The U-turn by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) on the three so-called anti-farmer laws was not entirely unexpected. There were reports in the media that KCR had surrendered to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the one-on-one meeting they had during the CM’s recent Delhi trip.
Though it is impossible to know what exactly happened when two top leaders meet without a third person being present, the actions and decisions after the meet would reveal what transpired in the meeting. KCR had met Modi after a gap of about 14 months. Before his travel to Delhi, KCR had vehimently supported the farmers’ agitation against the three black laws. He also supported the Bharat Bandh call given by the farmers’ organisations. His son and municipal administration minister K. Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) and daughter and MLC Kavitha had deliberately participated in the bandh. During the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election campaign, KCR and KTR had lambasted the farm policy being followed by the NDA government. Even before the GHMC elections, KCR had spoken in support of agitating farmers.
The media reports suggested that Modi had hinted at the corruption charge KCR and his contractor-friends had been facing. A subdued chief minister had requested Modi to allow him to rule for the rest of the term without any hurdles and he, on his part, would not do anything to unite the opposition against the BJP. He was also reported to have informed the PM that he would like to install his son, KTR, as the chief minister. This might be pure speculation and may not be true.
However, the attitudinal change on KCR’s part is too evident to ignore. He did not say a word against the union government or in favour of protesting farmers. The chief minister had stayed at his farm house for 13 days on his return from Delhi and came to Pragati Bhavan on Sunday and met with officials to make a policy announcement. He said the government would not organise procurement centres to buy farm produce at Minimum Support Price (MSP). The volte-face regarding the farm laws suggests a compromise on the part of the chief minister. He must have compromised with his stand on the farmer’s issue. He may even go for metres to measure the power being supplied to the agricultural lands.
Even if KCR is prepared to buy peace by changing his stand, would the BJP be prepared to compromise with him? Most unlikely. When the BJP has every opportunity to win the assembly elections whenever they are held, why should it agree to share power with the TRS? KCR would not have peace and the name as a fighter. He would be neither here nor there if he continued to compromise.
(This article has been reposted with permission from Primepost)