After party chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the lanky T. Harish Rao has turned out to be the most acceptable leader in the TRS, along with K.T. Rama Rao and K. Kavita. Interestingly, all four are good speakers.
Mr Harish Rao has spent a tireless fortnight going into the polls, campaigning in his Siddipet constituency for a fifth straight win, and working out the nitty gritty of KCR’s whirlwind tour across Telangana.
Except for some unsavoury incidents like the bashing up of an employee at the AP Bhavan in New Delhi (he apologised later), Mr Harish Rao is the acknowledged “Mr Cool” in the party and among its rivals as well.
Mr Harish Rao, 42, has won four times with increasing margins: 24,827 votes in 2004, 58,935 in the 2008 bypolls and 64,014 votes in 2009. In the 2010 bypolls, in a record of sorts, Mr Harish Rao secured 95,858 votes out of the 1,08,779 votes cast.
“KCR has covered all the Assembly and Parliament constituencies. The response from the people is overwhelming. I am confident the TRS will win two-thirds of the Assembly seats and a majority of the Lok Sabha seats,” he said.
Describing the TRS win in the first polls after bifurcation as a “historical necessity,” Mr Harish Rao said though Telangana has been carved out, it was not to the expectation of the people.
“TRS needs to be in power under the leadership of Mr K. Chandrasekhar Rao to ensure justice to Telangana. We sought a complete Telangana, but the Congress-led UPA government succumbed to pressure from Seemandhra leaders and announced conditions like Hyderabad as common capital for 10 years, merging seven mandals of Bhadrachalam into Andhra, options to government employees thereby denying new jobs for Telangana people,” he says.
He said the TRS wanted a change in the Polavaram dam design so that the area under submergence would be minimised. “But the Congress and the BJP rejected it. The Congress government issued the ordinance merging the seven mandals after bifurcation and the BJP-TD backed it. Only the TRS opposed the merger,” he said.
The Congress and BJP favoured Seemandhra but ignored backward Telangana while giving national project status for Pranahita Chevella and a financial package for Seemandhra, he said.
“Only TRS can protect the interests of Telangana people…. We have one leader KCR, but the Congress has 12 CM candidates who are fighting it out in public,” he said.
Mr Harish flatly rules out the possibility of Telangana getting a fractured verdict. “We are sure of winning two-thirds majority. Yet we are appealing to the people to ensure that the TRS gets a majority. A fractured verdict will destroy Telangana again,” he said.
Accusing the Congress of using the CBI to arm-twist the TRS after it spurned the Congress, Mr Harish Rao said the TRS would fight it out in court.
“We are ready to face the probe. But both Mr Chandrababu Naidu and Mr Ponnala Lakshmaiah should also be prepared to face CBI inquiry,” he said.
He said the focus of a TRS government would be to address the shortage of electricity, providing irrigation to one lakh acres in every Assembly segment, jobs to locals and ensuring Andhra employees are shifted to their region based on nativity.
He said the TRS would strive to implement its manifesto.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle