KTR will play big­ger role if TRS wins, says will quit pol­i­tics if party loses

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Lok Sabha elec­tions early next year. Al­ready, KCR has sounded sev­eral se­nior lead­ers, in­clud­ing some se­nior min­is­ters, to be ready to con­test the LS elec­tions so that a younger crop of lead­ers would be left in the state to work with his son, who is in his 40s.

KTR, as he is pop­u­larly known within and out­side the rul­ing party, has gone on record say­ing that he will not only quit pol­i­tics, but also leave pub­lic life if TRS loses the elec­tions. He was the only leader to dare the Op­po­si­tion camp to ac­cept his chal­lenge. Though some Congress lead­ers claimed a win for their party, none came for­ward to quit pol­i­tics if they lost.

KCR has en­trusted his son with the task of lead­ing the party within the lim­its of Greater Hyderabad Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (GHMC) which ac­count for 24 seats. These seats in­clude the seven held by TRS’ ally, All In­dia Ma­jlis It­te­hadul Mus­limeen (AIMIM). For all prac­ti­cal pur­poses, KTR took upon him­self the task of lead­ing the fight in the re­main­ing 17 con­stituen­cies.

This apart, KTR also looked af­ter his own Siri­cilla Assem­bly seat from the com­bined Karim­na­gar district and vig­or­ously cam­paigned for scores of other TRS can­di­dates across the state. KTR ad­dressed as many as 70 ral­lies, meet­ings and road-shows, next only to his fa­ther KCR, who ad­dressed over 85 meet­ings ahead of the elec­tions.

This is the se­cond time that KTR has been en­trusted with lead­ing the party. Ear­lier it was in the GHMC elec­tions in 2016. KTR led the party to in­crease its tally from zero to 99 out of the to­tal 150 di­vi­sions in the GHMC, which was never a strong­hold of TRS. Pre­vi­ously, in 2002, when the TRS con­tested the civic polls here, it won just two out of the to­tal 100 seats. KTR has also been given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pla­cat­ing the TRS rebels and ticket seek­ers once the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of can­di­dates was done. He led a team of party lead­ers who called and coun­selled sev­eral ticket seek­ers and en­sured that they re­mained within the party. KTR is sin­gu­larly cred­ited with per­suad­ing Deputy CM Ka­diam Sri­hari to work for TRS can­di­date T. Ra­ja­iah from Sta­tion Ghan­pur (SC).

Sri­hari, an MLC, wanted to con­test from Sta­tion Ghan­pur, but could not as KCR wanted to re-nom­i­nate Ra­ja­iah, a sit­ting MLA. Fi­nally, Sri­hari agreed to abide by KCR’s de­ci­sion, thanks to the ef­forts put in by KTR, sources in the party said. There are a dozen such in- stances where KTR per­son­ally went to the dis­grun­tled can­di­dates and per­suaded them to stay in the party.

There were also some set­backs to KTR’s diplo­macy ahead of the elec­tions. He could not con­tain Chevella MP, Konda Viswesh­war Reddy from leav­ing TRS and join­ing Congress. KTR held ne­go­ti­a­tions with Reddy till the last minute, but couldn’t stop the de­fec­tion. Sim­i­larly, KTR also could not pre­vent an­other se­nior leader G. Vinod from con­test­ing on a BSP ticket from Bel­lam­palli (SC).

On Satur­day evening, KTR held a “thanks­giv­ing” me­dia con­fer­ence at the party of­fice and con­fi­dently pre­dicted a TRS gov­ern­ment un­der KCR lead­er­ship tak­ing oath next week. KTR was flanked by his trusted min­is­ter friends—T. Srini­vas Ya­dav, P. Ma­hen­der Reddy and C. Lak­shma Reddy. “We will sur­pass the pro­jec­tions of the exit polls and win over 100 seats on 11 De­cem­ber,” KTR said.

K.T. Rama Rao

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