KCR became the mascot of Telangana pride after wresting statehood.
Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao, often referred to by his initials KCR, is the first and current Chief Minister of the youngest state of the country - Telangana. Mr Rao, who led his party to a power-packed performance in 2018 polls, is now looking at another electoral challenge in November. Telangana is going to polls on November 30.
From a Congress foot soldier, KCR became the mascot of Telangana pride after bringing the then mighty Congress down to its knees and wresting statehood.
Five facts about KCR:
- K Chandrashekar Rao started his political career with the Youth Congress Party before joining the Telugu Desam Party in 1983. He quit the TDP in 2001, accusing Chandrababu Naidu of discriminating against Telangana. He then floated the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, and revived the statehood movement that lay dormant for years after the late 1960s.
- He later joined hands with the Congress that promised statehood for Telangana and fought the 2004 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with it. He walked out of the alliance after accusing the Congress of not being serious about creating Telangana. In 2009, his party allied with the TDP after the latter agreed to extend "unconditional support" for the creation of Telangana.
- In November 2009, he started a fast-unto-death, demanding the introduction of the Telangana Bill in the Indian Parliament. After 11 days, the Centre said yes to Telangana as a separate state. However, it later said more consultations were needed before the new state could be formed.
- His steadfast pursuit of Telangana saw his party reap a handsome electoral harvest in the 2014 Andhra assembly elections. And when the new state was born, his party had 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha and 63 of the 119 assembly seats.
- KCR was sworn in as the first chief minister of the Telangana state at 12.57 pm on June 2, 2014. Mr Rao, a staunch believer in astrology, numerology and Vaastu, is reported to have fixed this time for his inauguration as per the advice of priests to suit his lucky number 'six'.