SIDDIPET: BJP’s victory in the Huzurabad bypoll may seal the fate of Finance Minister T Harish Rao, as he led the party in the byelection. Additionally, this is the second failure under the leadership of Harish Rao as the party also lost the Dubbaka bypoll recently.
The election results have disappointed the Minister’s followers. When TRS first came to power in 2014, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao allocated a key portfolio of irrigation to Harish. While Rao did not include Harish in his Cabinet for some time after wining the 2018 elections, the latter was eventually appointed the Finance Minister after six months.
Around this time, there were rumours that the party was trying to downplay the importance of Harish. After Dubbaka bypoll was announced and with the untimely death of MLA Ramalinga Reddy, Harish was given the responsibility of campaigning. Neither the CM nor working president KT Rama Rao campaigned for the party candidate in that election. The TRS lost the bypoll, albeit in a tough fight. As per TRS leaders, Harish, who had the reputation of a trouble shooter, had to go through a bitter experience for the first time post Dubakka bypoll.
As per the party leaders, the TRS knew there was no guarantee of it winning the Huzurabad byelection. A senior TRS leader commented that the party should have handed over responsibility of the Huzurabad poll to working president KT Rama Rao, who represents the Sirisilla constituency in the erstwhile Karimnagar district. The TRS leader says the party leadership handed over the responsibility to Harish with the thinking that if they won, the credit would go to them and if they lost, Harish could be blamed.
Party leaders say Harish visited every village, met with people from all walks of life and worked hard for the success of the TRS candidate. However, people’s admiration and sympathy towards former minister Eatala Rajender ensured the latter’s victory. Party activists close to Harish are worried that the Huzurabad result may put their leader, the undisputed leader in the erstwhile Medak district, in trouble.
Min given raw deal
As per a TRS leader, the party leadership handed over the responsibility to Harish Rao thinking that if they won, they could take the credit and if they lost, Harish could be blamed