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In Telangana, the situation appears to be conducive for Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to anoint his son KT Rama Rao as his successor. 

While the father-son duo haven’t come forward to clear the air on talk of KTR’s possible coronation, there have been no voices so far critical of the ‘succession’. In fact, some of KTR’s Cabinet colleagues have been going overboard to show their loyalty and saying what a competent Chief Minister he would prove to be.

Whenever KTR does take charge, Telangana will have its second Chief Minister, but not a Dalit as promised by KCR at the height of the separate Statehood movement.

KCR made that promise at a time he needed the support of all sections of society for his Statehood movement. Dalits wholeheartedly backed him and gradually, the TRS consolidated politically, and emerged as a viable force in undivided AP.

Once the Statehood objective was achieved, KCR backtracked on his ‘Dalit CM’ promise, justifying his U-turn by saying that Telangana was underdeveloped and if a Dalit was given the opportunity to rule, he or she was bound to get the tag of failure. He said that he never would like the word ‘failure’ to be associated with Dalits, hence he would first develop the state and hand it over to a Dalit.

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Dalit leaders and legislators in the TRS accepted KCR’s justification without murmur, probably since they lacked the guts to say so publicly, and backed him to the hilt.

The Congress, which had done everything possible to fulfil the dream of Telangana people — including ignoring the interests of a majority of the people — was given a death blow by KCR who opened the doors wide for leaders of the grand old party.

The entire episode however led to many wondering whether the TRS chief thought that Dalits lacked the capacity and talent to rule the state.

Firmly in the saddle for six years, KCR is now eyeing a stint on the national stage, leaving the State for his son. Once KTR takes over, Telangana would have slipped back into dynastic rule, of course democratically.

KTR’s succession is expected to be a smooth affair within the party and has been on the cards since the time KCR was voted back to power in 2018. After returning to power, KCR made sure that there was no question in the minds of both the TRS cadres and administrative circles that they would have to work with him (KTR) in the days to come.

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To further drive home the message, KTR was given key portfolios. Now, both the administrative circles and TRS cadres are habituated to working with KTR and there will be not much resistance to accepting him as their boss.

However, the same cannot be said of the people of Telangana, who have been known for their history of struggles, right from the days of the Nizams, a dynasty that ruled for over two centuries.

The spirit of agitation may be subdued at present, but no one knows when it might surface among the people.

Acquiring power is not that difficult, especially if one happens to be the son of the ruler, but only time, and the people, can decide whether he does justice to the responsibility.

People remember the origins of the TRS on April 27, 2001, and how different the party is, after a two-decade long journey.

KTR was not beside his father at the party’s formation at ‘Jaladrusyam’ on the banks of Hussainsagar two decades ago; yours truly was. At that point of time, KTR was working in the USA and he finally joined the party a few years after its inception. It’s also unfortunate that he used filthy and unprintable language against the people of Andhra region.

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Once he becomes the Chief Minister, KTR will have to take everybody along, especially his rivals like T Harish Rao, who had been a key figure in the party since its formation.

KCR may not see Harish Rao as a hurdle to his son’s anointment at present, but one can’t say how long this situation would continue.

Comparisons are invariably drawn between Harish Rao and Raj Thackeray of Shiv Sena. Despite his strong influence on cadres, Raj had to leave his parent party.

After his anointment, KTR will have to get the acceptance of the people in 2023 and only then would his leadership remain unquestioned.

For this, he would have to outwit and defeat the BJP, which is gathering strength in the State. Till such time, he would be known as his father’s successor and not a politician in his own right. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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