Ending months of speculation, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday formally announced that he is working with political strategist Prashant Kishor ahead of the assembly elections to be held next year.
Rao, popularly known as KCR, said that Kishor will be instrumental in bringing in a new direction of ‘parivartan’ (change) in the country amid his renewed efforts at stitching together an ‘anti-BJP’ front to take on the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
“This country needs a change and that is why Prashant Kishor will be working with me closely. He has the art of doing accurate surveys from the ground. PK has been my best friend for the last 7-8 years, he is not a paid worker. He is committed to the nation,” KCR said.
Sources within the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government indicated that Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) team has already hit the ground running by setting up its base in Hyderabad. Several visits were also made to Siddipet district that houses the chief minister’s constituency Gajwel, to assess the impact of TRS’s welfare schemes on the ground.
Back in February, Kishor also held a closed-door meeting with chief minister KCR and his son KT Rama Rao at the latter’s Eravelli village farmhouse in Siddipet. The high-profile meeting was followed by Kishor’s visit to KCR’s pet project— the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation plan— along with actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj, a staunch critic of the BJP.
As Kishor chalks out a future strategy for KCR who is facing a threat from the BJP following its impressive performances in two bypolls and the 2020 Greater Hyderabad municipal elections, the TRS chief indicated that he will be meeting more “like-minded leaders” in the coming days. His desire to play a bigger role in national politics comes against the backdrop of his recent meetings with Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
The BJP in Telangana, meanwhile, said KCR is running out of ideas to counter the saffron party’s rise in the state.
“It is now evident that he requires outside support with PK to counter the BJP in Telangana. His press conference clearly showcases his frustration over the BJP’s sweeping victory in four out of five state elections,” said BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao.
With inputs from News18