Hyderabad | Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday named his son K T Rama Rao as the party’s working president, virtually anointing him as his successor while making clear his intention to concentrate more on national politics.
Rama Rao, who served as IT and Industries minister in the previous TRS government, is seen to have played a key role in the party’s thumping win in the recent Telangana Assembly polls and the move indicates his growing influence in the party.
The 42-year-old leader is expected to be inducted into the cabinet in its next expansion. The TRS president took over as the Chief Minister for a second term Thursday and only one minister, Mohammed Mehmood Ali, took oath along with him.
Rama Rao’s appointment was necessitated as Chandrasekhar Rao will have to concentrate on national politics and also focus on various developmental activities in the state, a release from the chief minister’s office said Friday.
“KCR (as Chandrasekhar Rao is popularly known) has decided to concentrate more time on national politics to bring a qualitative change in the national politics.
“KCR took this decision of appointing KTR as working president with a view to entrusting the responsibility of party affairs to a most trusted and efficient person since he would be preoccupied with the government activities like expediting construction of irrigation projects…,” the release said.
The TRS won 88 seats in the 119-member assembly in the December 7 polls.
Soon after the results were announced, KCR declared that the TRS would play a crucial role in national politics. He has been pitching for a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front of regional parties to take on the two national parties.
Rama Rao has been entrusted the responsibilities of party membership enrolment, construction of party offices in districts and “developing the party as the strongest one”, among others, the release said, adding that he has been efficiently and successfully handling his roles both in the party and government.
Chandrasekhar Rao is confident that the commitment and leadership qualities of Rama Rao would steer the party to greater heights, it said.
“Humbly accept the responsibility as the working president of @trspartyonline conferred on me by our president KCR Garu??,” Rama Rao tweeted.
“Shall serve to the best of my abilities to strengthen the confidence shown by people in the leadership of KCR Garu,” he said.
Rama Rao, who also studied in the United States, is considered a suave and articulate leader who is equally at ease in Telugu, English and Hindi. He was successful in coordinating the campaign in the recent Assembly polls, especially in the Greater Hyderabad region which has 24 constituencies in its limits.
During the previous government of TRS, Rama Rao’s handling of IT, Municipal Administration and Industries and other departments came in for appreciation from various quarters.
The appointment of Rama Rao as the working president was hailed by several TRS leaders and workers who thronged Telangana Bhavan, the TRS headquarters here, in large numbers.
After being appointed as the party’s working president, Rama Rao took the blessings of TRS secretary general and Rajya Sabha member K Keshav Rao.
He also met his cousin T Harish Rao, another key leader in TRS and the government, who handled the crucial irrigation portfolio in the previous government.
Talking to reporters, Harish Rao welcomed Rama Rao’s appointment as working president and assured him his complete cooperation.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, an ally of TRS, wished Rama Rao. “@KTRTRS Mubarak on being given the new & huge responsibility as Working President of TRS my best wishes to you,” he tweeted.
With his father now expressing his wish to give more time to national politics, Rama Rao faces the challenge of steering the party in the upcoming panchayat elections, followed by the Lok Sabha elections next year.