'Will come back to power with a huge majority'- this is what KCR said in his poll campaigns. Well, the people of Telangana kept their trust in KCR and his party TRS and voted them to power for a second consecutive term.
Rao, the spearhead of the Telangana Movement powered his party to a remarkable victory, winning 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly, just two short of three-fourths majority.
The victory will not only consolidate KCR's position in Telangana but also accelerate the momentum of his party to form an anti-BJP, anti-Congress alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
It seems that KCR's decision to dissolve the assembly earlier and call for snap polls have bore fruit for his party. With his move, KCR gave his party a first-mover advantage, catching rivals unprepared.
His policies on irrigation and power, especially the unique investment support scheme offering all farmers a grant of Rs 4,000 an acre per season and his schemes to attract investors especially in the industry and IT sector seems to have become his trump-card this time.
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But challenges galore for KCR. KCR and administration have faced flak from all corners over the low growth of literacy in Telangana. It ranks 25 among the states with 66.46 percent literacy rate, as per the 2011 census. The literacy rate in the state is even lower than some of the lower-income states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Opposition parties in the political campaigns had also criticised TRS for not implementing education-related policies, such as clearing fee reimbursement dues. Even though TRS had promised to pay fee reimbursement amounts every year in two installments, if voted to power, it would be a voluminous task for the TRS government this time.
Telangana, formerly a part of Andhra Pradesh has never had worthwhile industrial corridors and its majority of income was concentrated in Hyderabad alone. Now, with the whole economy centered around the city of Hyderabad, similar problems may arise in the future. It would be an uphill task for the TRS government to develop industrial corridors in the state on par with Hyderabad, keeping in mind the huge mineral and forest resources in southern Telangana. Unemployment has also been a key issue for the previous TRS government. It would be hoping to rectify its mistakes and provide employment opportunities to youth especially in the industrial sectors.
Agriculture is another sector where the KCR government will have to keep an eye on. The Delta region of Andhra Pradesh always had a lion share of the waters of Krishna and Godavari. Because of this very reason, agriculture wasn’t able to flourish in the Telangana region and the farming community was in distress for many decades. The region comprises 68 per cent of the catchment area of the Krishna River and 79 per cent catchment area of Godavari River. Utilizing these resources for the development of the region will be a big challenge for the state in the coming days. Most crucial among these will be making water available to the drought-prone districts of the region.
It will be interesting to see how TRS, who led the state through most difficult times will overcome these challenges.