This would be the biggest test for the TRS

Mon May 09 2022 12:26:34 GMT+0530 (IST)

The real test of KCR's political acumen and judgement will happen very soon. With the presidential elections just round the corner, what are going to be his moves? Will he support the candidate put up by the Congress Party and show that he is with the Congress Party? Or will he support the BJP's candidate even when the BJP is not asking for its support and show his weakness? Or will he support the candidate put up by the third front?

If he supports the Congress, the BjP would paint him as a Congress acolyte in the 2018 assembly elections. If he joins the BJP, KCR will lose face among the non-BJP parties. He will be seen as pro-BJP. If he abstains from the elections, he would become inconsequential. If he votes for a third front candidate, what will he gain from this action? These are the questions tormenting KCR these days.

In the 2017 Presidential election, the TRS has supported the BJP-NDA candidate and both Ramnath Kovind and M Venkaiah Naidu were elected easily. But since then, several NDA partners such as Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and a faction of the Apna Dal have walked out on the NDA. The BJP does not have a complete majority in terms of votes. So, the TRS, which has been adopting a belligerent attitude towards the BJP, could oppose the BJP candidate.

But, if not BJP, who to vote for? The TRS cannot risk being seen as a Congress supporter. If he votes for the Congress candidate, the BJP would emerge as a powerful alternative to the TRS in assembly elections. This will only make the BJP stronger. If it abstains from the elections or votes for the third front candidate, it would lose its political leverage, say sources. Hence, political observers feel that the presidential elections will be a very crucial test for the TRS in Telangana.