Is Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao passing the baton to his son K T Rama Rao? That is the question that is doing the rounds in political circles. KCR had been missing in action since the last two months ever since he moved to his Gajwel farm house from Pragathi Bhavan after some staff contracted the deadly Covid-19.
Although KCR had returned to Pragathi Bhavan exactly after 14 days which is the mandatory quarantine period, the Chief Minister had not been taking active part in official duties barring a few appearances now and then.
It is reported that KCR has once again shifted to his farmhouse on August 10 from Pragathi Bhavan. On August 13, IT and Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao held a high-level ministerial meeting at Pragathi Bhavan to discuss the government’s policy on food processing and logistics.
In the meeting that lasted more than eight hours, State Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Boinpally Vinod Kumar and several ministers attended. The high-ministerial meeting chaired by KTR is unusual. Usually, such high-level meetings with Ministers or district collectors have been so far held by the Chief Minister himself. KTR’s high-ministerial meeting is being seen as a departure from the tradition leading to speculation that KCR will soon anoint his son as the Chief Minister.
In the August 13 meeting, all the ministers and chief secretary Somesh Kumar and top officials were in full attendance. Rarely did KTR held such meetings. Political observers believe that the meeting was held in full knowledge of KCR, once again triggering speculation that the time has come for KTR to don the mantle of his father.
It too well known that KCR aspired to play a crucial curated role in national political firmament after he floated the Federal Front bringing together regional parties. He hoped that his party would win 16 of Telengana’s 17 Lok Sabha seats. In such a scenario, KCR wanted to play a critical role in national politics leaving the CM chair to his son. But that was not to be.
In the last two months, KTR had been take active part in party activities as well as holding ministerial meetings. The August 13 meeting has once again given enough indication to bureaucracy and the party rank and file that KTR will succeed KCR as the TRS supremo and as CM soon.
As a matter of fact, political observers believe KTR conducted the high-level ministerial in a manner and style in which Cabinet meetings are usually held. Many think the meeting was a first stop towards being crowned as CM.
Political observers believe the meeting is seen as a rehearsal for future Cabinet meetings to be chaired by KTR.
KTR with a very urban outlook has inculcated his own inimical style which has earned him admiration within the party and with the people. After he assumed charge as party working president it is a given that he was next in command after KCR.
This is the first major decision taken by KCR a day after being sworn-in for a second term. Ever since, KTR was seen as as the ‘CM-in-waiting’.
With KTR holding a high-level ministerial meeting that too from Pragathi Bhavan, speculation is abuzz that he is soon-to-be CM. That KTR will be the next CM is a given, the question is when. Political observers say it is sooner than later.