Lakhs of people were gathered at the Kongara Kalan village in the outskirts of Hyderabad to listen to Telangana Chief Minister and TRS party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR. And when the chopper arrived at 6 pm, carrying the Chief Minister, there were cheers in the air. KCR took the stage minutes later, but while he was non committal on early elections – a possible announcement that people were keenly watching for – he decided to blow the poll bugle anyway at the ‘Pragathi Nivedana’.
The main target of the TRS chief, during his under-an-hour speech, was seemingly the Congress party. “Just like the Tamil people, we, too, should elect regional parties and not someone from Delhi,” KCR said. “National parties must run to Delhi every time they need to make a decision, unlike us,” he said, and made clear who he was referring to. “Unlike Congress leaders, who have to run to Delhi every time, our leaders are here, in Telangana,” he said.
KCR, however, made no mention of the other national party – the BJP – in his speech. This, even as speculation is rife about a possible TRS-BJP alliance ahead of the polls, and even as TRS leaders like KTR and Kavitha have denied any alliance with the party.
The Chief Minister also reiterated that he will make announcements regarding elections ‘at the right time.’ Some reports say that the Cabinet could meet again on September 6, but another announcement by the TRS chief has raised doubts over whether he, in fact, is planning for early polls. “I will ensure that every household has a water connection before the elections,” KCR promised. “And if a water connection is not there, we will not come to you to ask for votes,” he announced. “No other Chief Minister would dare to make such an announcement,” he added.
The venue of the rally was filled with lakhs of people from different parts of the state, and the party had hired thousands of public transport vehicles to ferry supporters to the rally. Further, several thousand police officers were stationed at the Kongara Kalan village to manage crowds.