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Will Harish Rao Be the Congress' "Bahubali"?

There is division in the Telangana Congress ranks over the desirability of T Harish Rao defecting to it.
Hyderabad | 20th April 2017
Congress leaders are divided into two factions over Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao's hypothetical joining of the party. Some of the Congress leaders belonging to one community are seriously opposing Rao's entry into the party, though the chances of that happening appear to be bleak. Others from the same community, along with other communities' leaders, are seriously batting in favor of Rao joining Congress.

Political analysts are speculating that CLP leader K Jana Reddy's much talked about "Bahubali" might be Harish Rao. It may be recalled that Jana Reddy had said during the budget session that a "Bahubali" would rescue the Congress and bring it to power in the 2019 elections. Even former minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said many times that only Harish Rao and Finance Minister Etala Rajender would win in the 2019 elections from the TRS.

The Congress leaders' statements today are giving an impression that Rao may join Congress at any moment, and that that may disturb the expectations of the existing leaders. The leaders' opinions are as follows:

Describing Harish Rao as a good leader and a hard worker, TPCC leader Umesh Rao, a cousin of Harish Rao who joined Congress a few years back opposing Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao seriously, said that it would be good for the Congress party in case Harish Rao joined the party. He alleged that friction had arosen in TRS, and that the pink party was sidelining the irrigation minister.

Speaking to the media at Gandhi Bhavan today, Umesh Rao said that he would try to make Harish Rao join the Congress. He opined that Harish Rao had no need to continue in TRS facing insults, and that the Congress party was the best for latter. The Congress party would also benefit from Harish Rao joining it at this juncture, and the future of Harish Rao would also be bright in the Congress, he said.

Harish Rao's arch rival T Jagga Reddy opined that the Congress party didn't need Harish Rao, and that the party had many experienced leaders. "Harish will be quite small in front of them in case he joins the Congress party," he stated.

Stating that internal fighting in the TRS was true, he said Harish Rao had played a key role in the party since its inception, but was being sidelined now due to "heir politics", and that the CM's son and IT Minister K T Rama Rao had gained the upper hand. Harish Rao would never get a chance in TRS, Jagga Reddy said.

Former union minister Sarve Sathyanarayana said that Harish Rao had done "chaprasy" (menial) work in the party. He advised Rao to backstab his uncle KCR and have his dream of becoming a Chief Minister fulfilled. He also exuded confidence that the Congress party would come to power in the 2019 elections.

Another senior leader and Leader Of Opposition in the Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir said that Harish Rao did everything for the TRS party, but then suddenly KCR's son and daughter landed from America and started dominating the party. He said that Harish Rao was a hard worker, and that the TRS MLAs were in favour of his leadership. He asked Harish Rao to do something now only - either backstab or something else - since he had only two years' time. Shabbir Ali too exuded confidence that the Congress party would win the 2019 elections.
filed in:  Telangana Congress, T Harish Rao, KCR, K T Rama Rao, TRS, Party Defections, K Jana Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Sarve Satyanarayana, Telangana
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