Not so long ago, the ruling TRS in Telangana and the BJP were engaged in war of words. But not anymore. The reason: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao has backed NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Rao was present when the former Bihar Governor filed his nomination papers last week in New Delhi. In fact, the Telangana unit of BJP was wholesome in praising the chief minister for rising above “regular politics” and adopting a “bipartisan” approach. “The BJP welcomes the support KCR has extended to the presidential nominee of NDA despite not being an NDA alliance partner,” Telangana BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao told PTI.
“We certainly welcome KCR’s leadership in terms of taking this kind of bipartisan (approach), working on either side of aisle and rising above party politics,” he said. Only last month, the two parties were at each other’s throat. During his visit to Telangana last month, BJP president Amit Shah had sought to underline huge Central funding to the state. The figures were, however, fiercely contested by the chief minister, who even sought an apology from Shah.
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With both trying to prove each other wrong, what followed was a bitter exchange of words between the BJP, which is aiming a shot at power in the state in 2019, and the TRS. The Telangana BJP, however, does not want to read too much into the TRS’ “swift” move to back the BJP’s pick for the presidential post, noting it’s a constitutional position not a political one.
“It’s the position where the head of the State actually safeguards the Constitution of India which I think is far above the political ideology of different parties,” Krishna Saagar Rao said. The BJP indicated there would not be any let up in its fight against the TRS government. ”We fight with the ruling party, specially when they are not living up to the expectations of mandate given to them, and if they are indulging in corruption or mis-governance and not delivering on the promises they have made to the electorate,” the BJP spokesperson said.
The battle that the BJP is waging against the TRS government is not a personal one but it’s a fight for the people of Telangana, he said. According to sources in the BJP and TRS, the chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoy an “excellent” personal equation. Rao had backed Modi’s demonetisation initiative, which had earned the chief minister goodwill from BJP leaders.