Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao has finally broken his silence and put to rest reports that his son K.T. Ramarao would soon be anointed CM due to KCR’s failing health. KCR hurriedly convened a party executive meeting to categorically state that he is very much in command. “Why do you guys want to create confusion among people by raising the matter of change of leadership? I have no health- or age-related issues. I am fit to rule the state for the next 10 years…. Anyone found discussing this may have to face action,” the TRS leader told his party colleagues. Those who expressed their views in the recent past are silent now.
Just a few days ago, KCR had told a TV channel that his party’s young leaders are looking towards his son KTR to take over the reins. But TRS secretary-general and its parliamentary leader K. Keshav Rao told dismissed such talk as mere rumour. It’s likely that senior leaders such as the secretary-general prevailed over KCR. Or it could be fear of a possible ‘revolt’ by some of those who were with him during the separate statehood movement. Keshav Rao, who made it clear that he would not like to be dragged into the controversy, attended the meeting where KCR warned party colleagues against airing their views on ‘change of guard’.
The opposition BJP attacked KCR for declaring that he will be CM for the next 10 years. “How can he do that? Only a feudal lord does it,” says the BJP state unit’s chief spokesperson K. Krishna Saagar Rao. On the CM’s threat to expel those who dare to air their views, the BJP leader said, “This shows no internal democracy exists in the ruling party. It is a four-man party belonging to one family.”
The BJP is apparently trying to reach out to KCR’s nephew and Telangana finance minister T. Harish Rao. His supporters had staged a protest at the TRS headquarters last year when KCR declared his son as his political heir and made him the party’s working president.
By M.S. Shanker in Hyderabad