The Lede
Expletives Hurled As Telangana Readies For 2019 Polls

Expletives Hurled As Telangana Readies For 2019 Polls

GS Radhakrishna

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Telangana unit of the Congress hit a new low in vocabulary

 Last week Telangana stood spectator to a fierce volley of verbal brickbats and expletives by both the state Congress unit as well as the ruling TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) leaders.

The choicest expletives award was handed over from father to son this time – TRS chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, notorious for his expletive-laden speech, seems to have passed on the talent to son and IT minister, K Tarakarama Rao. KTR, as he is better known, was the initially seen as a cultured and sophisticated minister in the TRS bandwagon.

KTR, freshly back from Davos last week, shot out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, calling him Pappu and the Congress as ‘a third-grade loafer party.’ He declared that if TRS did not get 100 seats in the 2019 Assembly elections in Telangana, he (KTR) would rather take political sanyas. “The Telangana Congress chief is a bigger Daddamma (idiot) than Rahul Gandhi,” he added.

“If Congress makes a turn-around to power by 2019 will the TRS and KTR launch an NGO and do social service?” quipped the Congress’ Mohammed Ali Shabbir in response.

KTR also commented – “I may be a baccha (kid), but Rahul Gandhi is a bigger baccha and at least I am married.”

“How can Congressmen who had led the country to brink of collapse after imposing Emergency talk about democracy?” he added.

KTR’s comments provoked the Telangana Congressmen into outdoing him. They called KTR a petty worker during his student days in the US and KCR a passport agent before he joined the Sanjay Gandhi brigade in the Congress.

Mohammed Ali Shabbir, leader of opposition in Telangana’s Legislative Council termed KTR as a ‘chinna loafer’ (small loafer) and KCR ‘a bigger loafer’.

This may be par for the course in the Telugu speaking state as the TRS and the Congress attack each other once every three months. But KCR and KTR take great care never to, even accidentally, attack Sonia Gandhi.

But political observers say that KTR had deliberately drawn out the tasteless language upon Telangana Congressmen on the eve of the Union Budget. They felt it could be a ruse to divert media attention from their failure to get more from Budget 2018.

KCR has been a master of the craft of political abuse in the regional political theatre where the nuances of the local dialects and regional tongue gave him sumptuous opportunities to lash out at his opponents. He had not spared even BJP chief Amit Shah saying in May 2017 – “Who is this Amit Shah? I am the Badshah of Hyderabad.”

The other Opposition party, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and its leaders keep away from KCR and KTR on particular days of the Hindu calendar as they suspect that the TRS leaders lashing out as per Vastu and Rashi phalam would sting them. Some even say in private that the Telangana CM had unique powers of black magic and many are scared to face him.

But both the CM and his family members pooh-pooh all such rumours as canards aimed to defame him. No doubt KCR has a personal astrologer Suddala Sudhakar Teja whom he had anointed as Government advisor. Teja had set muhurtam for KCR’s fast in 2009, Millenium march and Assembly march during Telangana movement and all of them were a grand success. “Even Telangana Congressmen held marches, fasts, Chalo Assembly program. But none of them succeeded due to wrong muhurtams,” says Teja, the government astrologer.

Nowadays Teja also sets muhurtam for the father-son duo on when to attack opposition members apart from inaugurals, foundation stones of government programs and major announcements. TRS circles say that there is a voluminous response when KCR or KTR attack the Congress as per Teja’s advice.

Their mercurial comments also brought migrations from TDP and Congress to TRS. The recent utterances of KTR and KCR were aimed at stalling Congress attempts to speed up disqualifications of migrant members into TRS, say political observers.

Last week’s slugfest between TRS and Congress has fueled a pre-poll fever in Telangana. Both TRS and Congress leaders have vowed to give up politics if they failed to get 100 of the 119 seats in Assembly and over 10 of the 17 Parliament seats.

The media in Telangana though, are loving it! “Thank god, political humor is still alive in Telangana, though it sometimes crosses the borderline of decency. Somehow the articulate attacks of KCR made a good copy and voice track. Congress leaders, however hard they try, are miserable failures in that department. Whether the TRS will use the new law to stem political satire and attacks or not, the future of democratic expression of dissent (even in barbaric dialect) is still a big question in the four-year young state,” says KVV Charya, a Hyderabad-based columnist.