Telangana chief minister K Chadrasekhar Rao is grappling with a Hamletian dilemma: to dilute the cash-for-vote (CFV) case or not, in order not to implicate his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu in the case.
The central BJP is said to have advised him against going overboard on the case and vitiating the relations between the two states.
The advice, reportedly delivered to KCR through Governor ESL Narasimhan and some informal channels, if ignored, has the potential of shattering the dream of KCR to see his daughter and Nizambad Lok Sabha member Kavita in the union cabinet.
Though there has been no love lost between Telangana BJP and KCR, the central BJP is understood to have responded positively to the friendly vibes from the TRS recently. For quite some time TRS has been sending signals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amith Shah about its intension to join the NDA. KCR’s daughter, Kavita has gone on record that her party would have no objection to join NDA cabinet as it would help the nascent state get more assistance from the centre. “If Prime Minister Modi invites me to join the cabinet we will consider it,” she told media some time back.
Highly placed sources in BJP told this correspondent that Modi was also not disinclined to take the TRS on board.
“The only hitch is TRS connections with MIM. We want the TRS to distance itself from MIM publicly to join the NDA government. The moment TRS jettisons the MIM, it is welcome to join the NDA cabinet,” informed BJP sources said.
TRS is not ready severe it relations with MIM before GHMC elections as it needs the support of Muslim minorities in Greater Hyderabad Municiapl Corporation (GHMC) area to win the election. GHMC is the testing ground for TRS’ real influence in the capital where Andhra settlers outnumber the Telangana people. It was proven in 2014 Assembly elections when TRS ended up as poor third. So, a defeat in GHMC elections would weaken his grip over the capital which in course of time undermine the chances of its return in 2019.
So, the TRS doesn’t want to antagonize Muslim minorities by jettisoning MIM before GHMC polls. It is said to have conveyed to BJP leadership in Delhi that it could not afford to do it before GHMC elections. Though Kavita’s joining the cabinet has been put off for the time being, two parties are enjoy cordial relations.
Now, chief minister KCR has to choose between the BJP’s advice against implicating Naidu in CFV case or pursue his anti-Naidu politics and fall from grace of Prime Minister Modi. Pursuing latter course may put the dream of getting a cabinet berth for Kavita at risk.