Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao used the forum of the state Assembly to rubbish rumours of him vacating the seat for son KT Rama Rao anytime in the near future.
“I am keeping good health. I am just 66, I will be the CM of Telangana for at least ten years. Why should I hand over the CM seat to KTR? TRS will be in power this term and for another two terms,” KCR said.
Pointing to the rumours that he was not keeping good health, the CM said, “There are reports that I will go to the US for treatment.”
Incidentally, this was exactly what KTR said about his father in May 2018.
“KCR is healthy and will serve the state for another 10 to 15 years. In fact, I may retire from politics before him,” he had said.
Despite KTR’s clarification, speculation about KCR’s possible shift to New Delhi’s central politics had gained currency in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections when the TRS chief was seen batting for a Federal Front. It got strengthened with the appointment of KTR as TRS Working president, seen as the number two position in the party after KCR. With nephew Harish Rao not inducted into the cabinet, the buzz only gained momentum that KCR wanted to ensure the path of succession was clear.
But now with TRS facing an aggressive political challenge from the BJP, KCR has decided to be in command and has ensured responsibility has been given to both KTR and Harish to manage the affairs of the government and the party. Both KTR and Harish Rao were inducted into the cabinet this month and given plum portfolios to lend the governance much-needed heft.
The BJP saw in KCR’s statement a sign of dissent within the TRS. BJP Telangana president K Laxman said, “TRS could split anytime. To save the party, KCR is making efforts and his desire to continue as CM for ten years is one of them.”