The initiative of the Telangana CM to attract important Opposition leaders into his party appears to be in play again with the decision of Danam Nagender to leave the Congress.
"Operation Akarshan", the initiative of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to attract important Opposition leaders into the ruling party in the first two years of his tenure as CM, appears to be back again with the sudden move by Danam Nagender to leave the Congress.
The resignation of the former minister and important senior Congress leader from the city has become a talking point in political circles.
A few days back, another senior party leader and MLC Damodar Reddy joined the TRS. And another prominent leader of the party who also served as a minister along with Nagender in the past, Mukesh Goud, is also reportedly toying with the idea of quitting the party along with his son Vikram Goud, a youth Congress leader.
Speculations are rife that Nagender will be joining the TRS on Sunday, and that Mukesh Goud and his son Vikram Goud will follow suit very soon.
The ruling TRS has been facing some turbulence of late due to various omissions and commissions. The party has been facing a lot of heat from the Congress, the main opposition party, on numerous issues concerning the state, especially with regard to the farming community, besides allegations of corruption by certain ruling party leaders. And while the Congress has grabbed the opportunity to exploit the discontentment among the people against the TRS, the TRS has its own internal issues, too.
However, giving an escape window to the TRS is the fact that the Telangana Congress is a divided house with senior leaders scrambling to take the reins of the party from the incumbent Uttam Kumar Reddy. It is an open secret that stalwarts in the party like S Jaipal Reddy, K Jana Reddy, D K Aruna, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, Renuka Chudhary, P Sudhakar Reddy and V Hanumantha Rao do not see eye to eye, and that each of them has their own personal agenda. Groupism among the party leaders came into the open in several places, and a popular joke is that everyone in the Congress is a CM aspirant.
Thus, at a time when his party has found itself being pushed to the wall by the Congress and the BJP, the internal dissent in the Congress with all the senior power-hungry leaders trying to pull each other down has given KCR a splendid opportunity to pull off a great escape ahead of the 2019 elections - using his successful Operation Akarshan again.
With the TDP pretty much wiped out from Telangana and the BJP confined only to limited pockets in the urban areas, the Congress is undoubtedly the main thorn in the flesh for the TRS, making it clear why that party would be KCR's prime target for dismantlement. And with the BJP slowly building a strong base in Hyderabad, Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud, known as the "Hyderabad Brothers" with a good following in the city, are the logical first targets for the TRS. It may be recalled here that just before the elections to the GHMC KCR had gotten Talasani Srinivas Yadav to quit the TDP and join the TRS, and that had undoubtedly helped the TRS in its resounding victory in the GHMC polls.
Political circles are agog with speculation that as the 2019 elections approach, there would be many jumping the Telangana Congress ship in search of greener pastures with the TRS.