Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, or KCR, on Thursday decided to dissolve the state assembly and call for early elections.
Rao, founder and president of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), held a cabinet meeting in the morning before meeting governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to inform him of the decision. A notification was issued thereafter.
On Narasimhan’s request, Rao and his cabinet will continue as the caretaker government till the next elections. “I did it for the interest of the state. The political fragility in the state has been increasing and I wanted to curb it. The opposition has been making mindless and baseless allegations against me. Can they prove it?" said Rao at a press conference on Thursday.
Training his guns on the Congress, Rao called it the “number one enemy of Telanagana", and went so far as to call party president Rahul Gandhi a “buffoon" for hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament recently. “Rahul Gandhi has inherited the Congress Delhi sultanate and I appeal to the people to not become slaves to Delhi."
“I met the Election Commission of India, and the elections might be held in November. We have implemented 99.9% of our election manifesto and there has not been a single communal incident in Hyderabad in the last four-and-a-half years. The state has registered a growth rate of 21.96% in 2018-19," Rao added.
KCR’s decision to advance the state elections may have been influenced by the uncertainties in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. Besides, he feels that anti-incumbency both at the state level and against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led centre might help the Congress, said a party functionary, requesting anonymity.
Addressing the media, Rao said that many central legislation should go and states should have more autonomy. “I even asked the Prime Minister that why the centre has education. I will invite all regional parties to ask for more subjects to be transferred to states."
TRS released the names of 105 candidates out of the total 119 assembly seats. The rest, Rao said, will be announced at a later date.
The main opposition, Congress, however, hit back at Rao.
Addressing a press conference, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said: “The biggest loot in India has happened in Telangana in the last four-and-a-half years. KCR and his family gets 6% commission on all projects. Here it is KCR’s family versus Telangana."