Sources in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said the aim is to leverage what they call the "feel good factor" prevailing in the state which has received good rainfall.
Rao is "upbeat" as his popularity rate has not fallen and his personal image continues to be strong, the sources claimed, adding that "the idea is to encash the positive mood among the people".
A leader of an opposition party said Rao was trying to play a "very safe game".
"He (Rao) wants to win back the state and hand it over to KTR (his son K T Rama Rao)", he said, seeing the early poll move as part of the chief minister's "succession plan".
"He (Rao) wants to become a hero. You become a hero only when you fight an incumbent (NDA) government. The man wants to be a regional hero, just like (late) Jayalalithaa (former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister). He wants to play the same politics," the leader said.
The TRS would "go with whoever gets bigger numbers" in the next Lok Sabha elections, he added.
"He wants to give them less resource-mobilisation time, less alliance-mobilisation time, and also less preparation time for the elections," the leader said.
Meanwhile, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Rao was nursing national ambitions.
He wants to play a bigger role in national politics and that's possible only if he wins the state polls. He desires to play a key role, pre-poll and post-poll, the leader said.
"He (Rao) wants to execute the succession plan; he needs two different elections. He can win back (the state) and promote his son (to the post of CM) and then focus on national elections himself," he claimed.
As a smart politician, Rao understands the fluid nature of politics, a politial analyst said.
"Tomorrow, if all opposition (parties) including NDA allies rally together then he knows that things are going to be shaky for the NDA. In that kind of scenario, he will fight as a formal ally of the opposition alliance. So, he is giving himself a lot of elbow room to take those decisions pre-poll," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)