Resentment comes to the fore in TRS after cabinet expansion

Within 24 hours of the cabinet expansion in Telangana, the rumblings have begun within the TRS. Former Home minister in K Chandrasekhar Rao’s cabinet in the first term (2014-18) Nayani Narasimha Reddy has accused the chief minister of reneging on his promise that he will give him a berth in the ministry. He was speaking to reporters in the lobby of the Assembly premises. 

“He had promised that he will make me a minister but did not keep it. KCR did not give me the party ticket to contest the Telangana assembly elections last year. He had also promised to make my son-in-law an MLC but he did not fulfil any of the promises,” said Narasimha Reddy. 

When asked if he will accept the Chairmanship of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), Reddy dismissed the offer, saying there was “no life in that post”.

Echoing Health minister Eatala Rajender, Reddy said he too was one of the owners of the TRS and mocked those who had joined the party after it came to power. 

“All those who joined the party later are just tenants. How long these tenants will stay, I do not know,” said Reddy. 

Reddy was not the only one to go public with his disappointment. Former Deputy chief minister M Rajaiah from Warangal district, too objected to the absence of a single Madiga SC minister in the cabinet despite the community comprising 11 per cent of Telangana’s population. 

TRS MLA Rasamayi Balakishen too criticised the TRS government last week saying nothing had changed despite the formation of a new state. 

“The only difference is that Andhra Pradesh has been replaced on name boards with Telangana. The condition of schools in rural Telangana remains as pathetic,” said Balakishan. 

Another senior MLA from Hyderabad too is reported to be mulling his options. He was hoping to be inducted into the cabinet at the expense of a minister from the city. 

KCR may not need to worry immediately because neither Reddy nor Rajaiah are mass leaders with a pan-Telangana appeal. But the fact that so many leaders have dared to go public with their resentment would worry him. Rajaiah for instance, was dropped within a few months of being made Deputy CM in 2014 but did not protest at that time. The fact that he is doing now, is a pointer to a new-found confidence among sidelined TRS leaders.   

But the question is how much credibility such revolts will have. Reddy is believed to have indicated that if he is given a Rajya Sabha seat, he will stay back in the party otherwise he will look for other options. Much of this bravado comes from the fact that the BJP is on the lookout for big names, to create an impression that it is gaining in Telangana. And these disgruntled voices are just the political script the BJP is looking for. 

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