K Chandrasekhar Rao
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K Chandrasekhar Rao: Telangana's sole spokesman
TNN | Mar 7, 2014
K Chandrasekhar Rao insists he's the sole spokesman for Telangana. Known to be a man who breathes fire, his tongue a whip that makes mincemeat of rivals, KCR was once part of Chandrababu Naidu's development story till he fell out with him in 2001.
After their big clash, KCR floated a political party to champion the creation of Telangana. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) came into being in 2001. KCR and Naidu had been fellow travellers since their Youth Cogress of the Sanjay Gandhi days.
Born in Medak on February 17, 1954, the TRS chief switched to TDP in 1983 and remained with it till 2001, winning four assembly elections culminating in him becoming deputy speaker in the Naiduled assembly. Generally seen in starched white cotton - ironed shirt falling around his wiry frame like a cape, shirt sleeves standing on creases, he's most comfortable wearing slippers. A fluorescent pink scarf - the official TRS colour - is draped around his shoulders. Married to Sobha, he has two children: K T Rama Rao, an MLA, and Kavitha an activist.
KCR's Telangana struggle has been eventful; his November 29, 2009, hunger strike a landmark in his struggle. It took the Union government 11 days to respond. On December 9, 2009, the Centre announced it would form Telangana state. KCR's fast came after his tieup with Cogress in the 2004 polls and their promising voters Telangana, turned out to be a dud. The all-powerful YS Rajasekhara Reddy refused to yield. When UPA 1 took office, ally KCR was made labour minister. He'd hoped Cogress would help him get Telangana. It did not. He quit the ministry in a couple of years, returned and revived the movement. But with YSR threatening to crack down, KCR bid his time.
In the 2009 polls, TRS entered into an alliance with TDP and the Left. Despite contesting 45 of the 119 Telangana assembly seats, TRS won only 10.
KCR's chance to give momentum to the Telangana movement came in September 2009, when barely four months after becoming a second-term CM, YSR died in a helicopter crash. With his main tormentor out of the way, the KCR began his fast-unto-death. This galvanized the movement, and a panicky CM K Rosaiah scurried to Delhi to seek guidance.
UPA's December 9, 2009, announcement that it would pave the way for Telangana's creation had Seemandhra politicians up in arms. The Centre reversed its stand 13 days later. Since then, the agitation raged on, often violently. KCR finally had his way when the CWC announced on July 30, 2013 it would grant Telangana. The rest, as they say, is history.
A brief biography, as in 2018
Notching up a second consecutive victory, K Chandrasekhar Raohas made a seamless transition from a statehood agitator to a leader synonymous with a governance model for which he reaped rich rewards in the December 7 assembly polls.
Soon after graduating from the Government Degree College in 1975, he embraced politics and was nursed by then top Congress leader A Madan Mohan in Siddipet.
He quit as deputy speaker in 2001 and floated his own political outfit, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), with a single-point agenda of achieving a separate state.
KCR’s exhaustive knowledge about the geography of the Telangana region and the problems of every district propelled him into the big league. While he sailed with the Congress in the 2004 elections and TDP in 2009, these alliances failed to get him any closer to his goal. He walked out and even quit the Manmohan Singh cabinet in 2006.
The man who proved his political prowess with a small beginning, winning a cooperative body election, now has his eyes set on Delhi.