In a major political development, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's Cabinet has dissolved the Legislative Assembly. The decision was taken after a Cabinet meeting at Pragathi Bhavan, the CM's camp office, in Hyderabad, which lasted for around 15 to 20 minutes. KCR's convoy then made its way to Raj Bhavan, where the Chief Minister met Governor ESL Narasimhan and conveyed his Cabinet's decision and handed over a copy of the resolution to him.
The Chief Minister has scheduled a press meet at 2:30 pm at Telangana Bhavan, to address the media on the issue. Narasimhan, who is bound by the Cabinet's decision, as the Chief Minister has absolute majority, will now forward the same to the Election Commission for approval.
In a press communique, the Principal Secretary to the Governor said that KCR and his council of Ministers called on the Governor and presented the resolution, ‚Äúrecommending the dissolution of the First Legislative Assembly of Telangana State.‚ÄĚ
The statement added that the Governor accepted the recommendation and asked KCR and his cabinet to continue in office as a caretaker government. The state government also issued a Government Order (GO) authorising the Chief Minister and his ministers to continue as caretaker government of Telangana.
Assembly elections in normal course would have been conducted along with the Lok Sabha polls, but all eyes are now the EC's decision.
If approved, Telangana could go to polls in November or December, along with states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Since early in the week, speculation was building over the Telangana CM's decision and when he would take the plunge. The suspense continued till the early hours of Thursday, on whether the meeting will be held in the morning or in the afternoon.
Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) sources had earlier hinted that the meeting could be held at 6:45 am. The TRS chief considers '6' his lucky number and that's the reason cited for not taking the decision during the Cabinet meeting on September 2, which was held hours before the massive public meeting organised by the ruling party at the outskirts of Hyderabad, to sound the poll bugle.
The Chief Minister's Office usually releases press statements on Cabinet meetings but there was no official announcement on Wednesday, even as KCR held detailed discussions with Chief Secretary SK Joshi, and other top officials and top party leaders in separate meetings.
The Chief Secretary, the government's Chief Adviser Rajiv Sharma, CM's Principal Secretary S. Narsing Rao and Legislative Assembly Secretary Narasimhacharyulu called on Narasimhan on Tuesday and Wednesday, sparking off further speculation.
Meanwhile, in what could be potentially viewed as the first political rally of an election campaign, the TRS is making arrangements for another public meeting at Husnabad in Siddipet district on September 7.
Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, who is also KCR's nephew, has been tasked with organising the meet and ensuring that things run smoothly.
Christened 'Prajala Aashirwad Sabha', this will be the first of 100 public meetings planned by TRS over the next 50 days.
Political observers say TRS is keen for early elections as the party believes that simultaneous elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha may not help it properly highlight welfare and developmental works undertaken during the last four years.
Political circles have been abuzz for the last few weeks with talks of early polls. KCR has given strong hints in this regard with his two meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August, announcement of sops and transfer of top police and civil officials.
There was a strong possibility of a decision in the Cabinet meeting before September 2 public meeting, attended by several lakh people, which was dubbed to be the mother of all rallies.
While the Cabinet took no decision, KCR kept the suspense by stating that party cadres that the party leaders had empowered him to take a decision and that they would hear it soon.