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First electoral entry of BRS outside Telangana
At Kandhar Loha in Nanded district, KCR challenged Maha govt to replicate Telangana model
Chief Minister Telangana and president of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) K Chandrashekar Rao strategically announced that the BRS would contest every seat in the forthcoming local body elections in Maharashtra, thereby indicating his entry into polls in other states. Obviously, this move of KCR is an indication of steadily securing the required percentage of votes for BRS in other states too, for an early recognition of BRS as National Party. KCR as of now, did not speak of any alliance or poll understanding in these elections.
Emphasizing and reinforcing his slogan of 'Ab Ki Baar Kisan Sarkar', KCR perceptibly challenged the BJP-Shiv Sena combine to implement the Telangana model of development for farmers and the Dalit community as well. The way KCR articulated his challenge, listing out numerous development and welfare schemes being implemented in Telangana, is a strong indication that similar challenges are in waiting in other states, too, sooner or later.
KCR's Strategy is to be one of 'Being Different,' a rare quality in the context of today's national political and poll scenario. It means honoring one's own values, following one's own passion, leading the way, and blazing the trail or precisely to be the first one to do something and to show others how to do it. The 'Being Different' Person is a leader not in the traditional sense. 'Being different' is to have the courage to explore new venues and push beyond the boundaries the leader encounters.
The CM affectionately and successfully captured the hearts and attention of the people at large in Maharashtra by garlanding the statues of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Jyoti Rao Phule, Basaveshwara, Anna Bahu Sathe, Ahilyabai Holkar, and Dr BR Ambedkar before addressing the public meeting and then began his speech by paying rich tributes to them and recollecting their services to the nation. The occasion witnessed several prominent leaders of Maharashtra joining BRS who included former MLAs, Dalit leaders, former ZP chairpersons etc.
Amidst 'Desh ki Neta kaisa ho, KCR Jaisa Ho' slogans from the audience, KCR was addressing an impressive and massive gathering at Kandhar Loha in Nanded district of Maharashtra State on Sunday, March 26, 2023. KCR's address which appeared more or less like an interactive session, drew huge response from the public. Incidentally, the Kandhar fort near Nanded in Maharashtra, spread across 24 acres, was once the capital of the mighty Rashtrakootas' dynasty, that ruled over the Deccan for four centuries. The grand success of the BRS meeting in Kandhar Loha, the second in Maharashtra, was a big boost to party leadership to plan a few more forays in that state, as well as a few other states ultimately, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. In fact, the CM also hinted at visiting Sholapur saying that he was under pressure from leaders of that region to address a public meeting.
KCR further indicated to the Maharashtra People and particularly the farmers that, if they exhibit their united strength in the local body's elections, both the state and central governments will come running to their doorsteps in a bid to solve their problems. He reminded how the Maharashtra state government was shaken after BRS Nanded meeting on February 5 and hurriedly expedited its announcement to include agriculture investment subsidy component of Rs 6,000 per acre and gave credit to the 'power of pink flag' for the same. KCR, however, demanded that the subsidy be on a par with that of Telangana, that is, Rs 10,000 per acre, in addition to implementing other schemes of Telangana Model.
KCR took strong objection to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' comments on his campaigning in the state and said that, he being a citizen of India, has every right to move anywhere in India. Challenging Fadnavis that if only he implements the farmer benefiting schemes in Maharashtra as is done in Telangana, like 24-hour free power and water supply to farmers, financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per acre, insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh, procuring the entire yield from farmers by setting up over 7,000 procurement centers across the State, Rs 10 lakh per head under Dalit Bandhu etc., he would not have to visit Maharashtra. In other words, the Chief Minister challenged Fadnavis to replicate Telangana model of welfare and development.
KCR reiterated that in the 75 years after Independence, despite Congress rule 54 years and BJP rule of 16 years, nothing worthwhile happened, except parties and politicians getting benefited but not people at large. The fate of people, especially farmers has not changed, he pointed out. India's abundant natural resources like billions of tons of coal reserves and water as well as huge human resources are being underutilized said KCR. He said that our kids are eating burgers and go to the shops of foreign companies for Bread and questioned that why should there be such a situation in a predominant agriculture country? He said no need to beg anyone and we have wonderful wealth given by God and Nature.
"Farmers are not demanding for gold or the moon, but only water and power,"' he said and added that that if they fight hand in hand with him, he would promise that water will be supplied to every acre in the country. The only mantra is farmers have to stay united and form a team to fight against these parties said KCR. 'The country will soon witness a cyclone of farmers' unity and strength as the successive governments at the Centre and States have been taking them for granted and it can't go on forever warned KCR. He gave a call that farmers, workers, and Dalits should unite and vote BRS to victory in the ensuing panchayat elections.
Stating that Telangana's condition was worse than Maharashtra at the time of formation of the state in 2014, when farmers were committing suicides in large numbers and to overcome that, the state launched several welfare schemes making agriculture profitable, said KCR. Detailing about transformation that had taken place in Telangana during the last nine years, he said it was purely the commitment of the BRS government towards people and farmers that had transformed it to a privileged level in many areas. When Telangana which was more backward than Maharashtra nine years ago, could be transformed into one of the leading contributors to the nation's economy, why can't Maharashtra? questioned KCR. Stating that Maharashtra is a land where the architect of Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar was born, KCR said Dalits have been neglected for centuries in the country.
The BRS chief said he had noticed large tracts of parched lands on his way to Nanded. This was even when River Godavari and Krishna originated from Maharashtra. Farmers here were facing severe shortage of water and power for agriculture. Taking a dig at the Maharashtra government, KCR said the Nanded airport, which was supposed to be operated for 24 hours, was now being shut for night operations which certainly reflects backwardness of the nation but not development. KCR stated that the ruling coalition leaders in Maharashtra organized 'Dawats' in nearby villages for the last couple of days in an effort to make the people to skip BRS public meeting at Kandhar-Loha. The police even diverted traffic (vehicles) coming to the public meeting and despite all this it was the affection of Nanded people that had made him visit the area twice in less than two months.
The inference clearly was that the first electoral entry of BRS outside Telangana is signaled and KCR's move is perhaps is to expedite recognition of BRS as national party by contesting in as many states as possible in a phased manner and ensure the required percentage and even more votes and seats wherever contested well before General Elections.
(The writer is Chief Public Relations Officer to Chief Minister, Telangana)