Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

Chief Minister of Telangana KCR, has a special attribute--he tweaks situations to his political advantage. 24-hour power supply in the state has become a big talking point in all circles. Actor and Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan's fulsome praise of KCR after their meeting seems to be proving irksome to the Opposition.

During the Telangana agitation KCR demonstrated the gift of strategically tweaking things to suit his purpose. From the time that he became Chief Minister, he has been working with a similar sense of purpose. He would make strategic appearances before the media as often as he thought fit--once in a week or ten days. He would slam parties like the TDP in his characteristic style and they would be compelled to react to his criticism.

All parties tend to take advantage of existing political situations--that is a given fact. KCR had promised to make a Dalit the Chief Minister of Telangana once the TRS came to power. However, he became the Chief Minister instead. To take up certain schemes and projects for some time and making them the butt of opposition criticism, is a part of his approach and unique style of functioning. Be it Mission Bhagiratha or redesigning of projects, two bedroom houses scheme or distribution of sheep, he has initiated a range of new programmes.

The BJP and Congress are now struggling to counter his fresh announcement on 24-hour power supply to farmers. The Telangana BJP chief Lakshman tried to explain it away by attributing it to the good work being done by the Centre in the power sector. The Congress party tried to take the credit for it by putting together a power point presentation. It asked whether a single power plant had been set up by the TRS government.

Revanth Reddy went a step further and said that 24-hour power supply to farmers in Telangana was possible only because Sonia Gandhi had, at the time of bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh, assigned 54% of the power supply to Telangana. All these arguments are being made by these political parties in their own interest. The truth of the matter is that if 24-hour power supply is being provided to Telangana, be it from Chattisgarh or any region, the state has been rid of power cuts and the credit for this goes to KCR.

Kiran Kumar Reddy had argued, as a champion of integrated Andhra Pradesh, that Telangana would face troubles on the power supply front, which is true. Surmounting the power crisis and ensuring 24 x7 power supply is an accomplishment for which due credit should be given to KCR.

If there any loopholes in the round-the-clock-power supply system, the opposition has failed to pinpoint any of these. The end result is that farmers who used spend hours waiting outside electricity sub-stations are now happy. The flip side, according to experts, is that the indiscriminate use of power to draw water by farmers could affect the groundwater table of the region. There is also the question of accountability of the farmer.

The late Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy brought in a revolution by ensuring the free supply of power for the farm sector. Earlier, Chandrababu Naidu was known to say that electricity wires would have to be used for drying clothes if free power supply was given. We have now reached a stage when free 24x7 power supply is possible. Of course, there will be those who question the logic of free power supply. What is striking is Pawan Kalyan's lavish praise for KCR in this respect. After having traded sharp exchanges their coming together assumes significance. Pawan Kalyan has now become the target of criticism by the Congress and Left parties. However, if there is one point which emerges clearly, it is that KCR has scored over all his political rivals at the moment in the matter of free power supply on a round-the-clock basis.