Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao today brought to an end months of speculation about a possible change of guard in the state.
Speaking after the TRS state executive committee meeting held in the Telangana Bhavan, Rao made it clear that he would remain in the CM’s post "for the next ten years", saying that he was healthy enough to hold the post of CM, and lead the party for the next decade.
He also reportedly advised party leaders and workers to refrain from indulging in conjecture on the matter.
"I am absolutely healthy, and will continue to be the CM for another 10 years. Nobody, not even the ministers and MLAs, should speak about any change of guard in the state," KCR said.
This is likely to have left many in the state shocked as various eminent TRS leaders
, including ministers and MLAs, have recently made public statements in support of the elevation of KCR's son, IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao, to the post of the state's CM.
While many leaders had simply only hinted at the possibility of the switch, Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker T Padma Rao Goud had even openly extended "congratulations in advance"
to "the future Chief Minister of Telangana" at a meeting of railway employees, last month.
At the two-and-a-half-hour-long executive committee meeting, the party discussed various other matters, including the party's membership drive, the constitution of the party committees from the village to the state levels, the election of the party president, and the plans for the party's annual plenary on April 27, as well.
During the meeting, it was decided that the TRS would launch its membership drive from February 12, and would work to beat its previous enrolment record of 60 lakh members - the CM even asked the TRS cadres and leaders to ensure that at least 50,000 members enrolled in the party from each Assembly constituency.
KCR then said that the process of constituting the various party committees would begin on March 1.
He reportedly also addressed the upcoming MLC elections in two graduates' constituencies in the state and the Nagarjuna Sagar by-election, and expressed his confidence that the TRS would emerge victorious in both.
Talking about the party's candidates for the upcoming elections for the post of the GHMC mayor, the CM said that the relevant names would be released in a sealed envelope on the day of the election itself.