Kommineni Srinivasa Rao
After the emergence of the Telangana State, many TRS leaders came out of the movement, which was intrinsic to the State. Not many of them used the same lingo, which Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR) used. Barring for certain specific phrases like "sannasulu" and "daddammalu", which meant 'useless fellows' - the lingo of the movement was hardly used by the leaders.
Now what has caught the eye of the public are the recent speeches made by Health Minister Etela Rajender,which a glimpse of the Telangana Movement. Interestingly few of Etela's statements made recently appear to be taking an indirect dig at KCR, and these speeches have gained importance over the few days. Even though Etela is said to have referred to KCR as "his leader", it was quite clear to the people as to what was brewing in his mind.
These kind of outbursts never happened in the past five years, where a Minister expressed himself in such a forceful manner. When former deputy chief minister T Rajaiah was ousted, he did not protest much. Moreover, he was a leader who joined the TRS from the Congress and neither did he have to use this kind of language or wording.
However, with Etela things were different as he played a key role right from the Telangana Movement, to the formation of the TRS party. He was suitably rewarded for his hard work and was given the Key portfolio of Finance. Though it was an important post it was a known fact as to who called the shots when it came to taking decisions.
Now whether Etela would get a berth in the State Cabinet for the second time had become a point of discussion, but eventually he was given the Health portfolio, that too after the likes of T Harish Rao, Kadiyam Srihari and Naini Narasimha Reddy were sidelined.
Only KCR,Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali were holding fort as KCR had not expanded the Cabinet for almost two months. This had sent negative vibes , but later KCR had come up with the prestigious Kaleshwaram project to nullify the negativity. Somehow, that failed to bring in the much-needed enthusiasm among the party cadre.
Another aspect was when KCR failed to achieve the expected results in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Now, he took another controversial decision to demolish the existing secretariat buildings and moved forward regardless of the repercussions.
In the same vein, the Chief Minister was planning to bring in revolutionary changes in the Revenue Department and get a good name for himself. At this point there were media reports about Etela Rajender's alleged ‘leaks’ of key decisions taken by the CM in a secret meeting related to the Revenue department. It is also known that Etela is closely associated with Harish Rao, which led to the rumours that he might be dropped from the Cabinet.
After a week, the Health Minister came out condemned these reports as baseless and said that it's not the leaders who create history , but the people do he said , in a subtle reminder of the language which was used during the Telangana movement.
“Minister post given to me is not a biksha by anyone. It came in recognition of my seniority, efficiency, and loyalty to TRS and KCR. I never sought the Minister post in BC quota either,” Etela said in a meeting at Huzurabad. Everyone knows who is what. Everyone knows what Etela Rajender is, he said.
These statements also seemed to show the growing sentiments which were brewing inside. Normally in regional parties, leaders do not oppose or discredit their leaders. In this case, Etela seemed to have put KCR in a defense mode with these statements, or so he thought.
Even though he made claims of subservience, the damage had already been done. Etela stands out in history as the first person to have indirectly criticised KCR. Only time will decide what the consequences will be. After seeing the way Harish Rao was alienated by KCR, it is doubtful whether he would act differently.
Because now the KCR is in a state where no one would oppose him. He is of the firm belief that no one can do anything to him, unless there is opposition from the people. As long as KCR doesn't repeatedly make the same mistakes or political moves rubbing leaders on the wrong side, its fine. Nevertheless, if he chooses to do act otherwise, there is a danger of seeing an uprising from other leaders, similar to that of Etela's outbursts. After this KCR has to be on his toes and ensure that no such opportunity is given to others... and the sole responsibility to prevent it lies only in his hands.