With KTR in reckoning TRS head, Harish to carve own path?

Hyderabad: A lot is being said off-late about Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president and state IT minister K. T. Rama Rao (KTR) in political circles; that he is all set to take over the state’s leadership from his father and chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). It comes amid the party holding a major meeting on February 7. 

However, the elephant in the room, or perhaps even a silent monster, within the party has been largely ignored. T. Harish Rao, state finance minister (and KCR’s nephew) Siddipet MLA, will be the main opposition to KTR taking over the TRS’s reins. While there has not been any news of confrontations on the issue as of now, it will not be surprising if the party implodes once KCR relinquishes his post to make way for his son. 

“Harish Rao has not been attending meetings off late, but it not like he has been also ignoring all of them. KTR taking over may not happen now but if at al it does happen, then Harish Rao can inflict damage if he makes the right move at the right time,” said a TRS functionary, who did not want to be quoted. A conservative estimate by many, including some TRS folks, is that at least a few dozen MLAs will leave if Harish Rao decides to split.

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Prior to this, there was also word that Harish Rao, who was reportedly unhappy with KCR over being sidelines in favour of KTR, was likely to jump shit to the BJP. However, nothing of that sort happened so far. However, the TRS meeting on Sunday might be an important one, as these issues may also be talked about. It will be interesting to see what comes out once it is concluded.   

While there is a lot of word going around in political circles that KTR may take over on February 18, this kind of talk is not new. Earlier, it was also believed that the state IT minister was going to be the chief minister face of the 2018 state polls. But hat did not happen, and KCR has been more or less managing everything in the entire state. 

Recent debacles for TRS

However, the TRS has off-late taken one hit after another in the state in 2020. First the party lost the Dubbaka bye-poll to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which in fact was also a fall for Harish Rao. The Assembly seat falls in Medal district, which is essentially considered to be his turf. It was followed by the BJP snatching as many as 48 wards in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls last year. 

The TRS, which won 99 seats out of 150 in the 2015 GHMC polls, had to be content with just 56 seats. It was essentially considered to be a loss for KTR, who is considered to be the party’s urban face.

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