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Hyderabad: K. Kavitha could have continued with a calm and well-settled life in the US more than 10 years ago when she decided to return home to join her father’s Telangana statehood agitation. Kavitha, who now represents the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in the newly formed state, is the daughter of K. Chandrashekar Rao or KCR, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and the state’s caretaker chief minister. KCR, who recommended the dissolution of the state government on 6 September, is preparing for Assembly polls expected in the next few months. In an interview, Kavitha spoke of the TRS’s game plan for the upcoming polls and the roadmap to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Edited excerpts:

How many seats is the TRS expecting to win out of the 119 seats?

In terms of results, I think we will win hands down. I won’t mention any numbers but the TRS will form the government.

This time, it is being made to look like a KCR versus all challenge. Is the TRS banking only on your father’s image to win again?

KCR is Telangana. From the beginning when he started the separate statehood agitation, it has been him versus everyone. He is a tall leader. For him, the chief minister’s post is not a big one, in the sense that people are going to remember him for generations to come unlike usually when people remember a chief minister for five or 10 years.

What can voters expect this time if the TRS is voted to power again?

Our long-term plan is to irrigate one crore acre of land. Another objective is to put Telangana on an industrial growth path, with industrialization not necessarily being around Hyderabad, but in all districts of the state. For example, in the last four years, we have started small and medium enterprises in Nizamabad district alone.

The TRS government initiated major irrigation works like the Kaleshwaram project, which the opposition claims was done by forcefully acquiring land.

This is a government and there will be a few stray incidents. But the opposition has been making mountains out of molehills and are constantly trying to assassinate KCR’s character. As an opposition leader, if I lay one road, you should ask for 10, but instead you go and file a case, so where is the progress? On Kaleshwaram, you should ask us for a greater area (to be irrigated).

Do you think that the Congress-led grand alliance (with the Telegu Desam Party or TDP, Communist Party of India or CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi or TJS) will pose a challenge to the TRS? Will the TRS also contest against the All India Majulis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), in spite of both being “friendly parties"?

The TDP is nothing in Telangana and the Congress is a distant opposition. If someone like Prof Kodandaram (of the TJS, who fought for Telangana’s statehood with KCR) ties up with parties that worked against the interests of the state, the people will not appreciate it. About the AIMIM, we are friendly parties, but there will be friendly contests as we are not at each other’s throats.

Post the state elections, will we see KCR in a much bigger role in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls? And what do you think of the National Democratic Alliance’s rule so far since 2014?

The way Telangana has shaped up, I think we should set a new agenda in the country. KCR is definitely going to play a bigger role and take an interest in national politics. In 2019, I think regional parties will have a greater role to play. There has been too much advertisement and very less work (by the Centre) in the last four-hand-a-half years.

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