Over the past few days and more specifically after the cabinet expansion on Sunday, the debate over `owners’ and `tenants’ has started within the Telangana Rashtra Samiti. Leading the charge are old-timers of the TRS who were instrumental along with K Chandrasekhar Rao in leading the Telangana agitation but now find themselves out in the cold. The `tenants’ term is meant to be a jibe at the new entrants into the ruling party in Telangana who are now seen to have cornered the plum posts within the government.
Health minister Eatala Rajender was the first to speak about how he too was an owner of the pink flag of the TRS. Many felt that his open assertion helped him retain his chair in the Telangana government. But after former Home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy was denied a berth, he came out all guns blazing.
“All those who joined the party later are just tenants. How long these tenants will stay, I do not know,” said Reddy.
Reddy’s barb is directed at the likes of Animal Husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav who had a running feud with the TRS leadership when he was with the Telugu Desam prior to 2014. The grouse of leaders like Reddy is that while KCR did not entertain their demands for induction into the cabinet, people like Malla Reddy (joined from TDP), Sabitha Indra Reddy (defected from Congress), E Dayakar Rao (moved from TDP) are now ministers. Sukhender Reddy (from Congress to TRS) may be made Legislative Council Chairman.
Meanwhile with the social media in Telangana abuzz with the possible defections of TRS leaders into the BJP on 17 September, former minister Jupally Krishna Rao held a press conference to deny the rumours. The BJP also called such reports as speculative.
The TRS leadership realising the damage to its image such open expressions of discontent could do, also has stepped in to reach out to the disgruntled leaders to pacify them.