Rajat Sharma

Does KCR actually believe in superstition and dynastic politics ?

rajat-sirThe chief minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, is known for his belief in superstitions and his infatuation with the numeral ‘6’. It is said that he did not go to the State Secretariat for the last five years on the advice of his astrologer. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a public meeting in Hyderabad, lashed out at KCR for trying to perpetuate dynastic politics and taking decisions on the basis of superstitious advice.

There have been media reports on how K. Chandrashekhar Rao, after becoming CM, did not go to the secretariat, because he thought it was not Vaastu-compliant, and in 2016, built a Rs 50 crore home-cum-office which he claimed to be Vaastu-compliant. He never went to the state secretariat from where his ministers and bureaucrats work. He got his camp office in Begumpet renovated, raising it to five floors and six blocks. There were media reports at that time which said he believed that a “ruler must work from a place that is at a greater height than others”.

KCR tried to build a new secretariat but there were public protests over this. He wanted to acquire a land belonging to the army and build a secretariat. He then started renovating the entire secretariat to make it Vaastu-compliant. For the last five years, KCR had been working from his official residence instead of the secretariat.

Because of his fetish for the numeral 6, all the vehicles that form part of KCR’s cavalcade have digits which add up to six. KCR never does any important work without consulting ‘muhurta’ (almanac time). He took oath as chief minister at 12:57 pm, and the digits add up to six. When he once visited Mehboob Nagar district, 51 goats were sacrificed, and here too, the digits added up to six. Similarly, the numeral ‘6’ dominates in the committees that have been set up by him. The coordination committee on farmers has 15 members, his party district committees have 24 members, the state level committee has 42 members, and all these digits add up to six.

Local residents say, the CM avoids going to the famous Husain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad, because he was told that N. T. Ramarao lost his throne as AP chief minister, after visiting Husain Sagar Lake.

At the public meeting, while taking potshots at the Telangana CM, Modi said: “Superstitious people cannot work for the progress of Telangana. Some people believe in superstitions and do not go to certain places….I too was advised to avoid certain places and cities, but I make sure I visit those places as many times as possible. I believe in science. I believe in technology. I want to mention UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath here. He lives simply and is a monk wears saffron robes. It would be easy to think that he might be a highly superstitious man, but let me tell you, he rejects all such superstitions. Several former UP chief ministers avoided visiting Noida considering it a bad omen, but Yogi visited Noida several times, disregarding the advice of astrologers. Yogi twice became the chief minister.”

Modi said, it was astonishing that the head of a state government believes in superstition during the 21st century, at a time when science and technology is dominant. He also alleged that the Telangana CM was promoting dynastic politics. He said, “these ‘parivarvaadi’ parties loot people’s money and fill up their coffers. They have no compassion for the poor. Leaders who believe in dynastic politics have damaged the country and spoiled the future of youths. Dynastic politics is a threat to our democracy. Time has come to say goodbye to dynastic politics.”

Modi has the right to speak out against dynastic politics. He has kept his family members away from politics. People do not even know the names of his brothers, nephews or other close relatives. Nor could Modi’s relatives take any advantage of his position. Nobody can point fingers at Modi on the issue of dynastic politics. On the contrary, we have a plethora of regional parties in India, which are run by families. Whether it is Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Om Prakash Chautala, Parkash Singh Badal. M. Karunanidhi, H. D. Devegowda, Uddhav Thackeray or Dr Farooq Abdullah.

KCR has made several of his family members MLAs or MPs or ministers. KCR himself is the chief minister, his son KTR (K.T.Rama Rao) is the working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi and also a heavyweight minister in his father’s cabinet, KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha was MP, she lost the last election, but his father made her an MLC. She could be made a minister soon. KCR’s nephew T. Harish Rao is a minister. Another nephew of KCR Joginapally Santosh Kumar is a MP. He was sent to Rajya Sabha by KCR. So, five of his immediate family members now hold important positions. There are now reports that KCR will now bring another of his nephews, Vamsi in active politics. Media reports say, he is bringing Vamsi into politics because of superstition. People say, KCR believes in the number six, so he wants to add one more to reach the numeral ‘6’, which he considers lucky for him.

KCR has tried to avoid meeting PM Narendra Modi directly several times. Media reports say, it was because of the advice from astrologers. He always avoids meeting Modi, when the latter visits the state. Media reports say, he considers any such meeting as ‘unlucky’ for him. When Modi went to Telangana in February this year to open the Statue of Equality to commemorate 11th-century saint Shri Ramanujacharya, KCR did not go to receive the PM at the airport on grounds of illness. On Thursday, three hours before Modi reached Hyderabad, KCR left for Bengaluru to meet H. D. Devegowda and his son. He had no official work there. In Bengaluru, KCR reacted to Modi’s barbs by saying,: “There’s a lot of ‘bhaashanbaazi’ (speeches), many promises are made, but what is the reality? Industries are closing down, GDP is falling, inflation is rising, farmers, Dalits and tribals are unhappy….There will soon be change at the national level. You will get sensational news after two-three months”.

You might have noticed in the visuals that KCR was wearing some arm band when he was speaking to the media in the presence of H.D. Devegowda and his son. I was told that whenever KCR goes in a special plane, or attends an important meeting, he wears this armband, said to have been given to him by his Home Minister Mahmood Ali, which is called ‘Imam-e-Zaamin’, which ‘protects’ him from evil and his objective is always fulfilled.

There is no need to speculate on the ‘change’ that KCR expects at the Centre. In the past, KCR had predicted that Devegowda’s son H.D.Kumaraswamy will become the CM of Karnataka. But he did not predict that Kumaraswamy will go through turbulence once he becomes the CM, face revolt, and will soon lose his throne. This is what happened. KCR did not mention that he uttered similar words before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when he had met Devegowda and other leaders and had promised that Modi will lose. The rest is history.

What Modi said in Hyderabad on Thursday was clear: Come what may, let KCR carry on with his superstitions, he will never be able to dislodge BJP from power. BJP has already carved its niche in the hearts of common people in the last eight years.

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