be a small state. It will be bigger than 17 existing states of India’. All the same, it still has to be sanctioned as a separate entity by the power blocs in New Delhi, which seems to be hazy as of present.
Excerpt from United Andhra Pradesh Or Telangana As India’s 29th State?