KTR likely to be the next Chief Minister!?

Giving further credence to the growing speculation that Telangana Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao, the working president of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, might take the CM’s chair, Deputy Speaker T Padma Rao Goud on Thursday at an event said that KTR will be the “future Chief Minister, very soon.”

“On behalf of the Legislative Assembly members, railway employees and everyone...I want to congratulate the future Chief Minister...” the Deputy Speaker, a senior leader in the party, said at the inauguration of South Central Railway (SCR) employees divisional office in Secunderabad, which was attended by KTR as a chief guest.

Asked if KTR would be passed on the baton, Health Minister Eatala Rajender, another senior leader, recently told a TV channel, “There could be a possibility. What’s wrong in it?” The Chief Minister had not participated in the vaccination programmes and KTR was actively involved instead.  The Health Minister, talking about the Chief Minister avoiding public appearances said, “KTR took up the role of the Chief Minister in his absence in several instances. So, there’s no need to scrutinise this.”

Both Eatala Rajender and Padma Rao are founding members of the TRS party, formed by Chief Minister KCR in 2001, to achieve statehood for Telangana. It is believed that the power transition from KCR to KTR will happen in the next couple of months. Amidst these rumours, two MLAs — Shakil Aamir Mohammed and Bajireddy Goverdhan, have already voiced their support to KTR to take over the reins.

KTR (44) was made the working president of the party in December 2018, just a day after his father was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state for a second term, citing that the latter wanted to concentrate on national politics. This move effectively eliminated the possibility of KCR’s nephew and key party member T Harish Rao leading the party and becoming a Chief Minister in the future.

Speaking to TNM, journalist and political analyst professor K Nageshwar said, “It appears that KCR wants to make hay while the sun shines. After being in power for 10 years nobody can tell conclusively that they will come back to power. Two terms is a long period, so obviously KCR wants to make KTR the Chief Minister. KCR just has two options — handover the CM post now, or win the next election and appoint KTR as a CM. The latter is not in his hands, unless he is doubly sure.”

After tasting success in the recent Hyderabad municipal elections and the Dubbaka bye-poll, the BJP is confident of winning the 2023 Assembly elections. Reacting to this political development, former BJP MP and senior leader Vivek Venkata Swamy told News18, “Anyway this is the last tenure for the TRS. Let them do whatever they want as they cannot do it in the future. One thing KCR has to keep in mind is that he promised to make a Dalit the CM in Telangana. Now, he is making one from his family a CM.”

According to Nageshwar, KCR will either focus on national politics as he mentioned earlier or take care of party activities like Deve Gowda and Farooq Abdullah.

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