Hyderabad: Telangana seems to be heading for an early assembly election, possibly along with Lok Sabha and a few other states by the end of the year.
A clear indication to this effect was given by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) who announced that the list of TRS party candidates will be announced next month. The process of screening the names began from Tuesday and a committee headed by party Secretary General K Keshav Rao will shortlist them.
KCR refuted the reports that most of the sitting MLAS would be denied tickets.
While the assembly elections were originally scheduled for April/May next year along with the Lok Sabha polls, there were speculations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was pushing for early elections and KCR was supporting it.
Asked when he would dissolve the state assembly, KCR retorted, “I cannot tell this even to my cabinet colleagues so how can I tell you?” Asked about the possibility of early elections, he quipped, “I am not an astrologer to know that.” But he added that anything can happen and the TRS wanted to be ready for any eventuality.
“If the Election Commission advances elections by six months from the stipulated time it cannot be called early elections,” he said pointing out that EC had the powers to do so. “They don’t have powers to delay the elections but they can advance it by six months,” he added.
KCR was talking to the media after a marathon session of the state committee of the TRS which discussed the political situation.
Significantly, the meeting passed a resolution leaving the choice of candidates to KCR, who is also the president of the party. In another resolution, the party declared that it would contest the elections alone and not ally with any party, thus rejecting the speculations of a possible understanding with the BJP.
“TRS conducted seven surveys and all of them found that the TRS will win more than 100 seats in the assembly polls,” he said.
The meeting also decided to hold a “Pragati Nivedika Sabha” or progress report public meeting in September 2. The party expected 2.5 million people from all over the state to attend the meeting where the Chief Minister will submit a ‘progress report’ on his government.