In September 2010, Kalvakuntala Chandrashekar Rao was almost finished. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the party he founded for a separate Telangana, was coming undone. His coalition with the Congress was long over, and the state government led by the charismatic Y. S. Rajashekar Reddy had persuaded 10 of his 26 MLAs to defect to the Congress by 2008. To stem the tide, Chandrashekar Rao, universally known by his initials KCR, had forced his remaining MLAs to resign and went in for by-