Telangana Assembly dissolved, polls likely by year-end (Roundup)
Hyderabad : Telangana is heading for early elections as the state Assembly was dissolved on Thursday by the Governor on a recommendation by the state cabinet and in a swift move the ruling TRS announced almost all candidates.
Nearly nine months before its term was to end, the Assembly was dissolved by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, accepting a recommendation by the cabinet. He asked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and his Council of Ministers to continue in office as caretaker Government.
Immediately after the cabinet meet that lasted for less than half hour, KCR, as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief is widely known, drove to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and present the resolution passed by the cabinet.
The Assembly term was till May 2019 and elections in normal course would have been conducted along with the Lok Sabha polls in April-May.
Addressing the media, the TRS chief exuded confidence that Assembly elections in Telangana will be held along with those in four other states by year-end.
"As far as I know, the poll process may begin in October and get completed in November. The results may be announced in the first week of December," he said.
KCR claimed that he spoke on the issue with the Chief Election Commissioner whereas the Chief Secretary and the state government's Chief Advisor too held talks with the Election Commissioners.
KCR said "political fragility" in the state was the reason for the recommendation for early dissolution of the Assembly and early elections.
He decided to approach the people's court to curb the ever increasing political fragility and the "unlimited idiocy" of the opposition.
The TRS chief alleged that this political fragility was created by false and baseless allegations by the opposition against his government.
He defended the decision for early dissolution of the house, saying it was taken for the "bright future of Telangana".
"Let people take a call. Why should anybody else? I sacrificed my (full) term for the sake of the people of Telangana, to maintain steady growth of the state and to protect the state from bloody fragility."
He lashed out at the main opposition Congress for allegedly trying to create hurdles in the path of development.
He denied he was moving closer to the BJP. "TRS is 100 per cent secular and will remain secular."
KCR said he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of a state.
He also said that the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM) will remain a friendly party for TRS and did not rule out a friendly contest with it in some constituencies.
KCR also announced TRS candidates for 105 constituencies. He said among sitting legislators, only two were denied ticket. He said candidates for the remaining 14 constituencies will be announced soon.
KCR will formally launch the TRS election campaign with a public meeting at Husnabad in Siddipet district on Friday.
This will be the first of 100 public meetings planned by TRS over the next 50 days.
The Congress, BJP, TDP and other parties have criticised KCR's move. The BJP termed it undemocratic. Its leaders called on the Governor in the evening to request him to ensure that the caretaker government functions within the prescribed limits.
The Congress said early elections to the Assembly and subsequent polls to the Lok Sabha will hamper development process in the state.
R.C. Khuntia, who is incharge of Congress affairs in Telangana, said by going for early polls, KCR himself declared the end of KCR era. He exuded confidence that Congress will come to power in Telangana with a thumping majority.