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Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao. (ANI)
Telangana CM K. Chandrashekhar Rao. (ANI)

TRS asks cadre to donate blood on party's foundation day in Telangana

Telangana Rashtra Samithi asks its 60 lakh strong cadre to donate blood in their local area hospitals to ease the ongoing medical crisis

HYDERABAD : The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi's (TRS) 19th foundation day on 27 April will be a sombre affair this year due to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic. If not for the current crisis, this year’s gathering would have possibly seen millions of people coming together from across the state to celebrate the party’s anniversary given the consecutive political successes it has seen.

This time, the TRS leadership has asked its 60 lakh strong cadre to simply put up a flag in their homes and to also donate blood in local area hospitals to ease the ongoing medical crisis.

“This year we would have celebrated it with the public had it not been for coronavirus, as last year we could not due to the general elections," said TRS working president and state IT minister K. T. Rama Rao (KTR).

KTR, in a media interaction on Sunday, said that many of Telangana’s flagship programmes like the Ruthu Bandhu (input subsidy) scheme, under which every farmer gets Rs.5,000 per acre for both the Rabi and Kharif seasons, have now become models which the rest of the country is following. “Where did PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Centre’s input subsidy scheme) come from? They are learning from us," he said.

The ruling TRS, which has been in power since the 2014 elections, has often under criticism from the opposition which has called TRS president and chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) autocratic on more than one occasion. However, it would not be false to say KCR continues to be a mass leader who enjoys the support of millions from across the state. If not anything else, his electoral fortunes point to that.

In the 2018 state elections, the TRS won 88 of the 119 assembly seats, leaving the main opposition Congress (which had formed a grand alliance with the Telugu Desam Party and other parties) far behind. It was followed by defections from 12 Congress MLAs (out of 18) and other legislators, which resulting in the TRS having a staggering 103 seats out of 119 in the assembly. The TRS won a simple majority of 63 seats in the 2014 elections, but had 90 MLAs eventually due to defections later.

Last year, the TRS managed to win 60% of the total mandal parishad territorial constituencies (MPTCs) and a whopping 83% of the zilla parishad territorial constituencies (ZPTCs), leaving the Congress and BJP far behind. In fact, the BJP was hoping to win more MPTC and ZPTC seats, especially after winning 4 parliamentary seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections (a first for it).

KTR, who is KCR’s son, also said that his father’s popularity was such that people listen to what he says. “Regardless of where people are, whenever he holds a press conference, people watch. During the pandemic, when he said we should eat chicken to build immunity, people listened. Today, because of him the quality of leadership is higher in Telangana," opined KTR.

The only result that did not go in as it had expected to was the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, wherein out of 17 parliamentary seats both the Congress and BJP won 3 and 4 seats. The TRS had expected to win close to 15 of the constituencies, especially after KCR stormed to power in the 2018 December state elections.

“The TRS is quite strong in Telangana. As of now during the pandemic, every other incumbent’s position has strengthened as there is no politics that is happening over the last couple of months. If someone posts anything on social media, the government is also responding here and that has shown its agility. Moreover, KCR has been a mass leader from before and people sit up and listen when he speaks. His heir apparent KTR is also quite impressive with his politics. That way the father-son’s position is quite strong," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

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