‘KTR for CM’ chorus grows in TRS amid rumours that he may replace his father
- “Advance congratulations” have been pouring in for KTR, as the chief minister’s son is popularly known, from various quarters of the party including ministers, MLAs and senior leaders.
After a brief lull, speculations over Telangana Rashtra Samithi working president and state information technology minister K T Rama Rao taking over as the next chief minister replacing his father K Chandrasekhar Rao, have started surfacing again over the last few days.
“Advance congratulations” have been pouring in for KTR, as the chief minister’s son is popularly known, from various quarters of the party including ministers, MLAs and senior leaders. “He has been receiving congratulatory messages from his followers on social media and also on his personal number,” a party leader familiar with the development said.
On Thursday, senior TRS leader and presently deputy speaker of the Telangana assembly T Padma Rao openly addressed KTR as “chief minister-in-waiting,” in the latter’s presence at a function of the South Central Railway employees in Secunderabad.
“I congratulate K T Rama Rao garu, who is going to become the chief minister of the state very soon, on behalf of the state assembly and also railway employees,” Padma Rao said, amidst loud cheers from the audience. He wished that soon after assuming charge as the chief minister, KTR would take up the issues of railway employees.
Interestingly, KTR neither stopped the TRS leader from calling him future CM nor made any reference to it when his turn came to speak.
What triggered the fresh speculations over the anointment of KTR as the next chief minister was a comment made by Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender in an interview to a vernacular television channel on Monday evening.
“KTR may become the chief minister soon. Definitely it will happen. So what? What is wrong in it?” Eatala said, reacting to a question as to why KCR did not inaugurate the Covid-19 vaccination programme when all the other chief ministers in the country launched it and gave their messages to the people.
“There might be various reasons for KCR not launching the vaccination programme. There is no need for picking holes in it. His son, KTR, has been looking after 99 per cent of the party and the government programmes in the absence of KCR. He launched the recent vaccination programme and as a health minister, I attended the same,” he said.
Several other TRS leaders, including ministers T Srinivasa Yadav, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, V Srinivas Goud, Puvvada Ajay Kumar and Gangula Kamalakar and lawmakers like Bajireddy Goverdhan and Mohd Shakeel also endorsed the health minister’s opinion.
“KTR is going to be the chief minister of the state soon. He has all the qualities to head the state. There is nothing wrong in it,” Srinivasa Yadav said.
Another senior party leader who did not wish to be named said there was a serious discussion going on within the chief minister’s family over the timing of the anointment of KTR. “There is talk that it might happen in the third week of February. But it is also expected that KCR will step down after the party’s plenary in April,” he said.
So far, there was neither denial nor confirmation about the change of guard in the state from Pragati Bhavan, the official bungalow of the chief minister.
The opposition parties have reacted to the developments with a pinch of salt. “It appears KCR has grown old and is not able to handle the administration. So, he wants to hand over the mantle to his son. The party MLAs, too, seem to be feeling enough of KCR and hence, they are pitching for KTR as the CM,” senior Telangana Congress leader and lawmaker T Jeevan Reddy said on Friday.
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay said KTR replacing KCR was an internal matter of the TRS. “But I still feel, KCR should make an OBC or a Dalit leader CM,” he said.
Political analyst and Osmania University professor K Nageshwar said there was no surprise in KCR making KTR the chief minister as dynasty politics is a nationwide phenomenon. “Particularly, regional parties are like private limited companies, where power is transferred from one generation to the next generation,” he said.
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