KCR targets Etala return to ward off BJP in Telangana
Unhappy Etala ready to return to pink party?
Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has prepared a blueprint to give the Opposition a blow, especially set out a narrative that the BJP has no future in the state and that leaders of other parties who join it can’t last long, and will return, according to two sources, one each in the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A major component of the blueprint, sources said, is offering former minister Etala Rajendar “a deal he cannot refuse”, which may include the post of Deputy Chief Minister, among other comforting incentives.
On record though, both parties denied the possibility of such a move, possibly because of the timing of the query.
A senior TRS leader said, “After Munugode, K. Chandrashekar Rao does not want to allow BJP any breathing space, or a scope to get aggressive. He has prepared a shock-and-awe programme that will not give the BJP time to figure out what hit them. The TRS, instead of defensively trying to protect its own leaders from being poached, or even watch passively as the BJP goes on a hunt for demoralised Congress leaders, will instead create a beeline from the Nampally office to Pragati Bhavan.”
“As part of it, negotiations are on with disgruntled former leader Etala Rajendar, who is extremely unhappy and side-lined by the BJP, to return. He is, in all likelihood going to be offered the post of Deputy CM and be taken care of. Once Rajendar returns, post the defeat in Munugode, the BJP is unlikely to recover till the next elections,” the leader said.
Interestingly, only a handful of top state BJP leaders seemed to be aware of the developments.
A BJP leader said, “We are aware that offers are being made, but we cannot think of why Rajendar will go back. What would be left of his reputation if he returned? Today, he is being looked up to because he is fighting KCR and TRS.”
A second BJP leader said, “It is not difficult to understand the desperation of the TRS, after the kind of fight that took place in Munugode. Even during the heights of campaign for Huzurabad, the TRS offered Deputy CM post to one of our leaders, but BJP leaders won’t give in to allurements, political or otherwise.”
A second TRS leader, an MP, refuted the claims. “There is absolutely no truth in it. We have made no such reach-out, nor do we wish to. It is the BJP that is short of leaders, not the TRS,” the MP said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Rajendar said, “The TRS, after winning an unethical battle in Munugode, where they set records of spending money and demonstrating heights of misuse of EC and police, to micro-manage a win, are so desperate that they have launched this campaign against me. It is only to ensure I don’t rise in the BJP and the party does not become stronger.”
Despite Rajendar’s rebuttal, sources in both parties said that only a few finer details need to be sorted for a grand ‘ghar wapsi’.
And Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao would enjoy the last laugh against the party that hopes to build its strength by stealing his leaders.