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KCR and the Rest: Despite Three-way Battle, Why Telangana CM Has an Edge Over Congress and Naidu

KCR's prime opponent is Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu has been relentlessly campaigning in Telangana. This election, four years after KCR took over the reigns of the state, is a prestige battle for both leaders.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:December 11, 2018, 8:03 AM IST
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KCR and the Rest: Despite Three-way Battle, Why Telangana CM Has an Edge Over Congress and Naidu
A combination photo of Rahul Gandhi, Chandrashekar Rao and Chandrababu Naidu
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If there is one thing that Telangana caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has repeatedly said during the past couple of months of campaigning and election engineering, it is that he is the true and only agent of people of the state, who ardently fought for the creation of the state.

His statement, however, has been staunchly fought by not one party, but two. Congress and TDP have joined forces in the state to defeat KCR, someone who has been infamously known as the feudal lord in the state.

Scores to Settle

His prime opponent is Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu has been relentlessly campaigning in Telangana. This election, four years after KCR took over the reigns of the state, is a prestige battle for both leaders.

KCR and Naidu were embroiled in a bitter battle during the fight for Telangana, a battle which Naidu had to let go off. Laying all his cards, both in terms of election wise and personal vendetta, KCR has further gone to call Naidu an enemy of the state and later a joker.

Naidu, on his part, has left no stone unturned. By aligning with the Congress at the state level, he has pulled off an alliance which is being touted as the trailer for 2019. TDP won 15 seats in 2014 but this time the stakes are higher and so are the goals for Naidu.

The Grand Old Party Fight

For the Congress, it is about getting its identity back. Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi both addressed a massive rally in Hyderabad to a thundering response. They are confident and being in alliance has only strengthened their resolve.

The party has left nothing to chance, attacking KCR over unfulfilled promises and playing it on water, funds and jobs. The party has also taken credit for the formation of Telangana, which according to the Gandhis was a political gamble, but it was for the greater good of the people of Telangana. The argument is something that KCR has been fighting through and through. Its glory at stake for the Congress, especially in the run up to the 2019 general elections.

One political analyst told News18 that KCR still has edge, despite the three-way battle. Banking heavily on sentiments, KCR, inadvertently, at every gathering he has addressed, has asked one staple question: if the people in Telangana want the state to be ruled from Amaravati or New Delhi or from Telangana.

“He has been attacked for unfulfilled promises. But he has also been lauded for schemes he has introduced in his term which were not part of the manifesto. Also, uninterrupted power supply to farmers is one feather in his cap. He has banked heavily on sentiments and many schemes that he brought in,” the analyst added.

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